3 Unexpected Trends Taking Center Stage at HITEC Minneapolis 2019

Hospitality leaders around the globe, eager to remain ahead of emerging industry trends and guest expectations, are always faced with the question – what’s next? In a world in which rapid technological change has become the norm, what new trends and innovations will be revealed as industry frontrunners in the upcoming years?

It is precisely this pattern of innovative thinking that continues to inspire HITEC, the world’s largest hospitality technology summit that showcases the brightest minds and cutting-edge technology from around the world. Over the course of each HITEC show, hoteliers and hospitality professionals can expect to partake in countless discussions, panels, demonstrations, networking opportunities, and so much more. As our industry becomes increasingly more agile in this age of digitization and intelligent technology, the future of hospitality has never looked so bright – and HITEC is a coveted opportunity to see it all.

With HITEC Minneapolis only a few weeks away, the buzz surrounding the event has reached a fever pitch. As always, there are sure to be some unexpected trends when it comes to the technology vendors exhibiting their latest innovations and sessions taking center stage at this year’s conference, and we’ve rounded a few to look out for if you are attending the event.

1. Human and Technology Synergy

Our modern world is on a fast-track to the digital revolution, and how humans have evolved and are adapting to this high-speed change and technological reform will be an important discussion at HITEC. Chris Riddel, an award-winning global futurist, is set to speak to this during the opening keynote, as we recognize the significant technological disruption our industry has seen over the last few years.

There is a steady emergence of exciting new-age platforms, and educational sessions that will be attracting much attention at the tradeshow, the most anticipated ones are no doubt AI-driven technology, machine learning, virtual reality, smart rooms, voice-based and digital assistants, and chatbots.  Hoteliers are eager to determine what new technology will see the most demand.  After all, we live in a hyper-connected world, and it is the on-going responsibility of hoteliers to cater to this need for digital connection and convenience, while still delivering on those more traditional markers of superior guest service.

2. Data Protection and Hotel Safety Concerns/Mandates

As the scope of technology broadens, hospitality leaders are faced with new, mounting responsibility relating to data, privacy, and safety. The need for guest personalization has been an increasingly hot topic over the past year; guest privacy is an on-going concern. As such, hoteliers at the conference will be looking to identify the perfect balance between data-backed personalization across every guest touchpoint and enhanced privacy and security measures to ensure GDPR compliance. From CRM to PMS and beyond, hoteliers must be especially mindful of data and privacy regulations when vetting and selecting new technology, and strategically seek out vendors who offer a scalable partnership. Guests crave personalization, but they expect their privacy to be protected, too.

Another hot trend worth exploring at HITEC this year has to do with employee and guest safety. Safety has also been a significant discussion point across our industry as of late, with the implementation of new mandates put in place to enforce improved safety measures for hospitality staff and guests. As such, we are witnessing a rise in technology developed specifically to respond to issues of employee safety (employee safety devices), security apps, and more. These mandates and the corresponding innovations to help hoteliers meet new industry standards are sure to be one of most talked about topics at the conference.

3. Eco-Friendly Travel and Sustainable Future

When we speak about today’s travelers, the millennial demographic quickly comes to mind. Millennial travelers have notably different brand expectations than their generational counterparts, and hoteliers are arguably more invested in understanding (and catering to) the millennial traveler than ever before. But across all generations and demographics, social consciousness is a growing trend when it comes to brands they frequent. Modern travelers are seemingly the most eco-conscious generation yet, and selectively seek out hotel brands that adhere to a more sustainable business model. A highly informed group of travelers, 66% of millennials say they are willing to pay more for services by companies that are committed to creating a positive environmental impact.

This desire for sustainability extends beyond the practices of a hotel (their physical property, amenities, and processes) and includes local partnerships, excursions, eco-luxury, farm-to-table dining options, and more. As more hoteliers look to invest in eco-friendly initiatives and technology, this is sure to be an important highlight of HITEC 2019.

About Binu Mathews

Binu is a seasoned professional with more than two decades of unequalled proficiency in varied industries including manufacturing, hospitality and information technology. As the CEO, Binu aims to drive IDS Next towards achieving the ultimate goal – to become the global leader and most preferred hospitality technology vendor globally. His personal goal is to be a change agent for organizations that are ready for the next level of growth.

Binu firmly believes in the power of collective effort and collaborative leadership. He always empowers his team and prompts his colleagues to bring in new ideas to the workplace. His forte has been with start-ups and turnarounds in technology companies in the emerging markets. He has also played leadership roles in managing operations in the Middle East and parts of Asia Pacific for one of the world’s largest hospitality technology companies for several years.

He can be contacted at binu@idsnext.com

About IDS Next

IDS Next is a globally leading Hotel Technology Solutions provider with decades of unmatched domain expertise. Being pioneers in Hotel ERP architecture, our forte lies in providing unparalleled technology solutions for hospitality properties across categories. With unrivalled domain expertise, our USP lies in creating solutions that help hotels increase revenues, optimize costs and above all provide enhanced guest experience.

We are a dynamic company, which fully understands emerging markets, and its high growth needs. We provide efficient solutions across categories such as large independent hotels, chain hotels, boutique or resort hotels and even small budget hotels. Our offerings include integrated hotel management software, restaurant management software, mobile apps and mobile analytic solutions etc.

Armed with industry leading technology and overwhelming TCO, we command large market share in the markets we operate and growing at an enviable speed. Our software and technology solutions have also earned the trust of over 4800+ hotels in 40 countries spread across South Asia, South-East Asia, Africa, Middle East, Sri Lanka & Maldives and Oceania. A truly dedicated 24/7-support centre ensures 98% retention of customers and unmatched customer satisfaction.