HITEC pivots online over pandemic concerns

Following the move of other large-scale industry functions (like AAHOA) going virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit industry association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals has determined to pivot October’s “Best of HFTP” in-person events to the virtual “Cyber HITEC.” 

The association’s in-person events, which included HITEC San Antonio, the HFTP Annual Convention and the Club Forum, were scheduled for Oct. 26-29 in San Antonio after originally being scheduled for June. (The postponement was announced in March, just as the pandemic was growing in the U.S.) In response to the continued health safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the current pandemic, the HFTP global board of directors decided to concentrate efforts on a virtual program.

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In a statement, the association said its leadership was making this decision well ahead of time to allow participants, exhibitors, stakeholders and co-located event organizers to plan accordingly.

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“Health and safety have always been our top priority and continued uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic makes it prudent to forgo the in-person events ahead of critical deadlines for both attendees and exhibitors planning to participate,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. “We arrived at this decision thoughtfully after hearing from many sources including our exhibitors and attendees who shared industry concerns.”

Cyber HITEC will run Oct. 27 through Nov. 25. In addition to education sessions addressing crucial topics, it will feature keynote presentations, a networking lounge and a marketplace with hundreds of the world’s best technology providers. The HFTP annual convention also will be held under the Cyber HITEC banner and attendees will be able to attend education sessions for both events.

“We are excited to leverage emerging hospitality technologies to bring a first-rate online HITEC event to the industry,” said Justin Taillon, chair of the HITEC San Antonio Advisory Council. “With Cyber HITEC, we will be able to do things we have not done in the past. It will prove to be an excellent experience for attendees!”

At the same time, HSMAI and its Revenue Optimization Advisory Board are developing a new interactive format to deliver the education and networking that usually takes place face-to-face annually at the co-located ROC. HSMAI’s partners will be included in Cyber HITEC and HSMAI attendees will be able to participate in Cyber HITEC.

HFTP’s “invitation only” Club Forum will be held virtually on Oct. 26. This event features topics presented by, and for, club finance professionals.

Information about credits, registration for Cyber HITEC and invitations for the Club Forum will be distributed no later than July 25.