HFTP conference goes virtual

Safety concerns led to decision to move hospitality event into cyberspace

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals’ "Best of HFTP" in-person event, scheduled for October, will instead be part of the virtual "Cyber HITEC” due to concerns about COVID-19. Other major hospitality industry events to go virtual this year include AAHOA’s 2020 Convention & Trade Show and STR’s Hotel Data Conference.

FOLLOWING A TREND set by other large hospitality conferences in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals’ “Best of HFTP” in-person event, scheduled for October, will instead be part of the virtual “Cyber HITEC.”

The in-person events, including HITEC San Antonio, HFTP Annual Convention and Club Forum, were scheduled for Oct. 26-29 in San Antonio, Texas. Concern for attendee safety and the fact that many global travel restrictions remain in place were factors in the decision to take the event online.

“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 Frank Wolfe, HFTP’s CEO. “We arrived at this decision thoughtfully after hearing from many sources including our exhibitors and attendees who shared industry concerns.”

The online program will be available Oct. 27 to Nov. 25. Along with education sessions, it will feature keynote presentations, a networking lounge and a marketplace of technology providers. The HFTP Annual Convention will also be held under the Cyber HITEC banner and attendees will have the opportunity to attend education sessions for both events.

“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,” said Justin Taillon, chairman of the HITEC San Antonio Advisory Council.

HSMAI and its Revenue Optimization Advisory Board also are developing an interactive format for the event. HFTP’s “invitation only” Club Forum will be held virtually on Oct. 26. Information about credits, registration for Cyber HITEC and invitations for the Club Forum will be no later than July 25. Check www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org for the latest information.

In June, STR announced its Hotel Data Conference in August would include more online events and reduced time for in-person activities. AAHOA also announced that its 2020 Convention & Trade Show will be virtual instead of in-person.