Events play a key role in the strategic positioning and profitability of hospitality organizations. Hotel executives attend conferences to make deals, spread brand awareness, find new technology, create partnerships, and discover the latest industry trends. There are a lot of hospitality events out there, but not all are created equal. Some give you more bang for your buck and others are geared for specific needs. It’s important to do your homework before you invest time and money. We’ve attended numerous hospitality events and narrowed the list down to eight of our favorites to alleviate some of the work for you. Alas, here are hospitality events hotel executives can’t afford to miss and our reasons why:
1. The Lodging Conference The Lodging Conference
is hands down our favorite conference of the year. It’s well-known for being casual and laid-back where ties are discouraged and shorts are encouraged. The content is perfectly curated for hotel executives and the speaker list includes the who’s who in the hotel industry. There are plenty of opportunities to network within the conference itself or at the expansive lobby and bar. Insider tip:
The Arizona Biltmore Resort is perfectly set up to schedule one-on-one meetings in the lobby, on the back terrace, or in one of the property restaurants.
2. NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference
As the largest and oldest established investment conference in the hospitality industry, the NYU Investment Conference
boasts the who’s who in the hotel industry. There’s an impressive lineup of keynote speakers comprised of global leaders in lodging development, investment, and finance, and the general sessions are packed with great intel. Insider tip:
The 8th floor is a great place to host a meeting during the day. The post-conference scene isn’t quite as vibrant as The Lodging Conference, but it still does the trick. Look for more after conference parties off-site.
3. The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS)
Located in LA, this is a great west coast version
of the NYU Investment Conference. It attracts 3,000 of the industry’s top leaders and hosts an array of seminars and panels discussing industry trends and new opportunities. The content is well thought out and the location is perfect for after-hours entertaining. Organizers expertly gate the hotel and only allow conference attendees to linger at the lobby bar. Insider tip:
While the networking is great, many of the key executives are locked away in their suites for meetings. Although this happens at most events, it is more noticeable here so you may have to try harder to seek the people you want.
This annual conference is hosted by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA)
which represents more than 80% of all hotel ownership in the U.S. Passed down through the generations, the ever-expanding portfolios are now managed by 2nd and 3rd generation AAHOA members. This is the youngest group in the hospitality industry and possibly one of the brightest. Insider tip:
Mark our words, these are the leaders that will be shaping the hospitality landscape in the next ten years.
5. Hunter Hotel Conference
Designed for hotel owners (40% of attendees) and investors, the Hunter Hotel Conference
is great if you’re looking for a smaller, more intimate gathering that packs the same punch. This is a well-rounded conference for hotel leaders that is intended to give you plenty of opportunities to develop new relationships with lodging leaders and decision-makers. Insider tip:
While there is a national pull, this is somewhat of a regional event compared to The Lodging Conference, NYU, and ALIS.
6. HOTEC Operations & Technology
Created specifically for professionals in the operations and technology sectors of hospitality, HOTEC
brings hospitality decision-makers face-to-face with suppliers of innovative products and services. When you know what you are looking for, HOTEC will help you find it. From design to technology and operations, HOTEC fast tracks projects by connecting hotel leaders with what or who they need in an efficient two-day event packed with a customized schedule for each attendee. Insider tip:
The location is always amazing and the food and beverages are off the charts so make sure you take advantage of it!
7. Meet the Money
For hotel executives looking for up-to-the-minute information about the world of hotel investment and finance, Meet the Money
in LA is perfect. The conference is big enough to attract heavy hitters, but small enough to network with them. Attendees include hotel owners, developers, investors, lenders, operators, advisors, consultants, and more who engage in networking and, most important, deal-making. Insider tip:
Being a smaller conference, this is great place to finance your next project or unlock the trapped capital in your existing portfolio.
8. International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF)
On the international scene, the IHIF in Berlin
attracts more than 2,000 hotel executives from 80 countries. The conference is known for its light-hearted, yet productive atmosphere and festive global flair. The schedule includes a look at the previous 20 years in hospitality and where the industry is headed in the next 20. Insider tip:
A lot of breaking news is announced here so you can be the first to know what’s happening in the international hotel investment community.
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