Quite Interesting So Far

It is really exciting to be in Los Angeles for this year’s HITEC and so far so good. Monday evening’s opening party at the Belasco Theater was quite sensational. Good music, good food and drinks, and good conversations. Not to mention the elegance of the venue.

HITEC itself has been running quite smoothly. The registration and badge pick-up processes have been less cumbersome this year, thanks to the producers, HFTP. I was unable to attend Monday’s opening keynote. However, Tuesday’s keynote session on “The Collaborative Economy” presented by Rachel Botsman was very good. If you’ve never heard Rachel speak, you should check out her presentations on TedTalks and YouTube. You’ll not be disappointed.

The first thing I did when the exhibition floor opened was to wander around and quickly browse every aisle just to check out the vendors as well as the new products and services on display. I was particularly interested in learning more about first-time exhibitors and those in smaller booths to see whether I could find any unique & interesting products.  Here are a few that caught my eye. A note on full disclosure – I have no relationship in anyway with any vendor or product mentioned in this blog, and in no way do my comments here construe an endorsement.

Meetings Maker – This system enables business users and meeting planners to quickly search for and book meeting spaces online either via the hotel’s website or the company’s website. The unique thing about is that the booking is fully integrated with the hotel’s meeting reservation system. So you can get real-time availability and pricing on all available properties without having to go through the process of calling each hotel like I often do when in search of meeting space. Upon specifying your criteria such as date/time, location, attendees, meeting format, and the desired amenities (parking, Wi-Fi, food, etc.), the system displays the results on a map along with real-time availability, pricing and booking method.  A lot of business users and meeting planners will find this system very handy.

Simplified check-in processes – To help address the sometimes frustrating check-in and check-out processes at hotels, a number of entrepreneurs have developed solutions that can hopefully make things run smoother. I came across some of these companies on the exhibition floor, each with its own unique approach to addressing this issue. Some companies like Yikes (a company founded by two brothers) uses a mobile app linked to the PMS and the door locks of the room assigned to the guest.  Others like Acenonyx provide a check-in kiosk that also enables the printing of room key cards. Quite interesting concepts, but will they catch on?

Being a small business owner myself, I am hopeful that this year’s HITEC will provide some much needed growth opportunities for the small businesses and start-ups exhibiting at the show. Stop by and say hello to them. You never know what you could find there!

I am looking forward to attending the super sessions and will let you know my thoughts on them. Enjoy your day!

Samuel is head of analytics and the founder of Nyansapor Analytics, a company focused on the use of analytics in the hospitality vertical. He is currently the secretary of HFTP Maryland Chapter.

The content published in this section was provided by HITEC Guest Bloggers. The information is the view/opinions of the Guest Bloggers and not of HFTP, nor of any person or organization affiliated or doing business with HFTP.

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