HITEC 2008 Features Demonstrations and Discussion of the Hottest Hospitality Technology Trends

  • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP)
  • 05.07.08
May 9, the attendee early registration deadline for the 2008 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®), is quickly approaching.

Attendees that register by May 9 can save $100 on the full conference registration fee. Attendee online registration is available at HITEC.org through June 9.

HITEC, a service of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), is the world's largest hospitality technology exposition and conference. In its 36th year, the conference offers a unique combination of top-notch hospitality technology education, led by industry peers and experts, and an unparalleled trade show showcasing the latest hospitality technology products and services. HITEC is June 16-19 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Here is what to expect at the upcoming event.

In response to attendee feedback, both the Opening Session and Welcome Reception for HITEC were moved to Monday at the Austin Convention Center. The Opening Session is 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., with the Welcome Reception immediately following the Opening Session. The remainder of the schedule remains similar to previous years.

"Attendees expressed interest in rearranging the HITEC schedule and so the HITEC Advisory Council responded," said David Sjolander, CHTP, VP of hotel information systems for Carlson Hospitality Corp and HITEC 2008 Advisory Council chair. "We believe the new schedule will be an easy transition from the traditional HITEC format, and allows us the opportunity to provide an additional general session for attendees."

HITEC 2008 education focuses on how technology applications work within the hospitality industry. From Monday through Thursday, there are over 40 education sessions on topics such as Web 2.0, guestroom technology, IT infrastructure, building a converged network and more. Included in the concurrent sessions are a series of club-related sessions. Held on Wednesday and Thursday, these sessions conquer technology topics specific to the club industry.

For the second year, HITEC also includes four supplier education sessions that bring together the suppliers and consumers in an educational environment.

Along with the concurrent and supplier education sessions, the three HITEC featured general sessions are:

  • A double feature with Dell Executive Paul Bell discussing challenges in the technology industry and a presentation by noted trend watcher Michael Tchong on how technology influences our lifestyle;
  • A look into the top ten technology trends of 2008 with David Berkus; and
  • A panel of well-known property rating organizations — online, in books or in travel guides — debate hotel rating systems.

The HITEC exhibit hall offers 300+ exhibitors showcasing the latest in hospitality technology. HITEC's online Buyer's Guide allows attendees to plan their time on the show floor by viewing an up-to-the-minute floor plan and searching for exhibitors by product, location and special group. With 20 percent new exhibitors on hand this year, attendees can easily find them by using the exhibitor search function in the guide.

An added bonus on the exhibit hall floor are the 24 free education sessions in the exhibitor tutorial rooms. During each half-hour session, attendees learn basic information to make them more informed buyers. The sessions are offered by exhibitors and are presented in a non-sales environment.

The Club Technology Pavilion, a special section of the exhibit hall, features the latest in club-related technology. In one place, attendees can meet with approximately 15 different club vendors like ResortSuite, UNIGUEST, Jonas Software, FOOD-TRAK/SCI, ClubDining.com and more.

Returning to the trade show is the HITEC FAVE Awards, a program designed for attendees to recognize their favorite exhibitor booths and technologies. HFTP devised the awards program in 2007 based on responses from focus groups and surveys. The results indicated that attendees would like to give exhibitors an added incentive to promote their technologies and exhibits, while enhancing the sense of excitement and competition at the show.

FAVE Award categories include Favorite Island Booth, Favorite In-line Booth and the top five favorite technologies or solutions exhibited at HITEC. During HITEC, attendees cast votes electronically at any of the onsite voting stations. Winners will be announced at the Closing Session Thursday afternoon.

GUESTROOM 2010, sponsored by IBM, debuts its latest version of the modern hotel room at HITEC 2008. In one place, GUESTROOM 2010 provides the ultimate guestroom experience enhanced by tomorrow's technology. In order to design the 2008 model, the GUESTROOM 2010 Task Force searched the globe for new and upcoming technologies for the hotel guestroom. The room features technologies ranging from traditional technologies like electronics, non-traditional technologies like textiles, green technologies like energy-saving devices and more. In its third year, the exhibit has garnered attention around the world from hospitality and association industry conferences, media and hoteliers. 

"GUESTROOM 2010's greatest success is that it has given professionals in the hospitality industry a forum to showcase and discuss important hospitality technologies," said Frank Wolfe, CAE, CEO of HFTP. "By presenting the room's technologies, we are opening up dialogue among industry professionals."

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