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Publisher's Letter

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June 20, 2023
Publisher's Letter
Richard Siegel

Here we are – June 2023. 

For those of us in the tech world we are experiencing the strangest of times. I will be in Toronto for HITEC which thankfully has both a record number of exhibitors and attendees. Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel Online will also be in Las Vegas for the inaugural Hospitality Show which also will include technology. Did they really need to pick the same week? I would have loved to attend The Hospitality Show, but what can you do? Thankfully next year The Hospitality Show will be in October. In my opinion, all technology events in the industry are always second to HITEC. I am a people person and HITEC is the one place to network that I will never miss! I am thankful to HFTP for trusting me to moderate two sessions, both of which are on Monday and should be interesting and fun. Hopefully I will see you there!

It wasn’t too many years ago that the big thing in the technology world was, should you or shouldn’t you move to the cloud. The benefits and challenges were relatively clear, but that was then. Today just about every technology conversation ends up around artificial intelligence and how to deal with ChatGPT. The more I play with it and try to understand what ChatGPT can do today, as well as what it will do, it scares me. There are many changes going on in the world and the impact of AI is the big one. Earlier this year at our Executive Vendor Summit PROVision Partners’ David Chestler ran a session about the future of AI in hospitality. This led to a very active discussion. As a follow up, David has an article on AI in this issue on page 44. Also in this issue is a summary of the Executive Vendor Summit 2023. I must thank consultant extraordinaire Douglas Rice for his take of the week’s events, and when you get to the pictures from EVS remember, the alligators were real! Also, we give a big thank you to all the tech leaders who joined us in New Orleans. This is an industry where vendors need to work together and that is what made our 18th EVS so successful. We appreciate their support.

Geneva collects the editorial for each issue and with the help of the HU team, provides some highlights on page 12. Please check it out. Every issue we are thanked by readers from all over the world for doing what we do. It motivates us to do a better job each time. Fran Worrall, who writes like no other, deserves our thanks for an amazing feature article on payment technology, as well as her article of interviews with industry Women in Technology.

I think I am getting old. Actually, I know I am getting old since I am dealing with a seemingly never-ending, knee-replacement recovery. Hopefully I will be walking comfortably by HITEC. Sometimes I think back to when I started this business 31 years ago. I also think of my first HITEC which was even longer ago than that. I remember our first Executive Vendor Summit 18 years ago, but my main focus today is our upcoming 21st CIO Summit. I smile when I remember the first summit at the Hotel Dupont in Wilmington, Del. At that very first CIO Summit, we invited 25 CIOs, 23 said yes and 21 attended. And they loved it. Last year more than 80 tech leaders attended and not just from North America, but from Europe, South America, Australia and the Caribbean. We move the summit location every year: two years ago, we were in Atlanta, last year was Hollywood, Calif., so this year we'll host somewhere in the middle of the country. It was strongly encouraged that we go to Austin, Texas. I reached out to some of the big tech companies about possibly speaking at The CIO Summit and it was funny. Who would think companies like Apple, Google and Intel said they would love to participate? We are trying to make it happen, and it makes us feel good. So the location is set: Austin, Texas on Sept. 6-8. If you have any questions regarding The CIO Summit 2023, please email at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com.

Even if I am getting old, let me say this. I have no regrets (at least about the knee surgery) and I hope to see you in Toronto. But wherever you go, stay positive. It is the healthy thing to do!


At the world’s greatest travel show ITB in Berlin, you meet the best people! Here is our publisher Rich Siegel posing with Sherry Marek of Datavision fame. Who would have guessed that in a little more than three months Sherry would be inducted into the HITEC Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Sherry. Well deserved!



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