The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) celebrated its return to Toronto hosting over 4,500 attendees at the Metro Toronto Convention Center from June 26-29. Produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) for more than 50 years, the event showcases the industry’s latest technology innovations from over 325 exhibitors and provides a top-notch education program with dozens of specialty topic and general sessions.
“We’re proud to say that HITEC once again confirmed its essential role in the hospitality technology community meeting space,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. “Attendees and exhibitors alike will notice a measurable impact on their bottom lines with the insights provided in education sessions and on the sales floor.”
Inspirational and insightful Headliner sessions set the tone for the week beginning with the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Mark Heymann, founder of UniFocus and managing partner of Mark Heymann & Associates and Sherry Marek, co-founder of Datavision Technologies and owner of Aiken Street Consulting. Author and strategist Shawn Kanungo rounded off the opening night dialogue with “Strategy in a World of Disruption,” diving deeper into how disruptive trends will drive change in how hospitality professionals approach work.
The next morning, 2023 HFTP Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP®) of the Year Samuel Yalley was recognized for his accomplishment before the Tuesday Headliner, International Perspectives – Tech Future-Proofing: Planning For The Global Traveler, which brought together eight esteemed executives from around the world to share their first-hand observations and discuss how to proactively tackle the challenges of how to prepare for the latest incarnation of the global traveler.
Perennial HITEC favorite Entrepreneur 20X, exclusively sponsored for the second consecutive year by PROVision Partners, rounded out the Headliner lineup Wednesday morning. This year’s start-up pitch competition featured seven start-ups pitching hospitality technology solutions to a panel of six judges. The winners were announced in the same session following the judges’ deliberation period with PassiveBolt taking home the Judges’ Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award, selected by attendee popular vote, awarded to PricingService.ai.
Beyond the Headliner stage, a comprehensive program of concurrent education sessions was presented covering trending topics including environmental, social and governance (ESG), diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), ChatGPT/natural language generation systems and many more. Another educational opportunity available on the exhibit hall floor included the popular non-sales-oriented Exhibitor Tutorials.
The sold-out exhibit hall featured hundreds of companies displaying their wide-ranging technology solutions for the hospitality industry. Exhibitors were enthusiastic about this year’s outcome.
“We LOVED the show,” said Roger Thomas, CEO of Peak Utilities. “Not only do we have strong sales leads to take back with us and work, but we learned how we can be much better at next year’s event. We also learned of a few new products and services from other exhibitors that we can sell and service and more about what is trending in the industry.”
“The power of events like HITEC Toronto is being at the heart of the innovation market, among hundreds of industry solution providers, to create new contacts and strengthen existing ones,” said Piercarlo Gramaglia, CEO of VDA Telkonet. “We are delighted to be part of it to write the future of the hospitality paradigm.”
“HITEC is always the perfect venue for Security Validation to connect with our clients in a more relaxed and comfortable format,” said David Durko, CEO of Security Validation LLC, an HFTP Corporate Allied Sponsor. “Despite any of the perceived challenges, HITEC Toronto has been extremely successful for us. It provided us the platform where our message was clearly delivered to stakeholders and decision makers allowing us to develop many new and exciting client relationships.”
HFTP is already getting ready for next year’s HITEC Charlotte scheduled for June 24-27, 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina USA. Exhibiting space can be selected and purchased by reaching out to the HFTP Sales & Exhibits Department at [email protected]. For more information about HFTP’s events, visit www.hftp.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at [email protected].