HT-NEXT Debuts a Simulated Hotel Environment to Bring Tech Solutions to Life in a Virtual Format

26 August 2020

Originally planned as a virtual hybrid event with a physical meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., HT-NEXT is moving to a fully virtual experience for the safety of all stakeholders, now taking place Dec. 1-3, 2020.

"We've been developing HT-NEXT with a unique virtual program since early this year. In moving entirely online, we're excited to bring the industry together in real time with a purpose-built experience, as safely as possible," said Abigail A. Lorden, publisher of Hospitality Technology magazine, which produces HT-NEXT.

A Simulated Hotel Experience

In an industry-first conference experience, HT-NEXT will take place inside a simulated hotel named "HOTEL NEXT." Participants enter HT-NEXT through the hotel's virtual lobby, outfitted with technologies for the new normal. From there, they'll explore a hotel guest room, restaurant, management office, and more - all while learning about relevant solutions, such as virtual check-in, two-way messaging, crowd monitoring tools, digital signage, new guest room controls, and more. The experience will also include an auditorium, networking lounge and exhibit hall, outfitted with booths from many of the industry's top technology solution providers.

"The world may have changed, but the spirit of hospitality is still driven by trust, comfort and excellent service," continued Lorden. "This industry is navigating new challenges that impact short-term operations, while also anticipating a shift in guest expectations for safety, control, and communication. Technology is now more important than ever in fulfilling that mission, and HT-NEXT will help hoteliers source the solutions they need."

Solutions for Now, and Next

A hallmark of HT-NEXT is the partnership with HTNG, a membership association that tackles technology challenges and develops industry-wide guidance. That partnership will supercharge the HT-NEXT agenda with insight from the front-lines of recovery.

"In recent months, HTNG members have come together with force to empower a safe reopening," said Michael Blake, CEO, HTNG. "Our members are dedicating hours each week to identify possible solutions that will hasten the industry's recovery." The learnings of those workgroups will be shared at HT-NEXT.

In addition, the agenda will tap experts from related industries to share their lessons, including food service, airlines, and theme parks. HT-NEXT anticipates record turn out, as the virtual format brings the global hospitality industry together for collaboration.

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