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The Top Conferences Hotel Professionals Should Attend in 2020

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

women sitting in conference - blog post conferences hotel professionals should attend

Throughout 2020, 141,344 new hotel rooms are projected to open across the US, a 7.1% increase over the 131,972 rooms added in 2019. Whether or not you have a new property coming to your market, you will likely feel the competition growing throughout the industry as hotels worldwide continue to enhance their amenities, increase the functionality of their rooms, and innovate to attract the growing millennial market.

Your online reviews and rankings will reflect how your hotel stacks up against the rest, influencing consumer purchasing behavior, and ultimately impacting your hotel's bottom line. Attending a hospitality conference can be a great source of both inspiration and education, helping your business to take advantage of new trends, elevate your guest experience and your online reputation.

So, whether you are looking to drive more direct bookings or to replace the worn-out chairs in your lobby, grab a pen (or open Outlook), and add these top conferences hotel professionals should attend in 2020 to your calendar!

1. HSMAI Marketing Strategy Conference

Dates: January 22, 2020

Location: New York, NY

Why You Should Attend: HSMAI’s Marketing Strategy Conference is designed to ensure that hoteliers start their year off on the right foot. Keynote speakers and breakout sessions focus on new marketing developments that can assist your hotel in connecting with, tracking, and influencing consumers – both on and offline – to increase your direct bookings and drive more revenue. Targeting the right guest for your hotel is crucial for increasing occupancy, building loyalty, and enhancing your online reputation, and HSMAI makes sure that each attendee leaves with the tools, insights, and expertise to maximize their marketing efforts and drive sales in 2020.

Visit HSMAI to learn more.

2. HD Expo

Dates: May 5-7, 2020

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Why You Should Attend: From producing eye-catching advertising to ensuring a comfortable stay, hotel design plays an imperative role. Whether your business is planning a major remodel or upgrading a few furnishings, this is one of the best tradeshows and conferences hotel owners and operators can attend to learn about hospitality design trends and advances in functionality. With over 500 exhibitors and 30+ conference sessions curated by Hospitality Design magazine, you will certainly find the products and know-how to take your guest experience to the next level through functional design.

Visit HD Expo to learn more.

3. Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC)

Dates: June 15 - 18, 2020

Location: San Antonio, TX

Why You Should Attend: Technology has become increasingly important for hotels in both the workplace as well as attracting and retaining guests. HITEC brings together experts and exhibitors to provide hoteliers with information and products to create memorable guest experiences as well as providing their staff with the tools they need to thrive. Training sessions cover topics ranging from combating payment fraud to loyalty programs and online bookings to how changing technology impacts your front desk. The onsite expo allows you to connect with hospitality tech companies offering the latest innovations in TVs, amenities, phone systems, AI offerings, and so much more.

Visit the HITEC for additional information.


Dates: June 16-17, 2020

Location: San Antonio, TX

Why You Should Attend: Each year HSMAI, along with its preferred partner, IDeaS, hosts this can’t-miss hospitality conference focused on revenue management, bringing in more than 650 revenue, sales, marketing, and distribution professionals. Workshops and general sessions prepare attendees to anticipate and respond to critical trends facing the hospitality industry, align their sales, marketing, and revenue efforts, and to stay up to date on the new technology. In a nutshell, this conference helps your team maximize profits and increase guest satisfaction by offering the right room at the right cost to the right guest at the right time.

Visit HSMAI ROC to learn more.

5. Hotel Data Conference

Dates: August 12-14, 2020

Location: Nashville, TN

Why You Should Attend: At the Hotel Data Conference (HDC), STR and Hotel News Now team up to share the latest hospitality industry insights, and how your hotel can use this data to make better decisions. In addition to STR data presentations, general sessions, featuring more than 140 expert panelists, focus on industry outlooks as well as tips and trends on everything from guest loyalty to online distribution. HDC will provide brand executives, hotel owners, developers, operators, revenue managers, and pricing analysts with the data they need to stay ahead of the curve in 2020 and beyond.

Visit HDC to learn more.

6. Direct Booking Summit Americas

Dates: September 22-23, 2020

Location: San Diego, CA

Why You Should Attend: Whether part of an international chain or a boutique hotel, every property is striving to increase direct bookings, and for a good reason. When guests book direct, hotels receive a higher ADR, have access to more detailed guest information, and the guest is more likely to become a repeat client than one who booked through an OTA. Hosted by Triptease, the Direct Booking Summit offers keynotes, conversations, and workshops to provide hoteliers with actionable takeaways to boost direct booking through revenue management, e-commerce, marketing, reservations, and sales.

Visit Direct Booking Summit to learn more.

7. Explore

Dates: November, Date TBA

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Why You Should Attend: While increasing direct booking may be at the top of every hotel's to-do list, partnerships with OTAs are still proving to be an invaluable revenue driver for most hotels. Expedia’s Explore is one of the conferences hotel revenue, sales, and marketing managers can use to learn how to best leverage these partnerships to drive incremental business. In addition to sharing their latest innovations, the Expedia Group offers insights from their marketing, revenue management, and client support teams. In recent years, this event has expanded into two full days of educational workshops, general sessions featuring A-list speakers, and business updates to inspire and grow your business.

Visit Explore to learn more.

8. The Hotel Experience (HX)

Dates: November 8-9, 2020

Location: New York, NY

Why You Should Attend: Design, food and beverage, and technology are all crucial components of your guest experience, and the HX Conference and Expo is one of the most comprehensive hotel conventions for sourcing the latest in hospitality trends and offerings. Additionally, educational sessions focusing on leadership, technology, F&B, development, finance, and planning for internal events like housekeeping appreciation week are available for attendees, as well as networking opportunities. For those looking to lead the hospitality industry and create an experience that will stay at the forefront of consumer’s minds, this hospitality conference and convention truly covers all the bases.

Visit HX Expo to learn more.

Deciding Which Conferences Hotel Professionals Should Prioritize

While every hotelier has a long wish list of projects they would love to accomplish, you can use your online reviews to help you pinpoint the most relevant areas of opportunity. If your hotel subscribes to reputation management software such as BrandGain or TrustYou, you can use their sentiment analysis reports to help you narrow this down, or you can read through your past reviews to identify trends.

Once you have a list of the key concerns impacting your guests and business, consider which conferences hotel professionals gravitate towards might best benefit your team and how this will fit into your budget. Keep in mind that the positive ROI from attending should more than cover the cost of the conference.

Investing in learning new skills and staying on top of trends can help your business remain competitive as the hospitality industry continues to evolve. If you are looking for tailored strategies that allow your company to stand out online, we invite you to contact us via our secure contact form or by calling 855-979-6800 to learn how a reputation management plan can revolutionize your success in 2020.


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