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Rob Jones
Written by Rob Jones
June 06, 2017

HITEC Toronto 2017: How to Make the Best of Your Time

Metro Toronto Convention Center host to HITEC Toronto 2017

On June 26-29th, Vivonet will be in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Center attending HITEC 2017. The show is the world’s largest and oldest show of its kind, attracting representatives from countries all over the world. It’s a pretty exciting context for us to connect with existing partners and with new prospects to talk about gaining better business intelligence in the cloud.

In the meantime, I thought I would provide a pre-show guide for attendees, especially for those of you who are attending for the first time. First off, let’s look at why so many technology and hospitality leaders will be attending the event, particularly this year. 

The Hotel Industry is Changing

The hotel industry is thriving, with global occupancy rates that have been rising steadily every year since 2009. But with that rise, the expectations of guests have changed in light of emerging technologies. Industry leaders are acknowledging that they must change their technology strategies to win. In an article in the New York Times recently, it was reported that 57% of major hotel chains are ramping up their technology spend this year, investing a budget of 6% on total revenue back into their tech infrastructure. That’s a sizeable chunk! 

Some examples of emerging technologies include self-ordering of hotel pantry items via kiosk, mobile apps, and browsing hotel amenities using a tablet device. It includes fully integrated PMS with POS systems for a more holistic approach to managing, analyzing, and actioning incoming data in the cloud. And this is just the beginning.

Implementing better ways to manage data, and choosing the right tech partners to connect with are top of mind for industry leaders right now. With that in mind, when you arrive at HITEC Toronto 2017, what should be on your list to start the right conversations about what you need to compete in the future?

Booths, Booths, Booths: How Do You Choose?

As mentioned earlier, HITEC is a massive show, with hundreds of exhibitors representing the entire hospitality technology spectrum. We'll have a booth there ourselves! After a day of educational sessions on Monday, June 26, the exhibition portion of the show commences on the following morning of Tuesday, June 27 and goes through to the early afternoon of Thursday the 29th. So, where do you start?

Before you go, it’s a great idea to sit down with your teams to identify your technology infrastructure gaps. What’s your data telling you about things like inventory management, labor scheduling and costs, operational costs and processes?What about the comparative performance between locations? Are you having trouble figuring out what your data is telling you at all? 

 Trade show blur 2.jpg

From addressing the right questions about what you need to do to grow as a business, you can make a good start at planning which vendors to engage with at the show that offer the technology solutions to address the specific technology goals you’ve identified. Acres and acres of booths can be overwhelming. Establishing the right criteria by which to choose prospective partners will result in a more coherent roadmap to where your company needs to go. That's time and money well spent all around.

Have you seen the map of the show floor and vendor spaces yet? If not, here’s a link.

Tips for First-Time Attendees at HITEC 

In addition to setting your own agenda when it comes to your business needs, and studying the map of the exhibition floor, here are a few other pointers on how to prepare for HITEC Toronto 2017 before you go: 

  • Follow event organizers HFTP (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals) on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up to date. 
  • Arrange vendor meetings early. Schedules fill up fast.
  • Do some early networking. On LinkedIn and other professional platforms and groups, find out if anyone you know is also going to the show. Share plans, referrals, recommendations, and strategies to help each other. 
  • Know your surroundings. Familiarize yourself with the Metro Toronto Convention Center and the surrounding area. Google maps is your friend! At the show, HITEC will be running a help desk. But getting the lay of the land before you go is a great way to avoid delays and generally make a more efficient use of your time.
  • Think about how you’re going to get around between your hotel and the convention center. The convention will bring the crowds, which will bring the traffic. Parking spaces downtown will get eaten up fast. Map out your plans accordingly. To help with all this, there will be a shuttle service for many of the hotels in the area that you can learn more about here.
  • Establish a plan for communication with other members of your team. Collect cell numbers. Establish Slack channels. Share insights and updates. Look out for each other. Make sure everyone’s connected while you’re at the show and in between sessions.
  • Watch this video and get a feel for past shows.

Schedule Your Time at HITEC With Vivonet

As we mentioned, we’ll be exhibiting at HITEC this year. We’d love to connect with you. Optimizing enterprise management, streamlining and consolidating operational processes, and data analysis in the cloud are distinct areas in which we’re industry experts for hospitality. If these are areas that you’ve identified as a gap in your technology infrastructure, we’d love to talk to you. 

To arrange a meeting with Vivonet at HITEC to talk about your business needs, simply click the button below and we will work with you to schedule a convenient time to talk. We look forward to hearing your story.

Arrange a Meeting

Whatever your goals for attending HITEC Toronto this year, my fellow attendees here at Vivonet and I wish you a great show!

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