How to Get the Most Out of Your Time at HITEC

June 20, 2017 Cody Pinkston
NAVIS at HITEC 2017
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we’re not talking about high season. HITEC, the world’s largest all-things-hotel-technology conference, is happening in Toronto from Sunday, June 25 through Thursday, June 29. This is the place to find out about new opportunities in hotel technology and tech trends that affect the future of hotel operations. 
 
As your proverbial HITEC concierge, we suggest not planning every minute of your time. It only leads to conference fatigue. Instead, choose the two (okay, maybe three ...  we know, it’s hard) most important sessions each day and use any extra time to network or walk the exhibitor hall or listen to Tech Talks. Our suggestions are for hotels that want to be on the forefront of technology that innovates around the guest pathway—whether by increasing security, creating a better understanding of your travelers, or reconsidering operations fundamentals, the benefits of which trickle down to your guest experience. 
 
Monday, June 26
8:00–11:00 a.m.    
Boot Camp: The Future of Knowing Your Guest
Billed as “the golden ticket to CRM,” this session speaks to innovation that will lead to a more holistic understanding of your guests, and at the end of the day, is there anything more important than that? We don’t think so.
 
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.    
Concurrent Session: Disruption & Innovation
The hotel industry tends to lag behind in adoption of digital technologies, but the pace is picking up. Those hotels on the forefront will undoubtedly be more competitive in the coming years. 
 
1:30–2:30 p.m.    
Concurrent Session: How Revenue Management Drives Cutting Edge E-Commerce
Though you know we’re all about revenue management and the voice channel, voice and digital go hand-in-hand, and RM strategies must be strategically applied across all channels. The more you know ... 
 
Tuesday, June 27
8:30–10:00 a.m.    
Keynote: Blockchain Revolution
For super innovators, this keynote will explain blockchain technology like Bitcoin but with the understanding that the technology has widespread applications that are reshaping the way we do business. The presenter, Alex Tapscott, is a widely known expert in this arena. Worth a listen.
 
4–5:30 p.m.    
Super Session: Clearing up the Cloud
Expect this to be a nice little overview of the benefits of the cloud for security and tech infrastructure. (Stop by booth #517 to learn how cloud computing figures into NAVIS products. This session will help make sense of the "Why?" behind the technology as we onboard our clients.)
 
Wednesday, June 28
8:30–10 a.m.    
Super Session: Data Scientist
Data silos and integration challenges have kept the hotel industry from really understanding the vast amounts of data that are available. This session will look at how to collect data and, more importantly, how to make sense of it. We can’t think of a hotel this doesn’t apply to these days.
 
3:45–4:45 p.m.    
Concurrent Session: Mobile Apps – Embracing Modern Technology 
Pretty much every guest uses mobile devices for some, if not all, aspects of travel (even making a phone call… wink, wink.) While mobile apps are just one aspect of the mobile experience, we recommend this session, because it will speak to giving guests options, and we like that. 
 
Thursday, June 29
9–10:30 a.m.    
Super Session: Is PMS Dead? 
No matter your feelings about whether or not it’s dying, the evolution of the PMS affects every hotel. We all know the role of the PMS is evolving faster than ever before, and understanding what to anticipate can and should impact your tech choices.
 
2:15–3:15 p.m.    
Keynote: Cyber Crime
This year’s HITEC has a lot of focus on cyber security. Rightly so. Protecting your guest’s data is essential to the health of your entire enterprise, so this session is a worthwhile hour to help you understand the scope and necessity of cyber security. 
 
And that’s a wrap!
 
Wait, except don’t forget the parties, the lounges, and the co-located events like HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC). Of course, you’ll still end up with conference fatigue, but maybe if you follow the advice of our concierge, you’ll be as inspired as you are tired.
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