Written By: Terence Ronson
The weather may be cool this coming week, but there will be lots of hot new products and warm-welcome networking opportunities at HITEC Amsterdam (#HITECams).
HITEC is celebrating its 45th anniversary as the world’s largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand by producing two inaugural HITEC conferences during 2017: HITEC Amsterdam and HITEC Dubai. These two inaugural events will serve as expansions to the very successful main North American event that we have all come to know and love.
Not only will there be products galore to get one excited about the future of technology in the hospitality industry, there will also be two keynotes featuring Aleks Krotoski, an award-winning international broadcaster, author and academic who is behind the BBC Radio 4 show The Digital Human and BBC World’s The Virtual Revolution. Closing the program is Woody Wade, future scenario planning expert and author of the not-to-be-missed, great-reading “Hotel Yearbook.” Other speakers include a veritable “Who’s Who” of the industry and have all taken time out of their busy schedules to share their views and experiences, and it goes without saying, their vision of the future.
Pre-HITEC on 28 March includes the popular innovation competition Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) as well as invitation-only CIO/CFO round tables, where CIOs and CFOs will discuss the most important issues they are facing in their respective companies and the hospitality industry at large. In the afternoon is the E20X pitch competition specifically for start-ups developing hospitality technology products or services. The participants present pitches to a panel of expert judges including hospitality CIOs and industry insiders. The Judge’s Winner deemed “most innovative” receives a cash prize. All participants get an opportunity to exhibit in the HITEC Amsterdam exposition, and HITEC Amsterdam attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorite startup via the HITEC 2017 Mobile App (download via Apple Store or Google Play).
HITEC would not be HITEC without its well-regarded education sessions, and there are around 10 of those for you to take your pick from. My personal experience tells me that these are not-to-be-missed sessions where you get to hear from, and the chance to ask questions from subject matter experts. Some of the topics include: How Disruptive Technologies are Challenging and Changing the Industry, Service Bus Technology: The End of Interfacing as we Know It and Technology for Profit. It will be almost impossible to come away from these sessions without some form of learning experience. I am moderating one of these, so please come and join us, and by using the newly released HITEC app, you will be able to interactively ask questions.
To amplify the importance of this event, CNN is serving as exclusive platinum network news sponsor – and we all know what kind of global coverage they will bring to the industry. No fake news here…
HITEC Amsterdam will have over 80 stands for you to admire, ogle, prod and enjoy products and services from across the globe. After all, this is a global business, and the exhibitors will elaborate on how they will be able to accommodate brand standards and provide a special guest experience. So better bring comfortable shoes and an open mind. There will be a mix of behemoths and start-ups – and part of the fun of HITEC, is spotting upcoming trends and wannabee stars from among the start-ups.
Time to come in from the cold, and welcome the warm embrace of the inaugural HITEC.
Terence Ronson is a managing director at Pertlink Limited. In 2000 he started Pertlink (Hong Kong), a hotel technology consultancy, from where he also became the technology editor for HOTELS Asia Pacific and has since authored numerous industry related articles. Ronson runs an active hotel technology blog and is the author of the popular and highly regarded “DO’s and DON’TS of Hotel Technology.”