In response to the guidance for slowing the spread of Covid-19, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) restructured its 2020 event calendar, moving early 2020 events to the second half of the year, and co-locating them for one eventful week.
First it rescheduled the North American Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) to October 26-29, 2020, originally set to take place in June. Next, the association relocated its Annual Convention, which was already scheduled for that month, to San Antonio from Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.
It will run October 27-29. In addition, HFTP will hold the annual Club Forum and the startup pitch competition Entrepreneur 20X, both on October 26 in San Antonio.
“HFTP is geared to support the hospitality industry with a network of expert resources and education as it begins the process of recovery from the economic impacts of the current pandemic,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE, FIH. “Providing the ‘Best and Brightest of HFTP’ week will bring together a broad range of stakeholders to share smart, strategic ideas and tools.”
HITEC San Antonio will continue to offer the same opportunities it annually presents, which has made it a must-attend event for the hospitality industry. Attendees can expect a four-day education program planned and presented by industry experts. In addition to the education program, HITEC San Antonio will feature an exhibit hall hosting over 300 companies. The companies display a range of products and services to support the hospitality technology industry. The HFTP Annual Convention is the association’s premiere educational and networking event, which also honors HFTP members and the association’s accomplishments. The program features a variety of education sessions focusing on industry finance and technology topics. As a benefit to this year’s unique scheduling, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in several HITEC functions, including attending some of HITEC’s keynote and general sessions, Opening Party and exhibit hall.
The Convention will also host its own table top exhibits and food service area especially geared to the Annual Convention attendees called Convention Corner. "Annual Convention attendees tell us that networking is one of the most important parts of the event,” said Linnet Baskett, HFTP Director of Club Engagement. "Because of the economic impacts on our attendees, we have made some significant changes to help minimize costs and increase networking opportunities. Integrated into the regular program will be awards and buffet networking lunches served in the Convention Corner. In addition, we have switched from formal nighttime activities to topicfocused afternoon meetups and changed the closing membership celebration to a closing reception."
The Annual Convention will still include great speakers and a variety of solutions to everyday industry problems. However, the focused schedule allows attendees to shorten their trip one night with the added value of a reduced registration cost: from $850 to $595 for early registration. On October 26, HFTP will host two specialty events: the Entrepreneur 20X startup pitch competition and the Club Forum. Entrepreneur 20X features ambitious entrepreneurs presenting breakthrough business concepts to a panel of expert judges. The competition is open to all HITEC and Annual Convention attendees. That same day the HFTP Club Forum will run, a one-day seminar designed to share ideas and discuss hot topics in an environment created to solve problems and discuss best practices. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other international activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at [email protected] or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec.