Questions and Answers with Hospitality Technology Europe (HTE) event manager Claudia Harris

1. What are the new features in this edition of HTE?

New for the 2014, Hospitality Technology Europe (THE) has created a special Multimedia Showcase area where visitors can touch and discover new technology developments in a pressure free, interactive environment. The Multimedia Showcase is due to feature everything from software and hardware to content, apps and touch technology and is most definitely going to be one of the standout elements of this year’s show.

We’re also rolling out the red carpet for our VIP attendees and have created an exclusive VIP programme of high level learning sessions and peer-to-peer networking events specifically geared towards CIO’s, IT Directors and revenue, distribution and ecommerce decision makers and influencers.

2. What are your expectations in terms of visitors and exhibitors? What kind of exhibiting companies should the visitor expect at HTE?

For 2014 we will be bringing together more than 100 specialist providers of hospitality technology products and services, and more than 1,500 technology executives over the course of the two day event. Attendees will include those from departments as diverse as IT, distribution, e-commerce, finance, revenue management, sales, marketing and operations. They will meet countless providers of hospitality technology products and services including distribution and revenue management, sales and marketing, business operations, guest technology and infrastructure.

3. What is the visitor profile? Do you expect many visitors from other countries?

The visitor profile is anyone who is a decision maker and that includes general managers, owners, sales and marketing directors, IT directors, CIO’s and basically anyone who has the power to make a budgetary call on implementing technology within a hotel. We’re expecting a growing contingent of visitors from across the channel and have already seen loads of visitors register from Germany, France, the Nordic regions, Spain, Cyprus and more. It’s very much a European show and we’re expecting roughly 35 per cent of visitors to be from continental Europe.

4. Do you feel there is an increasing interest in the hospitality industry to embrace technology in their business?

In the hospitality industry the appetite to embrace and deploy new technologies is always there however it’s inevitably a question of budget and whether or not it exists when it comes to making the decision to take the plunge. In our hyperconnected and hyper competitive world, businesses – and this is not just limited to the hospitality industry – need to constantly strive to stay one step ahead of the competition. New technologies nearly always play a part in this which is one of the main reasons why we’re expecting a bumper number of exhibitors and visitors at next year’s event. Put simply, HTE is an event that industry professionals should make an absolute priority to attend.

5. Which, in your opinion, are the technology issues that generate more interest among hospitality professionals?

Based on the sessions that proved the most popular at last year’s show and in speaking to members of the advisory board guest technology innovations are high on the industry agenda at the moment. Also, wireless connectivity and how to improve communications within a hotel is very much a hot topic with countless visitors looking for technologies that can open doors, improve concierge and check-in services and the like.

6. Which subjects will we see on the panels this year at the HTE?

The foundation of the event is seven topical ‘Question Time’-style panel debates that will undoubtedly prove to be extremely popular with both visitors and exhibitors alike. Appealing to senior hotel and IT executives, the roundtable panel debates will cover a wide range of hot topics, from the economy, to new technologies and provide buyers with fascinating insight into the often-opposing viewpoints of the suppliers, buyers and intermediaries on the panel.

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The second annual Hospitality Technology Europe takes place on 4 and 5 February 2014 at Earls Court in London. To find out more about the benefits of attending Hospitality Technology Europe as a visitor and to register please visit www.hospitalitytecheurope.com.

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