Written by: Artak Gevorgian, CHAE, MBA — Official HITEC® Minneapolis 2019 Guest Blogger
I have participated as an official event guest blogger for HFTP twice before — at both the 2017 and 2018 HFTP Annual Convention. I heard all about HITEC in the corridors there, during the breaks while convention attendees talked amongst themselves. At that time, I aimed to participate next as a guest blogger at the world’s largest hospitality technology show. I wanted to explore HITEC myself and find out what exactly someone with a background rooted exclusively in hospitality finance could learn and gain from it.
At this time, I do not know all of the things that I will benefit from at HITEC, since I have never been before. But I do know that as a CHAE (Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive) designation holder, I plan to attend all of the applicable education sessions to help with my designation maintenance requirements.
And, as someone from Muscat travelling to the Midwestern United States, another interesting component of this trip will no doubt be the opportunity to explore and get acquainted with Minneapolis. I look forward to visiting local sites such as Minnehaha Falls, the Stone Arc bridge, the Foshay Hotel, the Mall of America, a few museums, and explore the food offerings downtown and around.
HITEC is now just days away.
I will take off next week from Muscat and reach Minneapolis after approximately 17 hours in-flight, in order to join the mix as a first-time attendee and international guest blogger for HITEC, the world’s largest event in hospitality technology. I am left undecided about whether I am so panicked that I am impatient, or if I am so impatient that I am panicking?
I’ve reread my past pre-arrival moods from HFTP’s 2017 and 2018 Annual Conventions, and you can re-read them, too: Dive in and Discover at the 2017 Annual Convention (2017) and Be Prepared: Have an Action Plan for Professional Development (2018). These blog posts point to the very elements I feel that I am missing right now: patience and extensive prior planning!
I found a nice way to prepare was to read reporting from HITEC Houston last year. If anyone else wants to glean insight of what HITEC is all about, review this article Insight on HFTP’s Largest HITEC in History — Content and Reporting from HITEC Houston. Reading about HITEC ahead of time and learning more about the past event, helps calm my nerves to prepare for what is to come.
Since I am looking for which CPE-accredited educational sessions to attend for my CHAE designation maintenance, I made sure to go through the HITEC 2019 schedule ahead of time.
At the same time, I wonder if I will be able to find among all of the exhibitors, any products or services designed for multi-purpose finance modeling in the hospitality industry. Some of the user solutions I am seeking include:
- Valid break-evens at operators’ view/level and below EBITDA less replacement reserves level
- Calculation tools that manage model required arguments and data, workforce needed, variable costs department by department (any type of ingredients needed by quantity and prices available in given market) and fixed costs for certain time period with replication of inflation and/or month by month demand and supply change
- Data reading and analytics tools for procurement, general ledger, POS and PMS environments, payroll and training systems
- Tools that provide critiques for strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats
- Rapid and streamlined delivery of classes of ratios such as liquidity, solvency, turnover and profitability with some good or bad suggestions.
Looking at this wish list, I am confident that some of these products can probably be found among the artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the vast HITEC Exhibit Hall. You can plan your trip around the hall by looking at the HITEC floor plan ahead of time.
I have also outlined some questions that I would like to answer during HITEC week that I think will help me figure out exactly what HITEC is all about, including:
- What does HITEC give to its participants (individuals and companies) from a business perspective?
- What is the main purpose of HITEC in markets other than the United States?
- What gains and benefits HITEC brings to its organizers?
- Does HITEC create an environment for successful networking?
The thought of getting to be a part of an event of such a large scale makes me impatient to dive into everything HITEC has to offer this year in Minneapolis. In the meantime, I will continue to plan my #HITEC experience for the next week. See you all in just a few days!
Artak Gevorgian is multi-property director of finance, W Muscat and JW Marriott Muscat with Marriott International in Oman, Middle East. He is an official event guest blogger for HITEC Minneapolis 2019, taking place June 17–20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. Check back on HFTP Connect for more of Artak’s experiences at HITEC this year.