Hotel Technology Handbook

Judging by the record number of responses we've had to our Technology Handbook Questionnaire, this year's Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference should be busy; there are easily a dozen new companies in the Handbook, so it's very likely at least that many newcomers will be on the exhibit floor.

Despite the economic recession, the official word — at least for HITEC — is that the outlook is robust. Frank Wolfe, the chief executive officer of HITEC sponsor Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, says he won't provide registration numbers “because I don't want to create false impressions.”

But, Wolfe suggests, this year's HITEC, which will take place in Austin, TX June 16-19, is looking good: “If you compare our current registration numbers with past HITEC numbers and then look at the year-to-date dire economic headlines, I'd say the industry is in for a rebound.”

No matter how it turns out, HITEC is the key get-together for those involved in lodging technology. Last year, it drew more than 5,700 attendees and more than 300 exhibiting companies to the cavernous Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

This year, HITEC will be mounted in the Austin Convention Center, a more manageable venue in a more negotiable city — which happens to be HFTP headquarters.

In addition to the usual educational sessions, HITEC will feature Guestroom 2010, for the third year, along with three key general sessions:

  • A “double feature” with Dell executive Paul Bell and trend watcher Michael Tchong

  • A look at the top 10 technology trends of 2008, with industry veteran David Berkus

  • A debate about hotel rating systems featuring a panel of representatives of such rating organizations.

By the way, Austin is a unique city. Not only is it unusually tech-savvy (Dell makes its headquarters there), there's a fabulous Texas state museum, more music clubs than you can shake a stick at, terrific Tex-Mex food and a generally laid-back, aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. See you there!

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