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From Cybersecurity to Space Shuttles: Make the Most of HITEC Houston

Hosted by HFTP (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals), HITEC Houston will take place June 18-21, 2018, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. HITEC features several educational sessions on the most-talked about topics in the hospitality industry today, including cybersecurity and AI. Don’t forget to browse the latest hospitality technology products and services from over 300 hospitality industry vendors that will be showcased in the HITEC exhibitor hall.

In between keynote speaker presentations, educational panels, and the conference’s opening party at the iconic House of Blues, here are some of the top events, booths, and local attractions to check out during HITEC Houston!

1. Attend the E20X Competition

Celebrating technological entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry, HFTP’s popular E20X program spotlights the innovative spirit and ideas of startups. Competing startups pitch to both HITEC attendees and a panel of hospitality industry experts.

This year you can catch the E20X presentations from 1-4 pm on Monday, June 18. Teams from startups around the country will compete for the Grand Prize of $5,000, and the People’s Startup Award, a crowd favorite award voted on by HITEC Houston attendees. Before the competition, be sure to connect with the startups’ at their E20X Pavilion booths on the exhibit hall floor.

2. Make Cosmic Connections at the Johnson Space Center

Take a break from HITEC Houston at Houston’s Johnson Space Center, just a 30-minute drive from the conference venue. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (formerly the Manned Spaceflight Center until being renamed after the late former President in 1973) sits on 1,620 acres and is home to the U.S.

Mission Control Center. Artifact highlights from NASA missions include a touchable moon rock and a full-scale replica of NASA’s Independence. Accessible by elevator, it’s the only shuttle in the world mounted on a original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft, open to the public to explore (for space movie fans, Independence inspired the name of one of the space shuttles in the 1998 blockbuster Armageddon).

3. Sit-in on Joe Schaap’s Technology Showcase: “Your Guests are Changing, So Should Your PMS”

A mobile hotel property management system (PMS), StayNTouch, is a software solution that, like Beekeeper’s team communication app, is focused on driving revenue, reducing costs, and empowering the hospitality industry’s dispersed workforce with the right internal communication tools to provide exceptional guest experiences.

Join Joe Schaap, founder and CEO of StayNTouch for the Technology Showcase, “Your Guests are Changing, So Should Your PMS.” Hear first-hand how a mobile PMS impacts the hospitality industry, from hotel operations and revenue generation to guest satisfaction. The session will cover why it’s essential that hotels arm their staff and property with a modern PMS, and how the hospitality industry can respond to today’s digitally-driven consumer.

4. Beekeeper Breakfast Panel: How Team Apps Deliver Exceptional Guest Experiences

Don’t miss the Beekeeper-hosted breakfast panel with hospitality industry expert Connie Rheams, Head of Hospitality at Beekeeper. In the panel, learn more about how Beekeeper’s team app facilitates better internal communication and employee engagement that translate to more personalized guest experiences.

Can’t make the panel? Be sure to stop by the Beekeeper booth 1702 to say hello and hear about how our team app is transforming the way hospitality industry workforces reach and engage every single employee, especially those on the frontlines.

 Apple iPhone 7 Screenshot showing Hotel Talk communication stream on Beekeeper team app

5. Watch the Cybersecurity Closing Keynote by Theresa Payton, the First Woman to Serve as White House CIO

Her professional credits include starring as Head of Intelligence on the CBS reality show Hunted, but Theresa Payton’s primary claim to fame is for being tapped to run White House IT operations (which she did for President George W. Bush from 2006-08).

With the recent Facebook data breach scandal, and GDPR regulation beginning May 25, Payton’s cybersecurity-focused keynote is especially relevant. Combining her cybersecurity expertise and business entrepreneur savvy, Payton will outline the top threats that can lead to data breaches, and share practical steps for the hospitality industry to successfully plan for and manage cybersecurity risk.

Download our 2021 hospitality trends white paper and discover how better internal communication improves the guest experience.