From analyzing the latest industry trends and technological innovations to assessing financial forecasts and shifting customer needs, the world’s major hospitality conferences of 2017 will cover a diversity of wide-ranging issues. Here are 15 of the big events to look out for in North America and Europe.
HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala
Where: Marriott Marquis, New York City, USA
When: February 21
The HSMAI Adrian Awards’ glitzy black-tie award ceremony is all about recognizing the most outstanding contributions in sales and marketing across the hotel industry. The evening event sees a series of prestigious awards handed out within three separate categories: advertising, public relations, and web marketing. Gold winners are recognized during the post-award dinner reception and their prize-winning work is presented on-screen. With an expected gathering of 1,000 attendees, the Adrian Awards also provides a fantastic opportunity for networking with fellow professionals.
The gala is followed up the next day by HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference, a power-packed one-day event offering the latest insights into marketing. This year’s focus will be about helping hotels maximize the marketing tools they’re already using to boost revenue and direct bookings. Members of HSMAI receive a discounted ticket for the event.
Travel Technology Europe
Where: Olympia, London, United Kingdom
When: February 22-23
A major event on the European circuit, Travel Technology Europe is billed as the only event of its type specializing in technology systems and software for the travel and hospitality sector. Attracting over 5,500 attendees, this leading European conference will once again host a series of free sessions that deliver invaluable insights into the way technology is changing the industry. Hundreds of leading products and services from specialist suppliers will also be on display.
ITB Berlin Convention
Where: Messe Berlin, Berlin, Germany
When: March 8-12
ITB Berlin is a major event for the entire tourism industry, attracting around 23,000 participants, 400 guest speakers and featuring 200 events geared toward hotels, tour companies, destination marketing organizations, and more. The convention features 10 themed segments covering specific industry topics, from “Hospitality Day” and “Marketing and Distribution Day” to “eTravel World”—a segment that delves into the world of digital technology and social media. But top billing goes to the hotly anticipated “Future Day.” Megatrends of the industry are discussed at length, with empirical research, best practice examples and a handpicked group of guest speakers plucked from around the world. The first several days of the event are open only to the industry, on Saturday and Sunday the exhibition will be open to the public.
BITAC Tech, Sales, and Operations
Where: JW Marriott Orlando, Orlando, Florida
When: April 23-25
One of the biggest attractions for attendees of BITAC is the structured way in which hospitality professionals are able to network and socialize. Through a series of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings, buyers and suppliers are able to spend quality time discussing the business benefits of specific products and industry-related software. This relaxed annual conference also includes a series of panel discussions, contributed to by a selection of hotel operators and hospitality experts.
The Canadian Hotel Investment Conference
Where: Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto, Canada
When: May 15-16
Established now for 21 years, the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference is attended by a diverse section of professionals from across the industry. Designed largely as a forum for networking and discussing sector trends, this long-standing event attracts a sizeable crowd of around 8,500. Last year, the conference covered topics such as the latest developments in hotel interior design, asset management, and the impact of Airbnb on the Canadian lodging sector. The agenda for the 2017 conference is soon to be released.
NYU Hospitality Investment Conference
Where: New York Marriott Marquis, New York City, USA
When: June 4-6
Now in its 39th year, this prestigious finance and development forum brings together a collection of hotel CEOs, investors, analysts and leaders within hospitality. Through a series of workshops, network events and general debates, delegates share their thoughts on the shape of the industry and its likely future developments, ranging from design and development to franchising opportunities and financial forecasts. Last year’s NYU Hospitality Investment Conference discussed key areas of possible growth, including the opportunities of hotel development in Cuba and completing deals in the flourishing luxury travel segment.
BLLA’s Investment Conference
Where: New York City, USA
When: June 7
Formed in 2009, the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) provides a forum for independent boutique and lifestyle hotels to meet and collaborate. For entrepreneurs and developers looking to tap into this booming sector, BLLA’s Investment Conference offers the necessary facts and figures to support their case when pitching for investment. As well as receiving tips and advice from major figures within the boutique and lifestyle sector, this one-day event offers an invaluable place for entrepreneurs to network.
HITEC North America
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, Canada
When: June 26-29
Marketed as “The World’s Largest Hospitality Technology Show,” HITEC is where hospitality professionals go to learn how the latest technological developments are shaping their sector. The first four days of this week-long conference are hosted by industry experts who share their insights through a series of educational sessions. This is followed by a three-day expo where more than 300 companies showcase sophisticated products and all-new innovations. This huge event also offers an unparalleled chance for attendees to network with fellow professionals from across the country.
Where: Toronto, Canada
When: June 28
Typically held in conjunction with HITEC, HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) brings together over 500 major stakeholders in the hotel industry to delve into the evolving trends and issues currently impacting hotel revenue management. During an interactive one-day event, revenue managers are kept up-to-date on the tools and tactics they need to be successful in their roles, with key topics and best practices discussed by hand-picked experts and practitioners. Now in its 14th year, ROC is a must-visit event for anyone directly responsible for revenue optimization and pricing. As part of their partnership with HITEC, HSMAI ROC attendees can also book accommodations via HITEC.
Hotel Data Conference
Where: The Omni Nashville Hotel, Nashville, USA
When: August 9-11
The Hotel Data Conference, hosted by STR and Hotel News Now, covers a lot of ground during its two-day get-together. Last year, over 100 guest speakers discussed topics ranging from managing tight budgets and understanding the ABC’s of hotel data, to maintaining loyal relationships and the state of direct bookings. As you’d expect from the event title, talks are very much backed by a data-driven approach, something highly appreciated by the 500+ audience that regularly attend. The 2017 event looks set to focus on the latest trends, upcoming forecasts, and recent performance levels within the marketplace.
ILHA Pinnacle Summit
When: September (Date TBD)
The luxury hospitality sector is seeing rapid growth right now, which makes the Luxury Hotel Association Pinnacle Summit a major event on the 2017 hospitality calendar. Summit sessions cover four key areas: luxury, HR, digital and wellness. Last year, key topics of discussion included innovations in guest experience, how to fulfil the needs of modern luxury travelers, and why organizations should take the business of sleep health more seriously. More than 500 attendees are expected for the leadership conference summit and a further 3,000 for the integrated hospitality wellness and HR expo.
Skift Global Forum: New York
Where: New York City, USA
When: September 26-27
When it was first established just 4 years ago, Skift Global Forum looked to replicate the influential nature of TED and Fast Company conferences, promising truly original content from some of the industry’s most influential voices. It hasn’t disappointed. Last year’s event included a wide-ranging series of talks including Expedia’s plans to use artificial intelligence for customer service, Google’s growing travel footprint, and the state of online travel at 20 years old. Details for the 2017 conference will be released soon, which will once again feature some of the biggest CEOs in global travel taking to the stage. In the meantime, Skift is gearing up for its first-ever Skift Global Forum: Europe on April 4, which will feature speakers from InterContinental Hotels Group, Design Hotels, Trivago, Google Travel, and more.
The Independent Hotel Show
Where: Olympia, London, United Kingdom
When: October 17-18
The UK’s only show for the luxury and boutique hotel industry, this two-day event hosts a range of seminars spanning everything from key trends to talks on profitability. The Independent Hotel Show also brings together over 300 exhibitors—one of the event’s key attractions. This carefully curated group of suppliers offers hoteliers the chance to view a range of premium services and innovative products, covering everything from minibar products and bathroom accessories to intelligent room design and spa technology.
Independent Lodging Congress
Where: New York City
When: October (Date TBD)
Aimed squarely at independent hoteliers, Independent Lodging Congress emphasizes collaboration and creative thinking in its own “inherently eccentric fashion.” Now in its fifth year, the event covers a lot of ground and focuses on the evolving trends that are shaping the industry right now. Last year, topics included new frontiers in loyalty discounts, the latest tech startups, the evolution of the hotel lobby, and tips for using guest data to build loyalty. Over three days, this year’s event will once more provide insights from independent lodging experts along with thought leaders from outside the hotel marketplace.
World Travel Market
Where: ExCeL, London, United Kingdom
When: November 6-8
Held annually in London, WTM bills itself as the leading global event for the travel sector. Over 80 events take place over three days, which includes a varied lineup of content ranging from responsible travel and social media to digital, blogging and trends in technology. This diversity of content attracts over 50,000 senior industry professionals from around the globe to network, share ideas, and make valuable business contacts. Last year was the most successful in the event’s history, with a joint-record attendance and the highest number of exhibitor invitees and buyers.
Travel Tripper will be attending the majority of these conferences this year—we would love to meet you and connect with fellow hospitality professionals! If you’re attending one of these conference and are interested in meeting directly with us, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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