Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) annually hosts four regional conferences in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. In addition, HTNG also organizes intimate meetings focused around face-to-face workgroups, which foster hands-on collaboration to help address or solve current challenges in the hospitality technology industry. This year, HTNG added a couple of new shows to its event calendar bringing three events to three different regions during the first quarter of 2019.
Hack the Night – Sunnyvale, Calif.; January 25-27
Hospitality is defined by a focus on the comfort and attraction of guests, which is why it’s important for companies to continue adapting new technology that actively advances the guest experience. To help advance the next generation of technology in hospitality that improves both staff and guest relationships and experiences, HTNG held its first hackathon: “Hack the Night.”
Hack the Night took place earlier this year at the Plug and Play Technology Center in Sunnyvale, Calif. The event brought together more than 50 hackers with collaborative participation from 13 teams. The hackathon challenged participants to create an innovative tool to leverage guest data and enhance a guest’s experience and overall loyalty.
Hack the Night crowned Seena Zandipour as the first-place winner for his development of an internal dashboard for concierges and front-of-house staff. This dashboard gathers data from local event organizers and creates augmented and personalized recommendations for guests based on their profile.
Hospitality Tech Summit – Amsterdam; February 7
For the first time, HTNG collaborated with Integrated Systems Events, which produces the largest AV and systems integration show in the world. Now in its 15th year, the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) show is an annual four-day event including a show floor, educational and professional development programs, partner events and more. The 2019 event accrued 1,300+ exhibitors and 81,000 visitors to the RAI Amsterdam from February 5-8.
At ISE, HTNG hosted a one-day conference track, named Hospitality Tech Summit, at the Okura Hotel. This event allowed HTNG to bring a hospitality focus to the audio-visual space and also opened the eyes of hospitality tech leaders to the scale of ISE. Summit attendees learned how massive the AV industry is, as well as the number of relevant solutions capable of enhancing the guest experience in many different hospitality sectors.
The agenda concluded with a session on the future of hospitality, with participation from executives of Hyatt and Four Seasons. These IT leaders discussed how organizations can prepare for digital disruption in the next generation. To round out the panel, two students from The Hauge’s School of Hospitality participated as a representation and voice of the next generation.
2019 Middle East Conference – Dubai; March 11-13
This was HTNG’s ninth year hosting a conference in the Middle East region. This year’s program featured some exciting highlights. HTNG’s President, Floor Bleeker of AccorHotels, kicked off the first of a dozen sessions focused on the biggest trends and technology topics in hospitality. The three-day event was supported by more than 20 hospitality companies and featured participation from just under 200 attendees.
The high-profile, keynote speakers of the event were Neetan Chopra, CIO of Dubai Holding; David Peller, Worldwide Business Development, Hospitality, Amazon Web Services; and Mohammed
Qahtani, Toastmaster’s 2015 World Champion of Public Speaking.
The event wrapped up with an interview of Guy Hutchinson, Rotana Hotels Management Corporation. Hutchinson provided his CEO perspective of technology within a property or brand from a non-IT, executive hospitality position.