The world of hospitality gathered at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas from June 27 to June 29, 2023, to participate in the inaugural Hospitality Show—an extraordinary event presented by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Questex.
With an impressive turnout of over 3,800 registered attendees, including owners, operators, brand executives, and industry suppliers, the three-day show provided information, products, and discussions to help properties operate more efficiently and profitably.
The Show kicked off with a keynote speech by Admiral William H. McRaven, who enlightened the audience on leadership, risk management, teamwork, and resilience during high-stress situations.
Following this inspiring start, AHLA Foundation President Anna Blue moderated a panel discussion focused on adapting to a changing workforce and attracting top talent. Esteemed industry leaders such as Larry Cuculic, President & CEO of BWH Hotels; Daniel del Olmo, President of Hotels & Restaurants at Sage Hospitality Group; Ashli Johnson, Executive Director at the Marriott Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership, Howard University; and Ben Erwin, President & CEO of Encore, shared their insights and expertise on the subject.
The event also witnessed a consumer-focused discussion led by technology executive and entrepreneur Kevin Dunetz from Google Cloud, where leading hospitality CIOs discussed forecasting new demands from tech-savvy clientele. Andrew Arthurs, CIO of Aimbridge Hospitality; Scott Strickland, EVP and CIO of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts; and Dan Kornick, CIO of Loews Hotels & Co, joined Dunetz to explore the future of technology in the hospitality industry.
Artificial intelligence’s application in hospitality took center stage during a special talk by Paul Zikopoulos, IBM’s Vice President of Technology Group Skills Vitality & Enablement. Zikopoulos provided valuable insights into the potential of ChatGPT and AI, highlighting their impact on the industry’s future.
The numbers speak for themselves, with more than 300 vendors and over 100 speakers participating in the event, facilitating 13+ hours of valuable networking opportunities. The positive response from attendees and exhibitors has already laid the foundation for next year’s show, with commitments pouring in for the 2024 Hospitality Show scheduled for October 28 to 30 in San Antonio.
AHLA, the largest hotel association in America, represents over 30,000 members from various segments of the industry, and Questex, committed to enhancing people’s lives through experiences, partnered to create The Hospitality Show. Their combined efforts resulted in an event that exceeded expectations, with the first-year event being a resounding success. The milestone was further highlighted by the accomplishment of selling out every vendor space on the expo floor, a rare feat for an inaugural event of such scale.
Here are a few of the vendors that exhibited at The Show:
With over 40 years of expertise, more than 30,000 products and one of the largest distribution and strategic sourcing networks in the world, attendees learned why Guest Supply is uniquely positioned to fulfill any need or request with a full spectrum of solutions.
Think of ADP and payroll is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Attendees of The Show learned that ADP can help them in many more aspects of their human resources function, including building, managing and developing a more effective, productive workforce.
LG Business Solutions exhibited a vast array of cutting-edge solutions, including innovative robotics and smart TV solutions. The company’s booth featured a range of hospitality-focused products, including the LG CLOi GuideBot and ServeBot, two fully autonomous robots designed to enhance productivity and boost guest satisfaction. LG CLOi ServeBot is a server’s best friend, helping restaurant staff by carrying up to 66 pounds of food, beverages and dishes and autonomously navigating to tables or the kitchen to enable rapid, consistent deliveries. Customer interactions are offered through the included 10.1-inch, 1200×800 full-color touchscreen, which can display menus, specials, videos, “last call” messages or a friendly digital robot face.
365 Retail Markets provides self-checkout technology solutions. Their Stockwell 2.0 solution provides the security of a vending machine with the product diversity of a micro-market. Many of their products service ambient and refrigerated needs and can even offer age-gated purchases.
Serving more than 12,000 properties around the world, Actabl, the hospitality industry’s first and only integrated suite of business intelligence, labor management and hotel operations management software, celebrated its one-year anniversary of bringing four renowned software solutions, ProfitSword, Hotel Effectiveness, Alice and Transcendent into the Actabl unified platform of solutions.
Comcast Business and Deep Blue Communications shared information on their suite of Connectivity, Communications, Cybersecurity, WiFi and Managed Solutions for the hospitality industry. “Comcast Business (CB) offers a suite of Connectivity, Communications, Cybersecurity, WiFi and Managed Solutions to help hotels be future-ready. Powered by the largest Gig-speed broadband network and 24/7 customer support, CB is a leading connectivity provider for hotels and a rising leader in technology solutions for Enterprise customers.”
Sustainability was a key theme at The Hospitality Show, and NHG: Nurture Hospitality Group supported the effort by introducing attendees to its line of socially responsible guest bathroom amenities, helping reduce plastics entering our oceans.
Roomnet showed attendees a guest room entertainment experience “with the super-powered TV platform for hospitality reimagined with Apple, including Airplay for hotels.” The platform provides guests with a branded experience along with geolocation capabilities to provide access to local attractions and services.
Looking to expand your pool seating capacity, increase guests’ satisfaction and improve your property’s revenues? EdgeMate Pool Chair has the solution! The team showcased their one-of-a-kind IN-pool seating for hotels and resorts. The EdgeMate In-Pool Chair provides you with a revenue-generating amenity by providing rental options to your guests and helping to drive more F&B revenue around your pool.
HD Supply displayed examples of its many preventative maintenance solutions. Providing free, next-day delivery on most orders to most areas thanks to their 40+ distribution centers spread across 25 states, HD Supply can help keep your property in top shape.
World Cinema, Inc. (WCI) is a trusted provider of video, advanced connectivity and professional services to properties and enterprises across the world. The company serves over 7,000 properties and over 900,000 rooms, providing in-room entertainment, WiFi services, CCTV, VOIP, Digital Infrastructure, Digital Signage, and more and is an approved provider to many major hospitality brands.
Lodging Kit Company, a Veteran Owned Small Business, specializes in their unique service of Room In A Box® and Consignment Kitting. Their white glove service is designed to make your hotel opening or update run that much smoother.
Room In A Box® is simply a unitized package containing all the in-room items that you specify in clearly labeled cartons for a stress-free, smooth and timely transition into ready-to-open units. If you source your own products, they provide a similar service with Consignment Kitting. Their services save countless hours of separating all your products per unit, minimizing your cost with just one trip in and out of each room.
SRFC Bio manufactures and sells an EPA-approved 24-hour residual sanitizer that provides a clear, protective coating on surfaces against germs. Unlike other sanitizers, the SRFC Bio product not only kills bacteria and viruses on contact but also protects your guests and staff by providing persistent antimicrobial activity helping to reduce the spread of infections and illness caused by pathogens on surfaces.
Pineapple Hospitality is “A Small Company with a Fresh Approach”. They provide luxury amenities and eco-friendly options, along with reliable service and excellent stock availability. They are “small enough to make sure your order doesn’t get lost in the shuffle but big enough to offer you the selection, sophistication, and staying power you need in a supplier.”
Towne Park recognizes the importance of making a good first impression when guests arrive and a positive lasting impression when they leave. Serving over 500 hotels nationwide, Towne Park has been providing exceptional guest experiences from arrival through departure for over 35 years.
They offer a comprehensive suite of hospitality support solutions, including tech-enabled parking such as T-Park, an easy-to-use gateless, digital self-parking system that helps create new revenue from your parking asset. Towne Park also provides shuttle services and highly trained door, valet, bell, and concierge staff focused on providing your guests with outstanding service.
Renowned Speakers Sharing Their Knowledge & Experience
The Hospitality Show 2023 also featured an array of renowned speakers, including COO and President of Athletic Greens, Kat Cole; President & CEO of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Geoff Ballotti; President & CEO of Marriott International, Anthony Capuano; President & CEO of BWH Hotels, Larry Cuculic; President & CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Mark Hoplamazian; and President & CEO of Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, John Murray, among others.
David Goldstone, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at World Cinema, joined Matthew Hostetler, Chief Development Officer, Franchise Sales and Development of Red Roof, for an engaging discussion called “Like2Love – Looking for Love in the Franchise and Guest Relationship.” The two shared their experiences and insights on how to transform the guest relationship from satisfied customers to ardent supporters with personalized service and innovative technology.
The event’s spotlight on technology-driven demos and case studies from key vendors added depth and insight into the industry’s emerging trends and operations. The TechOvation Awards, hosted by AHLA’s technology committee, HTNG, recognized 10 semifinalists for their significant innovations in hospitality technology. Among the winners was PolyAI’s Guest-Led Voice Assistant, a product employing conversational AI to enhance guest experiences.
Furthermore, the Hospitality Show shed light on the importance of anti-trafficking efforts, with CEO of Polaris, Catherine Chen, and President & CEO of Marriott International, Anthony Capuano, exploring the industry’s efforts and messaging in this critical area.
In conjunction with the main event, AHLA hosted the General Managers Summit at The Hospitality Show, providing a platform for general managers to connect, gain insights from industry leaders, and celebrate AHLA’s 2023 General Managers of the Year.
Attendees also had the privilege of enjoying exclusive, behind-the-scenes tours of two of Las Vegas’ prestigious properties—the Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Bellagio Resort & Casino. These tours showcased the properties’ operating procedures, sustainability efforts, culinary offerings, rooms, suites, and the iconic Bellagio Fountains. The show organizers also implemented several innovative and sustainable practices for the event.
Overall, the inaugural Hospitality Show lived up to its promises, with an impressive lineup of speakers, innovative technological solutions, and valuable networking opportunities. As the industry looks forward to the 2024 edition in San Antonio, this event has undoubtedly cemented its position as a vital platform for hotel professionals and suppliers to drive the hospitality industry forward.
Next year, The Hospitality Show 2024 will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio from Oct. 28-30, 2024.
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