The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) celebrated its 50th Anniversary with great success this week, hosting just over 6,100 attendees at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida USA. Produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), HITEC was held June 27-30. The five-decade event showcases the industry’s latest technology innovations from 300+ exhibitors and provided a top-notch education program with over 50 education sessions. Spectrum Enterprise, an exhibitor and esteemed supporter of HITEC, served as the exclusive sponsor of the HITEC 50th Anniversary, joining HFTP to help make this year stand out as the special event this anniversary merited.
“HITEC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and its enduring presence in the hospitality technology community is confirmation that knowledge-sharing events like this are essential,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE, FIH. “Throughout these four days of HITEC you could feel a positive buzz throughout the event space and exhibit hall, everyone thrilled to see each other and gather for ideas and solutions.”
Highlights of the event were four distinguished Headliner sessions. On the first day was the Opening Headliner presentation by Simon T. Bailey with his session: “Leading with Spark— Create a Culture Where Everyone Matters.” And closing the event on Thursday was the “Industry CIO Panel” moderated by John Burns, president of Hospitality Technology Consulting. He led panelists Michael Schubach, CIO of Millennium Technology Group; Scott Strickland, CIO of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.; Floor Bleeker, CTO of ACCOR; Mike Rawson, CIO of citizenM. The Tuesday Headliner featured a presentation by Cheryl Cran author of “Super.Crucial.Human.”
Another highlight of the week was the Wednesday Headliner Entrepreneur 20X, exclusively sponsored by PROVision Partners. The start-up pitch competition featured eight start-ups pitching hospitality technology solutions to a panel of six judges. The winners were announced the following day at the Closing Headliner session. The Judge’s Choice Award, selected by the judges panel, went to ROBOSIZE.ME and The People’s Choice Award, which was the popular vote, went to Beachy.
In addition, a full program of concurrent education sessions were presented covering trending topics including metaverse, cybersecurity, technology budgeting, managing remote employment, data security and more. Another educational opportunity available on the exhibit hall floor, included the popular, non-sales oriented Exhibitor Tutorials.
The exhibit hall featured hundreds of companies displaying their wide-ranging, technology solutions for the hospitality industry. Exhibitors were enthusiastic about this year’s outcome.
“When we began to plan the roll-out of Bella, our new AI-powered voice assistant, we considered several ways to introduce her to the hospitality industry,” said exhibitor John Smallwood, president of Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center. “We settled on a targeted roll-out at HITEC, and it was the best decision we could have made. We have enjoyed meeting many new potential clients, and we have appreciated working with the professional and friendly HFTP staff.”
“Our first year at HITEC was fruitful and we’re already excited to be back for 2023,” said Tina Shuli Gaut, business transformation consultant and Gregory Petrossian, director of sales, at SkyPoint Cloud. “HITEC was a fantastic conference where we were able to showcase our services and product and meet directly with hospitality operators and thought leaders on the showroom floor. We appreciated the opportunity to connect with decision makers to get feedback about our data analytics solutions and build meaningful relationships.”
Two hospitality technology industry leaders were recognized with an induction to the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame: Jeff Bzdawka, CEO at Knowland and Jeff Edwards, senior vice president of Property, Owner and Enterprise Products and Platforms at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). (View the presentation.) In addition, the HFTP CHTP of the Year recipient Jason W.M. Kelly, CHAE, CHTP, who is currently studying for his Doctorate in Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management was recognized.
HFTP is already getting ready for next year’s HITEC Toronto scheduled for June 26-29, 2022 in Toronto, Ont. Canada. For more information about HFTP’s events, visit hwww.hftp.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at [email protected].
View photos from HITEC Orlando.