Publisher's Letter - Summer 2016

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June 01, 2016
Publisher's Letter
Rich Siegel - Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

We have a pretty quirky group here at Hospitality Upgrade. And I am the quirkiest of the group. As with any business, there are things you enjoy doing and things that make you cringe knowing it has to get done. Let me tell you that my favorite thing to d Create the cover for the magazine. I received a great deal of feedback when I decided to put, “It’s Not Just About Technology,” on the cover of a technology magazine read by more than 32,000 people in 110 countries. Like many of you reading this, I have spent a good portion of my life working in the hotel industry. When I worked at different hotels around the country I did everything I could to make sure guests had a positive experience. This was well before technology made things easier to accomplish. Jeff Parker, the vice president of IT for Interstate Hotels and Resorts, wrote our feature article explaining how to use technology to improve the guest experience, but he also included the caveat that when all is said and done, really it is about hospitality. Every time I read Jeff’s article I would pick up some new insight. I recommend you read it more than once. He references Lord of the Rings (a movie that I have never seen), Indiana Jones and many other sci-fi favorites which made the article both easy and fun to read. Thank you Jeff for doing something that will get everybody thinking about how they do things today and what they need to do to prepare for tomorrow. 

Geneva will highlight the editorial in this issue on page 10. Along with the great content, I encourage you to read some of the less mainstream material. We brought back an old favorite column and had Michael Schubach and Jasen Lew argue about the need to text our guests (page 70). We also validated the argument when Lorie Juliano from Sonesta Hotels interviewed guests and asked them the same question (page 188). Book reviews, pages of recent installations, a property echnology spotlight and a light-hearted look at who reads this magazine are also included. Read the whole issue, not just page 200. (Sorry, I had to say that; the joke page always gets brought up when I see readers at HITEC.) On a serious note, please take a moment to read the memory of the life of John Cahill on page 190.  I've added my comments to Sherry Marek’s beautiful piece. Even if you didn’t know John, please reading it. His impact enabled HFTP to move beyond a financial professionals’ organization to a powerful technology association. John will be missed.
Yes, this is our summer issue and if it is June then it is time for HITEC. There are now multiple technology events throughout the year. Some people go to this one, some go to that one, but the only one that everybody attends is HITEC. Yes, the amount of business that is done in that one week each year is amazing. The other benefit this industry event is known for is reconnecting with industry friends. The social aspect of HITEC continues to grow and that is one more thing I enjoy about the event.  For more than 15 years I have been a part of the HITEC Advisory Board, which brings together 20 technology leaders each November to map out the educational sessions for HITEC. It is an amazing experience. Everyone has an opinion and often there are mini-conflicts, which means we must be doing things right. There is no way that many people should agree on anything. I was entrusted to do what is being referred to as the “WOW” session at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21. Plan to join us and this very unique group as they share how to creatively wow your guests using technology. This should be fun.
We thank HFTP for allowing us to be part of what they do. Thanks to you, our readers, who inspire us to do better each issue, and a big thank you for all the great vendors with a wide range of solutions for this great industry who support us. It's been 24 years and we still love it. It’s all because of you. Thanks!


- Rich

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