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October 23rd 2014 | Carl Weldon, HOSPA CEO, previews HOSPACE 2014

Panel Carl Weldon, HOSPA CEO, previews HOSPACE 2014, which is set to look forwards and upwards from a hand-picked set of perspectives.

The latest data and word on the street suggest that 2014 is a good year for both London and the provinces (double digit growth to August!) and PWC is set to make its most positive forecast for 2015 in years. Coffer Peach is expected to make a similarly positive prediction for the retail side of F&B.

So what are industry leaders thinking in this new environment? What are they focusing on without the word recession to darken the discussion? Are they investing? If so in what? New businesses? New brands? New and better technology for their guests? Employing more staff?

Attendees of HOSPACE 2014 can hear the answers - and pose questions - first hand under the expert chairmanship of Peter Hancock, CEO, Pride of Britain, who received excellent reviews from attendees last year.

We’ll be getting into some serious debate about the challenges facing the commercial areas of the sector, with two HOSPA spotlight sessions.

First we will look at Big Data, a name I don’t really like as it sounds a bit Star Wars. Let’s call it …”getting the most out of your own information” or “how do you obtain insights from what you already have?” There are of course some challenges here in terms of where and what your data is and how to collate it. That’s where IT comes in. What BI or OLAP to use. Integrating the data.

What you do with it next will probably depend on whether you are in Finance or Revenue Management. 

Finance will be looking for trends and information primarily on cost. Cost bases and purchasing trends can be analysed to help remove or negotiate down, not to mention the increased window on fraud.

Revenue Management will be looking at guest behaviours in terms of booking patterns, guest spend patterns, and booking channel behaviour.

Can these live together in the same databases? What are other industries doing? We’ll be hearing from Big Data specialists with input from large retail companies such as HP and hotel companies such as InterContinental Hotels Group. Let’s find out if we can all mine our data more effectively. What can we learn from the OTA’s and how they use their Data trends to better target business?

The second HOSPA Spotlight session is really a bit of a cheat…we wanted to cover a few new topics and eventually found a way to combine them, by talking about “the things that are or should be keeping us awake at night”.

We will start by thinking about “how to manage coming out of a recession” and how is it different to what we have been doing for six years. Then what about PCI compliance? The variable scary costs of utilities? Investing in new guest technology? Our panel will be based around our three HOSPA Community Leaders plus some hotel operators to keep it “real” and not too technical.

Details of the panellists and leaders will be announced in the next few weeks.

Spotlights aside, we have also invited Ufi Ibrahim of the BHA to talk to us and update us about the excellent initiative that is the Hospitality Industry Council and how the industry representatives are faring in their discussions with the government? We all need to understand what MAY come of this…

Then be prepared to enter the famous Educational Sessions Matrix of 21 sessions in three half-hour blocks of seven. These give you the opportunity to build your own programme. You can listen to vendors’ specialist updates, educational panels such as that on the new Uniform System of Accounting (released out into the wild this year) and a myriad other topics. 

We will also be providing delegates with technology in the form of the iRiS Delegate App, some great and latest digital signage and possibly a voting system!

If you are lucky enough to stay for the Gala Dinner and our little bit of entertainment then look forward to an excellent and classic hospitality industry evening.

Every exhibitor at HOSPACE has two invitations for the day to give away…so talk to your vendors first. If not there are special delegate offers. If you have more than five of your team..and what a great idea..bring the team with you to get the most of out everything that is HOSPACE 2014..then call the Membership and Events Office and we will sort you out a ‘Team Deal’. HOSPACE 2014 has a lot to offer, especially for HOSPA members.

On the day we will be Tweeting away on @HOSPATweets so you can interact with us whether you are there or not. And speaking of social media, we have some special competitions on the go where you could attend for free! Follow us, like us…join our Linkedin groups. We have over 14,000 following us on all platforms so join the community to join in the conversation.

Come and join in..learn and pick up what you don’t have time for in the normal day-to-day. It’s time to invest in your future. Get some Information, Education and hopefully some Inspiration!