[Part 2] HITEC 2012 Preview

This is a two-part series previewing HITEC 2012, held June 25-28 in Baltimore, Md.

Read Part 1>

HITEC starts in exactly one week. Travel plans have been made. Everyone is packing. Speakers are putting finishing touches to their education sessions. Exhibitors are making final details to their booths. And HFTP staff are running around like crazy to make sure everything runs smoothly.

We already reviewed the first five awesome things to look forward to at HITEC. Here is the second half of the awesome list. Let us know what you’re looking forward to the most.

6. New Styles of Education Sessions

The HITEC Advisory Council has been so busy designing new educational opportunities. Here is a quick sampler of what’s new:

  • Gaming Gurus — Gaming properties have additional technology issues to consider beyond the typical hotel. The panel of seasoned technology experts from gaming properties will discuss the ins and outs of running gaming properties from a technology perspective. They will cover how gaming properties differ from hotel properties, debunk common myths about casinos, what gaming is like outside of Las Vegas and more.
  • Tech Boot Camps — Kick off HITEC the right away on Monday with everything you ever wanted to know on subjects like SAQD, Cloud Computing, PCI Compliance and System Selection. These sessions give you more time to go into more detail about the subjects that are hot in the industry right now.
  • Birds of a Feather — This unique Super Session pairs professionals with similar job titles to discuss their distinctive experiences. Attend this session to meet people with similar interests as you and discuss issues that you face in your job.
  • People’s Choice Sessions — Sometimes it can be really frustrating when you see two education sessions you want to attend scheduled at the same time. Well, HITEC has a solution for that this year. The People’s Choice sessions allow attendees to vote for their two favorite sessions from the first two days of the conference to be repeated later in the conference. So you have a second chance to attend that session that sounds so interesting to you.

7. Going Social

The cool thing about HITEC is that it is a conference full of professionals that are in touch with technology (obviously). A lot of HITEC attendees are active on Twitter and Facebook. So the social media conversation is always interesting to be a part of – whether you are attending the conference or you are stuck in your office. Follow #HITEC on Twitter to see what trends are being discussed at the conference – and join in the conversation.

If you’re at HITEC, come to the Tweet Up on Monday, June 25 from 5-6 p.m. on the Camden Terrace (sponsored by Ness Technologies). It’s a great way to get to meet all the people you talk to online throughout the year.

8. Brand New HITEC App

This is the third year that HITEC has had a mobile app. But this year, the app is brand new and improved.

Now, everything you need to know about HITEC is right at your finger tips. There are some really cool features too – like faster loading times, a built-in QR code reader, a personalized conference schedule, feedback surveys inside the app, GPS maps of the area and much more.

There are iPhone, iPad, Android and mobile versions available. Download now>

9. Cool Tech Prizes

Everyone loves the chance to win a prize when they attend a conference — and HITEC is no different. Exhibitors have prizes they’ll be giving away at HITEC and so does HFTP, the producers of HITEC. HFTP will have two chances for you to win a new iPad:

  • Passport to Technology — Grab a passport card (found at the entrance to the exhibit hall or in the HFTP booth) and visit each exhibitor on the list. Get a stamp from them and bring it to the HFTP booth #1858 by Thursday at 1:15 p.m. Then you’ll be entered in a drawing for a new iPad. How easy is that?
  • Social Media Scavenger Hunt — Follow HFTP/HITEC on Twitter and Facebook to get three clues to a sentence. Tweet that sentence or post on our Facebook wall to be entered into a drawing for another new iPad.

10. Awards

As a major industry event, HITEC is a great opportunity to honor those that have made significant contributions to hospitality technology. Come show your support for those that have spent years improving the industry.

  • International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame — Douglas Rice, executive vice president and CEO of Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), will be inducted on Tuesday, June 26 at 8:30 a.m. for his hospitality technology industry influence and his leadership with forming HTNG.
  • Award of Merit — Awarded every five years, the Award of Merit recognizes individuals who have made a significant innovation or breakthrough that established a path for others in hospitality technology. The three industry pioneers  honored this year are the Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Warren Markwart and Kemmons Wilson. The ceremony is Monday, June 25 during the Keynote Session.
  • CHTP of the Year — Randy Craven, CHTP, MCSD, principal at Randy Craven Software and Consulting in Greensboro, N.C., will be honored as the 2012 CHTP (Certified Hospitality Technology Professional) of the Year. In its 15th year, the honor is given to the individual that scored the highest on the CHTP certification exam in a given year. He will be honored on Monday, June 25 during the Keynote Session.

Katy Walterscheidt is the PR & social media manager for HFTP and editor of HFTP Connect, the hospitality professionals’ blog. You can reach her on Twitter @katyw03 or by e-mail at katy.walterscheidt@hftp.org.

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