HITEC’s Canadian Debut Draws Largest Conference Attendance in 45 Year History

More than 6,500 hospitality technology professionals representing over 65 countries gathered at HITEC Toronto 

Hospitality technology professionals from around the world gathered this week in Toronto, Ontario Canada to explore the industry’s best practices and latest innovations at the world’s largest and oldest Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®). Produced yearly by international association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), this year marked the 45th anniversary since HFTP brought its HITEC brand to life in 1972. HITEC Toronto was held from June 2629, 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

HITEC Toronto, the brand’s first Canadian feature, was the highest attended conference in its 45-year history with more than 6,500 industry professionals representing over 65 countries. This year’s North American event had over 130 speakers, including four keynote speakers, for its daily educational sessions that addressed trending topics including: AI/BI, cyber-security, IoT, virtual reality, ROI, blockchain revolution, global travel trends, guest experience and more. The Toronto exhibit floor was home to 366 exhibitors showcasing the latest in hospitality technology products and services, and featured an expanded floorplan of 870 exhibit booths. Also, 47 registered press members, including two official guest bloggers, were in attendance covering the event.

“2017 has been an exceptionally groundbreaking year for both HFTP and its HITEC brand,” said Frank Wolfe, CAE, CEO at HFTP. “Based on HITEC’s popularity, HFTP broke international barriers this year by producing inaugural European and Middle Eastern event counterparts to the recognized, larger North American conference. HFTP looks forward to continuing its mission in promoting education within the hospitality industry, and expanding its production of successful events.”

The Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) Toronto innovation competition for hospitality startups featured 13 companies, an expert panel of five judges and 16 industry mentors who coached the entrepreneurs before their four-minute pitch. Contestant Jennifer Wong from Stay Wanderful won the E20X Judge’s Award grand prize of $5,000.00 USD, and startup Arrivedo was chosen by conference attendees via the HITEC 2017 mobile app as the People’s Startup Award winner.

Six hospitality technology industry leaders were recognized and awarded at HITEC Toronto: 2017 Quinquennial HFTP Award of Merit recipients Keith Gruen, Hiroo Ichii and Dr. Ravi Mehrota; 2017 HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame recipients Greg Dawes and Monika Nerger; and 2017 CHTP of the Year recipient Clint DeMill, CHTP.

HITEC Toronto was the second of three HITEC’s that HFTP will produce this year. Next up, the inaugural HITEC Dubai – a Middle Eastern counterpart – will take place November 14-15 at the Conrad Dubai in Dubai, UAE in partnership with Naseba. In 2018, HFTP will bring back the European counterpart HITEC Amsterdam on April 11-14 in addition to the larger North American event HITEC Houston slated for June 26-29.

For the latest news, download the HITEC 2017 multi-event app from the Apple Store or Google Play. View event photos on the HITEC website or on the HFTP Flickr account. Read posts from HITEC Toronto Guest Bloggers via HFTP’s official hospitality blog, HFTP Connect. Follow HFTP/HITEC on HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP) and Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). For more information about HITEC, contact the HFTP Meetings Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or +1 (512) 249-5333.