The hotly anticipated hospitality technology show, HITEC, is around the corner once again. Hospitality technology companies from across the country (almost 400 of them) are getting set to unveil their latest innovations as well as new products and services at the event, which is convening in Toronto this year. Due to be another exciting and busy venue to learn everything you will want to know about the latest advances and trends in our industry, HITEC is sure to be success yet again.

Each year, we at ALICE run an analysis on the companies in attendance, and here are some of our findings:

The Categories

More so than 2016, companies in attendance this year at HITEC are more diverse than ever before. This includes a wide range of categories from hardware to marketing and everything in between. Last year, 2016, had a makeup that included 28.8% hardware companies, 9.6% technology services (which include services ranging from technical support to computer networking), and 8.6% media solutions. With hardware earning the top spot again in 2017, this majority is much smaller than past years (20.2%), and technology services have closed the gap now making up 14% of the event. Other top segments include media solutions (11.8%) and property management systems (10.2%). Although the top categories seem to have become more balanced, there is no sign of any new break-out product categories this year.

The Newcomers

Alongside 276 returning companies, there are a bunch of new and exciting companies joining the mix this year. Some interesting and impressive newcomers at HITEC 2017 include Nonius, Pure HD, and Dormakaba. Using booth size as a (questionable, but fun) gauge for company ambition, these newcomers have noticeably large booths.

A few years ago, HFTP started the popular E20X competition, a forum for innovative startups to pitch their cutting-edge ideas to a room full of attendees and a panel of expert judges (of which Dmitry, our CTO, was one last year). A few notable new entrants to this year’s competition include Angie, HotelFlex and Bizly. All 13 entrants will be on the floor to meet with and are a great starting point for inspiration.

Angie – The soon to be released smart-room AI for guest voice control that took the HTNG 2017 Innovation Award a few months ago.

HotelFlex – An incremental revenue platform out of the U.K. that runs search on all flight times to help hotels offer early and late checkouts in already empty rooms for a fee.

Bizly – A beautifully designed and already popular meeting platform that empowers everyone across the company to book their own events.

Bigger Booths Than Last Year

Some returning companies worth noting with a significant increase in booth size include First Data, Active Networks, and DCI-Design Communications LLC. These are just a small sampling of companies whose booth sizes have increased, which may signal substantial company growth.

Going Big

The following companies have some of the biggest booths at HITEC this year:

As the conference comes to a close, it’s certainly worth checking out some of the amazing sites of Toronto while you’re there! Some of the most popular attractions the city has to offer include the CN Tower, St. Lawrence Market, and the amazing park located on the Toronto Islands. We recommend Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse for a world class steak and Canoe Restaurant & Bar for an amazing view!

Headed to HITEC? Share with us the companies you're looking forward to meeting!

And while you're there, we invite you to stop by our own (pretty big) booth (#1245) to learn how ALICE can improve your guest service, cut costs and drive revenue at your hotel.

Making the Most of HITEC

Along with learning about all the great tech companies and seeing what the future of the hospitality industry will look like, there are numerous panels, discussions, sessions, and keynote speakers worth checking out and learning from during your time at HITEC. Make sure to check out Dave Berkus start off the week with his session “Will Tech Kill Your Job?”, Monday at 4:30, as well as other keynote speakers Alex Tapscott, Kevin Rosen, and Robert Villanueva. To learn more about these speakers and what they will be discussing, click here. Also, dont miss out on the event’s opening party at 6:30 on Monday, as this will be a great place to network and meet the new faces of our rapidly expanding industry!

ALICE co-founders Justin Effron and Alex Shashou will also be speaking at HITEC this year. On Monday, June 26th, at 2.45pm, Justin will join the education supersession “How Are You Going To Pay For It?”, to discussion the challenges of figuring out the right IT strategy for your company and the different methods of financing these plans. Later in the week, on Wednesday, Alex will join two panels on guest technology. During the 2.30pm “Text Your Guests?”, Alex and other industry experts will share best practices for adopting a messaging strategy, plus benefits and challenges of doing so. On the 3.45pm panel “Are Mobile Apps in Hotels Dead?”, Alex and his co-panelists will discuss which apps are best suited to meet guests needs, how hotels can differentiate their brands with mobile apps, whether mobile apps can keep guests happy and avoid negative reviews, and how apps can keep guests connected to the hotel before, during and post-stay.

With what is sure to be a hectic, and extremely informative week at HITEC, make sure you give the HITEC SCHEDULE a good glance to ensure you don’t miss any of the awesome events that HITEC has to offer!