Conference held in Austin closes with record attendance, sets stage for upcoming European June event in Lisbon

Washington, DC (February 13, 2018) – The HEDNA Global Distribution Conference concluded its annual event in Austin, Texas with a record number of attendees, captivating keynotes, educational sessions, interviews and engaging discussions. The overwhelming sentiment from all at the event was how relevant and important HEDNA conferences are for hoteliers to participate in if they want to stay informed, understand and compete in today's dynamic landscape.

“We are extremely happy with the turnout and the amazing content that we were able to deliver to such a large crowd,” said Sarah Fults, President of HEDNA. “The success of the Austin Conference bodes well for the upcoming event we will be hosting this June in Lisbon, Portugal where we will tackle ‘a conversation with tomorrow's guest’ – which is also the theme.”

Austin 2018 Conference takeaways and highlights included:

Current and relevant Data and Insights everywhere:

  • Keynote speaker, Harper Reed, shared his insights on demystifying big data.
  • Justin Rao from HomeAway clarified the competition between VR and Hotels.
  • The fast-paced State of the Industry sessions portrayed and analyzed the different perspectives of distribution (Guest, Property, Distributor).

Cutting Edge Technology and Innovation:

  • HEDNA’s first Hackathon proved that HEDNA can hack – generating compelling concepts over a weekend only.
  • The Innov8ers presented exciting new ideas and solutions challenging the status quo.
  • Blockchain technology has arrived in Hospitality through Payment and Digital Identity.

Passionate debates included:

  • How Austin regulates the sharing economy without slowing down innovation
  • How soon until AI (artificial intelligence) applications replace humans?
  • Why is there still a reception in the hotel and what is the guest experience of the future?

“I always clear my schedule to attend this conference,” said Chris Murdock, Director, Distribution Operations, AccorHotels. “The content was engaging and educational providing me and my company valuable insights and a clear advantage. Great Return on Investment.”

The next HEDNA Global Distribution Conference will be held in Lisbon, Portugal from June 4 – 6, 2018 at the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel. Registration is set to open Spring 2018.