This post originally appeared on HFTP Connect: The Hospitality Professionals’ Blog in preparation for the 2012 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC).
How many HITECs have you attended in the past?
HITEC 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland is my first HITEC conference. I am really looking forward to it. I specialize in communications, technology, and sustainability – and I see a lot of exciting trends in these areas for the hospitality and tourism industry.
There is so much going on around mobile technology right now. Travelers can pretty much do everything related to their trip with a smartphone or tablet and without having to print anything.
They can research destinations, hotels, restaurants, and things to do and book their reservations online or with any number of mobile apps. Bar codes in reservation confirmations facilitate the check in process – and scanners can read the code right from your smartphone. And travelers can share their experiences through social media and travel evaluation sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp.
So, I am really excited to see the latest technology for the hospitality industry, and what hotel rooms will look like to guests, around these trends.
What education session/topic are you looking forward to the most?
I am green at heart – so, I am really looking forward to the Green Initiatives session on Monday afternoon. When you mention “green” and “hospitality” together people may think of eco lodges in the wilderness. But green hospitality is really about using resources wisely to provide the best possible guest experience while reducing waste and expenses.
I am interested in discovering the latest technology to help hotels save energy and water resources. I am especially curious to see what tools and features involve guests to make a difference vs. automatic or backend operational tools that guests do not typically see.
What is something that you are looking forward to doing in Baltimore?
Looks like we have a pretty full conference schedule, and I don’t want to miss any of the sessions. But, I would like to check out the new waterfront park at the National Aquarium and possibly take a cruise of the Baltimore Inner Harbor.
Have you ever had a “wow” moment in hospitality technology? If so, when and what was it?
Yes, I recently had a “wow” moment in hospitality technology. I just got back from a trip to Washington and Oregon. As I was unpacking at home, I realized that I did not use most of the hotel room electronics (i.e., TV, phone, alarm clock, etc.) at all during the entire trip. Yet these were features that were promoted to me and I paid attention to when I was making my selections at the time. I was able to do everything I needed and wanted from my smartphone and laptop. It really made me stop and think about the types of technology amenities and features I would look for in my airline, hotel, car rental, and other travel services for my next trip.