In its second year,ÊHospitality Financial and Technology ProfessionalsÊ(HFTP¨) EuropeanÊHITEC¨ was held last week where top industry experts exchanged knowledge geared toward shaping the future of hospitality globally. Discussions were held on the hottest topics in the industry Ð artificial intelligence, voice recognition, data science, robotics, customer journey and the EU GDPR. OverÊ100 companiesÊdisplayed the latest in available hospitality technology products available around the globe.
Kicking-off the event was HFTPÕsÊEntrepreneur 20XÊ(E20X)ÊwhereÊ11 entrepreneursÊpresented their innovative technology to a panel of expert judges. StartupÊKITROÊwas awarded the JudgeÕs Choice grand prize award of Û2,500. Following the competition, participants were available to meet with delegates in the Innovation Lab. Delegates had an opportunity to select their favorite innovative technology, which differed from the E20X Judges Award. For the second time, the favorite technology of delegates at a HITEC event went toÊArrivedoÊ.
Another highlight of the conference might well have been the largest gathering ever of European hospitality CIO and CFOs. The invitation-only event, sponsored byÊFourteen IP Communications, provided the c-level audience an opportunity to address current day problems and speculate about the future. The sometimes spirited discussion offered insight into what the near future trends might be, and what the roles of industry professionals will be in the future. The stellar educational program ended withÊFrits van Paasschen, best-selling author and former CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, providing unique perspective on trends shaping the global economy.
The partner of the conference Ð the exhibitions Ð was not as stellar or up to HFTP standards. “Producing hospitality events for more than four decades, and being a nonprofit organization, HFTP sets higher standards regarding the quality and overall experience of our stakeholders than other conferences and exhibitions,Ó said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. ÒWe work passionately on behalf of the industry year-round to provide the best possible tools and experiences for all of our participants Ð including our exhibiting companies. A positive exhibitor experience was not the case at this event.”
The first sign of trouble exhibitors experienced was set-up preparations, which overflowed into actual opening exhibit hours. During the event, exhibitors experienced internet problems and the traffic inside the exhibition hall was clearly disappointing.
Although buyers registered for the event, checked in on site and were available on the event app, the numbers inside the exhibitions were not what we expected. So, in recognition of the energy and time HFTP supporters spent preparing for the event, ALL exhibiting companies were offered a partial refund of their stand reservation fees. “HFTP continues to expand and evolve for the industry and its promise is to do our best to make the quality of the experience positive,” Wolfe said. “In spite of the troubles,ÊHITEC AmsterdamÊalready has really good support from the exhibitions side and has sold almost 50 percent of the available stands for 2019.”
HFTP remaining events for 2018 includeÊHITEC HoustonÊÐ HFTPÕs largest event of the year Ð from June 18-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas USA.ÊHFTP Annual ConventionÊwill October 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA.ÊHITEC DubaiÊwill take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. For more information about HFTPÕs international events, visitÊwww.hftp.orgÊandÊwww.hitec.orgÊor contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department atÊ[email protected].
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC¨) is the world’s largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.ÊHistorically hosted annually in a different city throughout the United States, HFTP decided to break tradition in 2017 by hosting three HITEC events all taking place outside of U.S. bordersÐ in Toronto, Amsterdam and Dubai. This was the first time the global associationÕs largest HITEC event Ð featuring thousands of hospitality professionals from around the world Ðtook place outside of the United States. For more information about HITEC, visitÊwww.hitec.org.
FollowÊHITEC onÊsocial media:ÊFacebookÊ(@HITECconference);ÊLinkedIn;ÊTwitterÊ(@HFTP);ÊInstagramÊ(@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on theÊHFTP NewsÊpage, and exhibitor news on theÊHITEC BytesÊsite. HITEC event photos are available onÊFlickr, and HFTP event videos are available onÊYouTube.
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP¨), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry’s pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the worldÕs largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand:ÊHITEC.ÊThe association also owns the worldÕs only hospitality-specific search engine:ÊPineappleSearch.com¨. For more information about HFTP, visitwww.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page atÊnews.hftp.orgÊand the HFTP Connect blog atÊblog.hftp.org.
FollowÊHFTP onÊsocial media:ÊFacebookÊ(@HFTPGlobal);ÊLinkedIn;ÊTwitterÊ(@HFTP);ÊInstagramÊ(@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP’s industry-specific, informational news sites:ÊHFTP News,ÊHITEC Bytes,ÊHFTP Club Bytes,ÊHFTP Finance BytesÊandÊHFTP GDPR Bytes. HFTP event photos are available onÊFlickr, and HFTP event videos are available onÊYouTube.