HOT Conference Gets Into Gear

Now that hospitality is looking toward its best year since 2000, it's time to learn how to make things even better. That's why Lodging Hospitality and BearingPoint are allying again to sponsor the 5th Strategic Conference on Hospitality Operations & Technology March 9-11 at the Wyndham Anatole in Dallas.

The conference will again feature two general sessions and 16 interactive, topic-specific panels. In addition, there will be several networking events and an informal exhibit area arranged so attendees can engage with the movers and shakers in the hospitality industry as well as the vendors who help it run.

The conference will have a soft opening on Wednesday, March 9, with registration and badge pickup from 2 to 6 p.m. It starts in earnest the following day. After a 7 a.m. continental breakfast, LH Publisher Gary Dietz and Donald Gallagher, managing director of BearingPoint, will welcome attendees, formally launching the prestigious event with the 8:15 a.m. general session, “COOs Check In.” Moderated by Gallagher, that panel will feature luminaries such as David Moyar, COO of MEI Hotels; Kevin Hanley, COO and executive VP, Sunburst Hospitality Company; and Tom Griffith, VP-the Americas, World Hotels. Panelists will debate such issues as online distribution, human resources and ways the hotel industry can press technology into guest service.

After a break, interactive sessions begin at 10:30. These will cover topics such as revenue management/customer relationship management; the “IT Monster”; business process measurement; and thinking beyond the bed.

At noon, Dream Catcher CEO Scott Anderson will moderate an “ask the experts” panel in which specialty vendors field questions from the audience.

The panels resume at 1:30, covering such topics as customer value management; the influence of new technologies like web services; the measurement and use of customer feedback; designing by demographics; and the spread of mass customization. The day ends with a 6 p.m. reception.

Friday starts with an 8 a.m. breakfast speech by Joe Sharkey. The veteran travel writer will tell tales from “On the Road,” his weekly New York Times column.

Friday's general session, “CIOs Check In,” starts at 9 and will feature such IT heavyweights as Mike Kistner of Best Western, Hyatt Strategy and Systems Senior VP Thomas O'Toole and Steve Brown, senior vice president and CIO, Carlson Companies. The second day of panels starts at 10:30. Topics include fine-tuning your marketing message; how to comprehend, manage and streamline data resources; Six Sigma; and customers' technology needs.

Two-for-one registration to the 5th Strategic Conference on Hospitality Operations & Technology costs $795. The event will be held at the Wyndham Anatole in Dallas March 9-11. Call Bobbi Moran at 216-931-9504 for more information or e-mail her at bmoran@penton.com.

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