Road to the Show: HITEC celebrates 50 years

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Celebrating 50 years as the largest and oldest hospitality technology conference, HITEC Orlando will take place from Monday, June 27 through Thursday, June 30 at the Orange County Convention Center. The conference portion of HITEC will include a number of sessions throughout the three days.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights:

The conference kicks off with the “HITEC in a Nutshell: Top 2022 Technology Topics” session from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Panelists Jonas Tanenbaum, founder, Axcess Consulting; Kris Singleton, president/CIO, Enseo; Mark Haley, partner, Prism Hospitality Consulting; Mike Blake
CTO; American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA); and Ted Horner, owner, E Horner & Associates, discuss the trends within the world of hospitality technology. Room: W 314 A, Level 3

From 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m., Rik van Leeuwen, PhD candidate, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, will be giving a crash course on what data science really means and exploring examples of how hospitality can benefit from it today. Room: W 315 B, Level 3

The HITEC Opening Headliner Session takes place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Titled “Leading with Spark—Create a Culture Where Everyone Matters,” Dr. Simon T. Bailey, breakthrough strategist, motivational change agent, author and former sales director for Disney Institute, will discuss how understanding that the purpose of leadership is to invite men and women on a journey to discover the leader within themselves while they’re following you. Room: W 224, Level 2

Leading off the day, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m, will be the recognition of the 2022 inductees to the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame followed by the HITEC Headliner Session called “Super. Crucial. Human: A Framework for Creating What Comes Next.” featuring Cheryl Cran, founder, NextMapping/, creator of the NextNow podcast and the CEO of parent company Synthesis at Work Inc. She will describe a people first and digital second approach to create a more human future. Room: C 141, Level 1

Attendees will then get a chance to stop by the booth on the exhibition floor when it opens at 10:00 a.m. and will remain open until 4:00 p.m.

From 4:15 p.m. to 5:05 p.m., Cindy Estis Green, CEO/cofounder, Kalibri Labs, closes out the day with the “Empowering Recovery in the Age of Digital Disruption” session. Here, she will discuss how hotels can take advantage of the disruption over the next 1-3 years, and provide data on hotel performance pre- and post-COVID, along with expectations of how the hotel industry will evolve over the next 5-10 years. Room: W 315 B, Level 3

The day begins with the “E20X” session where entrepreneurs present business concepts to a room full of HITEC attendees, as well as a panel of judges including hospitality CIOs, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs and industry insiders. Room: W 224, Level 2

The exhibition hall is open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Not long after the doors close, the session “Now Presenting… The 2050 IT Department Organization Chart” from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. will focus on understanding trends at both the corporate and property level to predict the future composition of the IT department and technology’s role in hospitality. Panelists include Ira Vouk, author/industry consultant; Mark Fancourt, cofounder/principal, TRAVHOTECH; Mike Rawson, CIO, citizenM; and Neil Foster, director of technology, Coast Hotels. Room: W 315 B, Level 3

The final day of the conference begins with a session titled “Ethical Conundrums in Technology: What May Be Cool May Not Be Right” from 9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. Arthur Huang, assistant professor, University of Central Florida, explores the various ethical issues relating to technology applications such as facial recognition, biometric timekeeping, access control and the indiscriminate use of artificial intelligence. Room: W 315 B, Level 3

Attendees will have one last opportunity to walk the exhibition floor from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and the conference closes with the “HITEC Closing Headliner Session – Industry CIO Panel.” Six technology executives will share their first-hand observations and real-world experiences with attendees, including Floor Bleeker, chief technology officer, ACCOR; John Burns, president, Hospitality Technology Consulting; Kristin Gassick, director of technology, Sensei Wellness; Michael Schubach, CIO, Millennium Technology Group/Rosen Hotels & Resorts; Mike Rawson,
CIO, citizenM; and Scott Strickland, CIO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Room: W 224, Level 2