HOSPA CEO Carl Weldon previews this year's HOSPACE event.
The thing that strikes me when talking with people about HOSPACE is the number of angles that they come at it from. There's the learning angle - absorbing new ideas. The innovation angle - giving people a view of the latest technology and what it means for the sector. The networking angle - catching up with old friends and potential new colleagues. The fun angle - the prizes, the gala dinner, the speculation over what the entertainment will be this year - what, you mean you missed it last year?
What's on the menu at HOSPACE this year?
There will of course be the latest data updates from the industry, looking at both past and future performance: from STR, PWC and The Peach Report.
The Leader' Panel will be chaired by the ever-popular Peter Hancock from Pride of Britain Hotels, who will be asking the sector's senior executives what their priorities are for 2016. Who are they? watch this space.. watch us on @HOSPAtweets.. on Facebook.. on LinkedIn. Wait for the next Overview...
There will be two HOSPA Spotlight Sessions - you may remember from last year's event that we have added two expert panels on combined topics for all members and delegates. This years angles are:
Spotlight Session No1 - Hospitality and the Digital Summit
How the industry should embrace fast-changing digital issues to maximise business potential - 'getting with the programme' of becoming a more digital-based industry - how to, where to. It is not just about websites but all things digital, from Wi-Fi to Big Data and back again.
Spotlight Session No2 - The challenges of Effective Inward and Outward Hospitality Management
This will cover how to successfully juggle such diverse concerns as owners, investors, staff, guests, fraud, direct bookings versus OTAs, and funding. This will debate the angles of not just about customers and staff - but those ' right-angles' in our industry of relationships with owners, brand managers, OTAs, benchmarking and the like.
We are also planning two one-to-one interviews on stage with industry leaders, who will be giving us an overview of their latest activities and how they affect the sector, as well as challenging us and giving an insight into how they are taking on the myriad challenges facing those in the hospitality business today.
And of course not to forget that there will be up to 21 technical and trend workshops in three half hour sessions - the chance for you to choose your own HOSPACE programme! Some of the presenters will be all the way from the USA courtesy of HFTP! And then, of course, it will be on to the fun. The Gala Dinner entertainment (yes it's still a secret) and the magic- literally - of the pre-dinner drinks entertainment. Plus a special opportunity to be relaxed and chilled courtesy of Sky Business. PLUS there will be a host of excellent prizes including the inevitable Heads and Tails with Fourteen IP (see picture above!)
To summarise... A conference with a real commercial angle created especially for HOSPA Members and their colleagues - be they hoteliers, restaurateurs, owners or operators of hospitality businesses. Anyone wishing to understand the latest issues.
Let us know what you think on @HOSPATweets