Conferences present incredible professional development opportunities for your workforce to discover the latest in hospitality trends, attend insightful thought leader panels, engage with other industry professionals, and promote your brand. This year, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is hosting their annual convention and trade show at the National Harbor, MD, March 27-30.
From national guest speakers such as keynote speaker Jimmy Johnson, Former Coach of the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins, and over 400 hospitality related vendors offering the industry’s latest products and services, this year’s AAHOA convention is packed with activities and networking opportunities for your workforce.
Just 15 minutes from our nation’s capital, there’s plenty to do both during and after hours during your stay in National Harbor. Here are five insider tips to maximize your workforce’s time at the AAHOA convention this year!
1. Download the AAHOA engagement app.
To stay updated during the convention, and to follow-up with convention connections afterwards, check out AAHOA’s engagement app.
With this AAHOA-dedicated communication tool, get insider access to after parties, create a personal convention agenda, access workshop locations and speaker information, and participate and view photos and posts on the app’s activity feed.
Beyond being an invaluable communication tool during the convention to stay in touch with other colleagues attending from your workforce, the AAHOA engagement app keeps you connected to the hospitality industry professionals you interacted with and met at the convention year-round. Even better: you’ll be rewarded for your participation on the AAHOA app with points, badges, and prizes.
2. Treat your workforce to the best happy hour in National Harbor.
According to TripAdvisor, McCormick and Schmick’s has a happy hour that starts well-ahead of the typical happy hour at 2:30 pm. Rave reviews cite happy hour prices with large portions. After a day of inspiring speaker panels and educational workshops, be sure to bring plenty of business cards, hone your company’s elevator pitch, and be ready to ask relevant industry questions about employee engagement and workforce management to prospective clients and hospitality peers alike. Harborside at McCormick and Schmick’s might just be the perfect place to do this.
3. Take a selfie with co-workers (and new convention friends!) at The Awakening sculpture.
One of many public art offerings to be experienced along the banks of the river community of National Harbor, New Jersey-born American artist J. Seward Johnson’s 70-foot, cast-aluminum sculpture, The Awakening (1980), is a cultural focal point for all ages to enjoy. The figure looks as if it washed up on and is emerging from the sandy shores of the Potomac River, with giant limbs protruding from the ground that make both excellent climbing structures and a remarkably unique selfie backdrop.
4. Take advantage of National Harbor’s newest mode of transportation, the Circulator.
Stay close to the convention venue to make sure transportation hurdles are minimized. For less than the cost of one taxi or Lyft ride, for just $5, you can shuttle between the area’s hot spots, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—including Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, this year’s AAHOA convention venue.
5. Get a birds-eye view from atop the Capital Wheel.
The view from 180 feet above the National Harbor never disappoints! Opened in 2014, the Capital Wheel lifts between 600,000 an 800,000 guests into the Maryland skies each year for an approximately 15-minute ride. For those who want the full VIP experience, National Harbor One (one of the 42 climate-controlled gondolas) features glass floors, chilled Perrier, Amazon Alexa technology, and leather seating.
With hundreds of hospitality-oriented vendors, educational workshops, expert panels, after-party networking events, and even certification courses and trainings, there are plenty of opportunities for both work and play at this year’s AAHOA convention! After checking out our recommended National Harbor activities, be sure to stop by our booth to meet the Beekeeper team and find out more about how our award-winning employee app can improve internal communication and operational alignment for your workforce.
Fill out the form below to schedule a meeting and meet the Beekeeper team at the event.