A Look Ahead – The Lodging Conference 2019

/A Look Ahead – The Lodging Conference 2019

A Look Ahead – The Lodging Conference 2019

|2019-09-19T15:31:06-04:00September 18th, 2019|

By Andrew Hazelton and Matt Peterson

Later this month the 25th Annual Lodging Conference will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona, an event that historically caps off the “conference year” for many in the hotel business. It is a time to reconnect with industry friends and colleagues, but it also gives us a few days to pause and reflect on the past year and speculate on the year to come. Heading into the event there are a number of agenda items that pique our interest, so let’s dive in.

  • The State of the Union: Like many of those attending, we have a high level of curiosity as to how key leaders and economic experts feel about the general pulse of the industry and how the current economic climate will impact the hospitality business. Hearing from Bernard Baumohl of The Economic Outlook Group should prove captivating, especially his thoughts as to how the current US/China Trade Wars, Brexit, and the upcoming election year will affect the industry in 2020. Inevitably, that will tee up two panels in which top executives from organizations including Aimbridge, Best Western, Accor, Radisson, IHG, and G6 Hospitality will provide their perspective on the overall industry. These key panel discussions tend to set the conference mood — one we suspect will be filled with continued “cautious optimism.”
  • Travel Trends & Disruptors: Sitting in on the “Travel Trends” conversation will also be of high interest to us, specifically when there are major players like Booking.com and Facebook on the panel. As we know, consumers, specifically the next generation of savvy travellers, continue to lean toward more “bespoke” and customized travel experiences. It will be interesting to hear how hot hotel companies are driving initiatives to capitalize on such demand that will ideally differentiate themselves from their competitive set. We also know major “sharing economy” players like Airbnb and Uber aren’t going away anytime soon, and they continue to see increased usage from leisure and business travellers. We are intrigued to understand what the data and statistics are really telling us about these “disruptors.” We are also curious as to what the panel’s perspective will be on the future of the existing hotel model and how it will evolve. It will be interesting to see how the traditional hospitality organizations will join in the evolution.
  • Technology: Lastly, any topic that has to do with technology and innovation will be of high interest as well. Hotel brands and owners continue to try and leverage technological advancements for a better overall guest experience, such as mobile technology and user-friendly platforms for connectivity in rooms and common areas. Big Data will continue to be a hot topic and how it is being leveraged by hotel companies to further personalize their guest experience. As the savvy traveller continues to seek out and identify with a more personalized experience, companies will be more proactive in acquiring guest information and curating these experiences. However, with Big Data comes the enhanced need for cyber security. Hotel companies must continue to spend dollars to protect guests’ privacy from online bookings, apps, and on-property usage. It would ultimately be great to hear some statistics on the overall ROI from implementing these new technologies; at the end of the day, it is providing an experience that keeps the guest returning and, with that, a valuable and smart investment.

See you in Scottsdale!

About Andrew Hazelton

Andrew Hazelton is Managing Director of AETHOS Consulting Group’s office in Philadelphia. An experienced recruitment consultant, he possesses more than a decade of retained executive search experience in a variety of disciplines, including lodging, restaurants, gaming, cruise, real estate and technology. Prior to joining AETHOS, Andrew worked for three years with HVS Executive Search and six years with Korn/Ferry International. He has completed numerous C-suite searches, and authored articles on executive selection, general human resources trends and compensation for hospitality. Andrew is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, an active alumni member, and a member of the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society.

[email protected]/+1 215 527-0496

About Matt Peterson

Matt Peterson has been active in executive search since early 2005. Prior to joining his father at Greger/Peterson Associates in 2007, he served as a Director of Recruitment for Rydek Professional Staffing in Los Angeles. In this capacity, he filled pharmaceutical and IT positions, and was responsible for both developing new clients and filling their needs on a national level. Matt began his recruiting career as a research analyst for the Cates Consulting Group, also in Los Angeles. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Masters Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University. More recently, Matt has furthered his education at the University of California, Los Angeles studying personal and corporate tax.

He is actively involved in the Alumni Board of Loyola High School, sits on the Board of United Cerebral Palsy’s Los Angeles Chapter and is a Member of the Board of Trustees for Children’s Bureau.

[email protected]/+1 310 469-2529

Related News:

As the first news aggregate for the hotel industry, Hotel-Online is the industry’s must-read daily news source for everything hotel curated for busy professionals. Sign up today for industry news delivered to your inbox.