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UgoVirtual to Power Transition of HTNG's TechOvation Competition to Virtual Platform for 2020 Event

UgoVirtual, a travel and hospitality virtual solutions company, has partnered with Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) to provide its industry leading virtual conference and event technology to transform the annual TechOvation competition to an online, virtually-enabled event. Traditionally held as a live onsite presentation each year during HT-NEXT, the industry's premier hospitality technology industry forum, the TechOvation Award recognizes and rewards new, innovative industry products and solutions serving the global hotel vertical market.

Per the published rules of the annual competition, contestants first submitted their entries via videos explaining their innovation, which are shared on the HTNG YouTube channel and voted on over a specific timeframe to gather views and "likes." When the voting period ends, ten finalists are chosen, with three resulting from the highest number of “likes” and the remaining seven being selected by a panel of industry expert judges. The final presentation and voting process to determine the top three, as well as the selected TechOvation winner, traditionally takes place during the HT-NEXT Awards Program. With the online portion of the competition already underway when the Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions took effect in March, the 2020 HT-NEXT conference was rescheduled to a later date and HTNG made the strategic decision to pivot the entire TechOvation competition to a virtual platform in order to maintain its continuity and value to the contestants, sponsors, industry partners and the hospitality community at large.

"If there's one thing we know about the hospitality technology industry, it is always up for innovation and disruption, and that's what HTNG and TechOvation are all about," said Mike Blake, Chief Executive Officer of HTNG. "We were aware of UgoVirtual's innovative virtual conference and event platform, as they were a former TechOvation semi-finalist. When the crisis emerged, discussions were initiated to transition the 2020 TechOvation event to a virtual platform and the technology solution delivered by UgoVirtual not only maintains the integrity of the event, but also expands its reach and value by making it available globally to more industry attendees as an online event for 2020. The virtualization of TechOvation is an innovation, in and of itself and we look forward to taking it to the next level."

The UgoVirtual platform is a flexible and highly configurable solution that enables event organizers and meeting planners to virtualize a variety of events, such as industry tradeshows, brand ownership/franchisee events, and user conferences. UgoVirtual emulates and enhances the experience and content available at traditional events. The modular platform can be utilized to host an online-only event or to augment any onsite event, expanding reach, revenue opportunities, active participation and value to all stakeholders.

"Built by industry veterans with extensive hospitality technology and industry experience, UgoVirtual is committed to serving the evolving needs of this market by providing highly innovative and flexible virtual solutions," said Diane Estner, UgoVirtual strategic advisor and Board member. "Enabling TechOvation 2020 virtually is a great opportunity to engage our industry in an innovative way, and it's exciting to be a partner with HTNG, to move this important event forward."

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