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6 Hospitality Events to Attend in 2020

Hospitality is a dynamic industry. Conferences and trade shows are essential for hoteliers who want to remain current on new ideas, trends and strategies. These events also provide valuable networking opportunities for career advancement and relationship building, so it’s important to take advantage. We’ve selected six events that we think are worth attending in the coming year:

International Hotel Investment Forum

When: March 2-4

Where: Berlin

This three-day conference, held at the Intercontinental Berlin, positions itself as the world’s most influential hotel investment event for today’s market. Geared toward senior hospitality leaders, IHIF features opportunities for networking, important conversations and deal-making. After a brand refresh, the conference chose “Redefining the Rules” as its 2020 theme, highlighting forward-thinking and disruption in hospitality management. The conference also includes Adjacent Spaces, a pop-up at the Pullman Hotel that covers hospitality-related topics, such as hostels, co-living and serviced apartments. This is a must attend for owners, operators, CEOs, consultants and investors.


When: Select Dates, February - November

Where: Major Cities Worldwide

TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR is not a single event, but rather a series of day-long conferences at six cities around the globe: London (February 2), Los Angeles (May 4), Hamburg (June 16), Dubai (September 17), Bangkok (October 15), and New York (November 10). These conferences have a unique format based on “Change Table” sessions, which create eight speed-networking opportunities for each participant throughout the day. This maximizes idea-sharing and connection-building among hoteliers. The event also features Creative Spark, a competition for hospitality architects and interior designers, as well as several keynote speakers and panel discussions (usually touching on a controversial issue the industry is facing). If you’re looking for an event with opportunities to network and engage in important conversations, TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR is the right conference for you.

Hotel Data Conference

When: August 12-14

Where: Nashville

Head to Nashville this August to learn about using data to better operate your hotel. The ability to properly utilize data can boost your hotel’s performance across the board. Hotel Data Conference is geared toward executives and developers, as well as operations and revenue management professionals. Organized by STR, it will share knowledge on and tips for harnessing the power of data at your hotel, as well as highlight broad industry outlooks and trends. This year’s speaker lineup includes Jim Abrahamson, the CEO of Interstate Hotels and Resorts, among many other industry leaders.

Direct Booking Summit

When: September 22-23

Where: San Diego

Direct bookings are more important than ever in 2020, with more and more guests booking through OTAs. This San Diego event was created to facilitate conversation and spread new ideas about the “Direct Booking Movement.” A robust agenda covers everything from boosting conversion rates to Google’s role in the changing landscape of booking. The Summit's 2019 lineup of speakers was impressive, featuring industry leaders like Rob Torres, Managing Director of Google Travel, and Connie Marianacci, Director of E-Commerce Strategy for Accor Hotels. Private Direct Booking Coaches are also available for 45-minute private sessions, tailored to your hotel’s needs. For those unable to attend the San Diego summit, there are others planned in Berlin and Bangkok for 2020 as well.

Future Guest Experience

When: September 28-29

Where: Las Vegas

Future Guest Experience is one of the top hospitality technology conferences in the industry, touching on food services, lodging, travel and entertainment. Today’s consumers are increasingly tech-oriented, and meeting their expectations can dictate your hotel’s success. The program shares research-guided content and provides a window into the latest trends and solutions, including A.I., voice assistants, IoT, design and more. The conference promises to be very interactive, with 15 hours of discussions, creative think tanks, roundtables and networking opportunities over the course of two days. Speakers have not yet been released, but in the past have been experts in data, customer engagement, guest experience optimization and emerging technologies.

Hotel Experience (HX)

When: November 8-9

Where: New York City

We’ve highlighted HX in the past, as it is one of the most important hospitality events of the year. Hotel Experience's 2020 program will be even more comprehensive thanks to a partnership with AAHOA. There is truly something for everyone, with six categories of content: Food & Beverage, Leadership, Technology, Development, Finance and Operations. In addition to 35 formal events and speakers, the conference offers top-notch networking opportunities - including the show’s first-ever Young Professionals Reception held at nearby YOTEL New York. An expansive exhibit floor provides a look at the latest trends and innovations in the industry. Complimentary access to the Boutique Design Trade Fair, another worthwhile event located in the same building, is included for all attendees.