Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) has just wrapped up the first week of its premiere virtual event CYBER HITEC®, with the first-three days featuring live interaction. The event hosted over 1,840 registered participants engaging in hospitality technology-focused education sessions, 18 virtual exhibit halls and multiple networking opportunities. CYBER HITEC was a virtual adaptation of the 48-year hospitality technology convention and trade show HITEC® (Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Tradeshow), which traditionally is an in-person event. Also enveloped within the programming was the HFTP Annual Convention, with a hospitality finance-focused education track. CYBER HITEC will continue to be available to registrants through November 25, 2020, with access to education sessions and exhibits remaining.
“It was hard to imagine how we would get here when we first determined it was necessary to switch from our traditional face-to-face events to virtual,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE, FIH. “We concentrated on the core features HITEC is known for, which is expert knowledge sharing and a market with the best solutions the industry offers. Both goals were accomplished and in fact, the bonus is that registrants can take their time to view the sessions and browse the exhibit halls over the next month. Plus, no sore feet at the end of the day.”
The education section offers 30 plus sessions, covering pressing topics such as: pandemic recovery strategies, digital transformation, payment trends, ethics, disaster recovery, wi-fi optimization, and much more. The program kicked-off with a keynote presentation by design innovator Jon Picard presenting, “The Convergence of Innovation and Wellness to Stability.” It closed with a presentation by professor and CYBER HITEC Advisory Council Chair Justin Taillon, “Is Customer Service an Oxymoron or a Leadership Tool for Management?”
Combined with the education, were the virtual halls hosting 90+ exhibiting companies. Within the halls, solution providers hosted booths offering details on their services. Participants were able to interact with representatives via text and video chat.
While not a replacement for the one-on-one interaction HITEC is known for, the platform features networking lounges for attendee commenting, and the opportunity to message one another. In addition, during the live event, several virtual receptions were held throughout the week. This included the HFTP Annual Business Meeting & Awards Ceremony, where the 2020-2021 HFTP Global Board was installed and outstanding HFTP chapters were recognized. In addition award winners were recognized: HFTP Paragon Award to Ian Millar, CHTP; CHAE of the Year Award to Katie Paolino, CHAE; and CHTP of the Year Award to Mark Vincent.
Registration is still available for CYBER HITEC, which offers on-demand access to the platform.
HFTP is planning to return to an in-person HITEC in 2021, with the date and location to be announced soon. Please check HFTP News for the latest information.