Written by: Ron Strecker, CHAE+, CHTP+
HITEC 2022 is in full swing, and it certainly feels like the HITECs from pre-pandemic days. The aisles are packed with vendors and attendees again, and the energy in the exhibit hall is electric. This year marks my 26th consecutive HITEC. It is the number one event I look forward to every year for three reasons.: innovation, education and networking.
- Innovation: Some of the most innovative vendors in our industry can often be found along the edges of the show floor without a lot of the flash and glitz shown by many of the larger vendors. But I challenge you to stop at these booths and listen to their story. I bet you will find a few that give you a light bulb moment. One of those niche vendors I came across today was Fresh Air Sensors in Booth #1117 who have created a device that can detect and notify the hotel when tobacco or marijuana smoke is present. This solution prevents arguments and chargebacks when guests violate your non-smoking policy.
- Education: Attending HITEC’s educational sessions over the years offered me the opportunity to accumulate CPE hours towards my certification maintenance each year. The content for these sessions has always been relevant to the real-time challenges facing the industry at the time. I have now reached emeritus status with my certifications, so collecting CPEs is no longer necessary, but that doesn’t stop me from attending as many of the sessions as possible. Monday’s line up of sessions was one of the strongest first day programs I can remember. Great work by the HITEC Advisory Council.
- Networking: Let’s face it: hospitality is all about relationships and HITEC is one of those events that feels like an annual reunion. It is an opportunity to catch up with my peers and my friends in the vendor community. And occasionally, there is the additional satisfaction of seeing peers receive the accolades they deserve, as is the case with Jeff Bzdawka’s induction into the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame. Jeff and I worked together at the Hyatt Regency Kansas City back in the late 1980s where he was the reservations manager. Congratulations, Jeff.
Make the most of your remaining time at HITEC 2022 by focusing on these three important elements. And start making your plans now to attend HITEC 2023 (June 26-29) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I will be there — will you?
Ron Strecker, CHAE+, CHTP+ is an independent consultant, author, and speaker with over 35 years of senior financial leadership roles. He is also an official event guest blogger for HITEC Orlando 2022, taking place June 27-30 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida USA. Continue checking HFTP Connect for more of Ron’s experiences at HITEC this year.