The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) was back this week after 25 months off. Running September 27-30 in Dallas, Texas USA.
Produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), HITEC® showcases the industry’s latest innovations and provides a top-notch education program for attendees. This year just over 4,000 attendees participated, with 250+ exhibiting companies set up in 60,000+ square feet of exhibit space. In addition, HFTP’s Annual Convention was co-located with HITEC with a focus on education sessions that featured finance-related topics.
“The first word that comes to mind is ‘gratitude,’” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE, FIH. “This week has been a tremendous success and HFTP is extremely grateful for all the support from the vendor community and our attendees representing multiple segments across the hospitality industry. We heard over and over how wonderful it was to be together again.”
HITEC, in its 49th year, had gone virtual last year due to the pandemic and in 2021 returned as an in-person event. To keep its attendees safe this year, HFTP implemented numerous health safety measures, including frequent sanitization of the event area, mask requirement and more. The overall sentiment from attendees was appreciation for a return to a face-to-face event.
Highlights of the event were four distinguished keynote/general sessions. Starting the first day was the Opening Keynote presentation by Erik Qualman with his session: “Digital Transformation: Design Your Future.” Followed the next day by the “Industry CIO Panel” with panelists Andrew Arthurs of Aimbridge Hospitality; Carol Beggs of Chatham Bars Inn; Dan Kornick of Loews Hotels & Co.; Michael Levie, CHTP of citizenM Hotels; Mohammad Al Qassim of The Manor by JA; and Scott Strickland of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Other keynotes included presentations by speakers Victoria Labalme and John Sileo.
In addition, a full program of concurrent education sessions was on the schedule covering trending topics including emerging technology in F&B, decentralized ID, direct distribution vs. third-parties, hyper-personalization, defining a digital hotel, ethical conundrums in technology, pressing cybersecurity threats and more. Other educational opportunities were available on the show floor, including the non-sales oriented exhibitor tutorials right on the exhibit hall floor.
Two hospitality technology industry leaders were recognized and awarded at HITEC Dallas: 2021 HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame recipients include Mark Haley, CHTP+, co-founder and partner at Prism Hospitality Consulting, LLC and Rama P. Rama, president and CTO/CIO at Sarona Hotels, Investments & Premier Management Services. In addition, the HFTP CHTP of the Year recipient Dennis Blair, Jr., CHTP, IT project manager for Hyatt New Openings and Transitions Team was recognized.
Due to travel restrictions, much of the international attendees could not make it to HITEC Dallas this year. To accommodate those who were unable to attend, HFTP is offering a Keynote/General Session Digital Collection. The four sessions are available on the HITEC website through Oct. 31, 2021 for $199 USD. In addition the HFTP Virtual Educationprogram will offer three encore sessions as webinars over the next month at no cost.
HFTP is already getting ready for next year’s HITEC Orlando scheduled for Sept 27-30, 2022 in Orlando, Florida USA. In addition, HFTP Dubai at the Hotel Show Dubai will be May 24-26 in Dubai, UAE. For more information about HFTP’s events, visit www.hftp.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at [email protected].