Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is ready to usher in a return of the face-to-face, hospitality meeting with its upcoming North American Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®). Raising the event’s relevance are three innovative strategists who will deliver thought-provoking keynotes responsive to today’s recovering hospitality climate. These big picture sessions will explore how to raise your company’s digital profile — Erik Qualman; emerging technologies important for adapting to the new hotel environment — John Picard; and what customer service will look like post-pandemic — Justin Taillon, MBA, Ph.D.

HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE, FIH says, “Right now gathering to share knowledge, generate ideas and make connections is essential to our industry’s recovery, which demands innovative thinking. This includes inspiration from the core concepts presented by the keynotes to the micro detail delivered in the smaller education sessions. Our goal for keeping HITEC on the calendar this year is to provide a venue for shaking up the status quo and help attendees effectively understand what changes they need to make to return to success.”

The HITEC Opening Keynote on October 26 will be presented by Erik Qualman, aka Equalman, a number one best-selling author and motivational speaker who has performed in over 50 countries and reached 25 million people this decade. His Socialnomics work has been on 60 Minutes and the Wall Street Journal and used by major organizations such as the National Guard and NASA. What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube helped Qualman be listed by Forbes and Fortune as a Top 100 Digital Influencer. Erik’s business books are used in over 200 universities and he has received an honorary doctorate for his groundbreaking work.

Following the next day, on October 27, is John Picard a visionary and design innovator who understood the “internet of things” long before connectivity became the driver that it is today. Celebrated for his keen understanding of the innovative principles of natural systems designs, John connects visionary thinking with emerging technologies to drive successful projects for corporations, commercial buildings, college campuses and even entire towns. Amongst his many noteworthy design projects are the City Center Hotel Las Vegas; the elegant Grand Wailea in Maui, Hawaii (the first greening of a world-renowned resort); and a 20-million-square-foot mixed-use development called Atlantic Station in Atlanta. Recently, John has been working closely with airports and hotels to adapt these spaces into safe areas which limit the spread of viruses.

Closing HITEC San Antonio on October 29 is Justin Taillon, MBA, Ph.D., professor and department head at Highline College in Seattle, Washington. Justin’s area of focus is hospitality and tourism management and prior to joining academia, he worked in multiple roles for Marriott, Starwood and Hilton. He continues to work with industry partners such as Starbucks and Seatac Airport while managing research projects. Justin is currently a director on the HFTP Global Board Chair of the HITEC North America Advisory Council and has been a frequent speaker at HFTP educational events.

HITEC San Antonio will continue to offer the same opportunities it annually presents, with measures in place to help make it a safe space meeting. In addition to the keynotes, attendees can expect a four-day education program planned and presented by industry experts on topics to covering the unique issues the industry is currently facing. HITEC San Antonio will also feature an exhibit hall hosting an expected 300 companies. The companies display a range of products and services to support the hospitality technology industry.

Registration and hotel reservations are now available. For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other international activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at or visit and

About HFTP
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherland and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry’s pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world’s only hospitality-specific search engine,®.

For more information about HFTP, email or visit the media center. Follow HFTP/HITEC on HFTP Connect, Facebook (@HFTPGlobal; @HITECconference), LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP),  Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC), Flickr and YouTube for the latest news. Stay tuned to HFTP’s industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP F&B Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP Finance Bytes.