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 HITEC® Taking Measures to Protect the Interests of its Exhibiting Companies from Outboarders; Vendors Trying to Avoid
 Paying Fees An Ongoing Issue


AUSTIN, Texas (April 5, 2005) -- Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) announced today that it will take several proactive measures to protect the interests of its exhibiting companies from Outboarders at the 2005 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®).

"Outboarders, Suitcasers and Pirate exhibitors are all names used for companies that choose not to exhibit at a conference or tradeshow, but plan product demonstrations and similar events, to 'steal' attendees from conference organizers and supporters," said Frank Wolfe, CAE, HFTP's executive vice president and CEO. "Since attendees assume that these events are part of the official conference, the practice is similar to someone hijacking a hotel's or restaurant's trademarked Internet key words by third party sites leading them to believe it is an official part of the brand site when it is not.

"We have supporters who spend tens of thousands of dollars to bring their staff and products to HITEC because it is the hospitality technology show in which to conduct business. HFTP has an obligation to protect these supporters and make our attendees aware of this unethical behavior. Companies who try to circumvent the system should be on notice that HFTP will do everything it can to protect the integrity of our conference."

According to a white paper published by the International Association of Exhibition Managers (IAEM), one of the meeting industry's top representatives, the practice of vendors trying to avoid paying fees at conferences is an ongoing issue. HFTP has had rules prohibiting this practice for a number of years. However, HITEC exhibitors still indicate that the number of attempts to steal attendees still exists and have requested increased monitoring of this activity.

Among the techniques HFTP will use are attendee volunteers who provide show organizers with copies of product demonstration invitations, increased security, attendee awareness of the issue, aggressive defense of HITEC and HFTP service marks, vigorous promotion of the official HITEC exhibitor list and allied meetings located on the HITEC web site and increased cooperation from our partner conference hotels who notify HFTP of attempts by non-exhibiting companies to gain meeting space.

HITEC 2005 booth space is almost sold out and plans are being studied to expand the floor. Attendees approached by non-exhibiting vendors with invitations to attend product demonstrations or similar events at HITEC are asked to e-mail pirates@hftp.org and notifiy HFTP. Vendors interested in purchasing booth space should e-mail Laura.Huffman@hftp.org.

HFTP® and HITEC® are registered service marks of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals.


Contact:
Eliza R. Selig
HFTP Communications Manager
Telephone: 800-646-4387; 512-249-5333 x23
Fax: 512-249-1533
Email: Eliza.Selig@hftp.org
Website: www.hftp.org
Website: www.hitec.org

Also See: Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) Modernizes Membership Structure / July 2004

Ted Horner Inducted into the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame / June 2004

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