15 Best Hospitality Trade Shows and Events
Do you know what new innovation is sweeping the hospitality industry off its feet?
Are you aware of what exciting technology your competition is using to wow their guests?
No? Then you must not be regularly attending trade shows.
These events are an excellent means of staying current within any industry.
To stay relevant, you need to be aware of where your industry is heading. Take a weekend to immerse yourself in the latest and greatest new ideas and cutting-edge inventions, while networking and creating valuable connections with vendors and fellow industry professionals.
We’ve put together a list of the 15 top annual hotel trade shows with a synopsis of what they cover and where they’re happening in the world.
Whether you are part of a big chain or a small boutique hotel, if you’re part of the industry, there’s something here for you.
1. HD Expo and Conference
Where: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV
When: Annual event in spring
The HD Expo is an annual event showcasing the latest products, services and developments in the hospitality industry.
Topics range from food and wellness to economic outlooks on investment opportunities. Anyone in the hotel industry will leave with a much broader understanding of the hotel experience.
You’ll leave with ideas of what new products or ideas there are to enhance your guests’ experience.
There’s even an app available for download that attendees can use to get the most out of this hospitality expo.
2. Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Supply Show of the Southeast
Where: Myrtle Beach, SC
When: Held annually in January
For over 40 years, this hospitality trade show has connected hoteliers with the providers of products and services they need. The show provides access to the latest innovations and one-time “showroom floor” savings.
View over 300 exhibits on all things hospitality — from food to furnishings. It’s a worthwhile experience for those curious about what’s available.
Admission to this trade fair is free for industry professionals.
Because this is an expo only, there is no remote attendance.
Planning an event of your own? Read: Hotel Packages for Businesses [Meetings and Conferences]
3. International Hospitality Investment Forum
Where: Berlin, Germany
When: Held annually in March
Calling all investors, owners and developers!
The International Hospitality Investment Forum bills itself as “the meeting place of hospitality innovators and game-changers.”
This international hotel conference allows for networking, learning and connecting with investors. Hospitality professionals can also scope out educational sessions and see what’s happening globally.
You’ll enjoy a full schedule, with hundreds of high-profile speakers like Google in attendance. Attendees can even take advantage of morning yoga before hearing presentations.
4. No Vacancy Hotel & Accommodation Expo
Where: Sydney, Australia
When: An annual event held in September
This international trade and lodging conference takes place over two days. Hotel owners attending get an opportunity to learn about new big developments in the industry, and gain exposure to top brands and products.
As their website states:
“Maximize occupancy, increase revenue, optimize operations, enhance your property and guest experience, discover new products and services, make new connections, and access the best education in the industry, for free!”
There’s an educational component centered around industry insight and networking opportunities as well.
Currently, this is an in-person event only.
5. GBTA Convention
Where: San Diego, CA
When: An annual summer conference
The GTBA Convention has been an annual event for over 50 years.
Attendees of this conference will get the chance to “Reconnect, Reimagine and Recreate.”
GBTA is an excellent resource for those in the hospitality industry who cater mainly to traveling workers. The conference touches on all aspects of business travel, from the current needs and standards to what the future holds.
Recent topics include:
- The state of the industry
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
- Wellness and balance
Those who attend gain insight and a data-generated forecast on future industry-related trends. Even if your hotel doesn’t primarily serve a business traveler audience, attending is a great way to learn about this segment of travelers and how to increase revenue by marketing toward them.
6. International Hotel Technology Forum
Where: Austria, Vienna
When: Held annually in the spring
This event brings management companies, hoteliers, OTAs and solution providers together.
Anyone in the industry will benefit from learning from one another and staying ahead of the curve. This conference centers around how technology enhances the guest experience, operational efficiency and profitability.
Hear leading trade experts discuss different industry-related topics.
The agenda combines speakers on topics such as:
- Integrated Payment Solutions that Enhance Guest Journeys
- The Power of a Platform: Why Hotel Groups Should Invest in a Platform, Not a System
Expect business meetings, panel discussions, coffee breaks and networking drinks between speakers.
This hotel show is a must for hotel management interested in learning more about new technology developments.
In-person attendance is currently the only attendance option available.
7. Independent Hotel Show
Where: Miami, FL
When: An annual event held early in November
Hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center, this curated event targets luxury and boutique hotels.
Gain design inspiration and learn to integrate practicality with beauty through curated exhibits. You’ll also get a chance to connect with leading technology suppliers.
The event website states:
“We deliver aspirational content alongside practical solutions, as well as facilitating those unanticipated connections that will transform your business.”
Prior to 2022, the event was hosted in Europe only.
8. Hotel Data Conference
Where: Nashville, TN
When: Held in August, annually
This conference is for those interested in data.
Attendees get the chance to source the latest information, analysis, strategies and best practices.
Those participating learn:
- How to think differently about data
- What data-related trends are worth keeping an eye on
- How to apply newfound knowledge, integrating it into daily operations
Sessions and topics, such as the “Macroeconomic Overview,” inform those attending how trends could affect them. Hear leaders from other travel industries (e.g., cruise and airline) discuss their unique challenges and how they’re overcoming them.
The event also includes “Bourbon with the Bosses,” a happy hour where attendees can meet and speak directly with many top executives in the hotel industry.
9. HX: The Hotel Experience
Where: New York City, NY
When: An annual event held in the fall
This event is for owners, executives, directors, general managers, design firms, procurement teams and developers in the hospitality and food service space.
As the organizers state, “HX is where trends, tech and ops seamlessly merge.”
Besides networking opportunities, you have the option to attend plenty of seminars to help you build practical knowledge about the industry.
Some examples of topics include:
- Top 5 Things Event Planners Want in Your Hotel
- Hotel Guest Experience in the Age of Disruption
- Service Robots in the Hotel Industry
Walk through exhibits showcasing operating supplies, equipment and management solutions that improve profitability.
As of now, this is an in-person event. However, webinars from the 2021 conference are available on their website.
10. Boutique Design New York
Where: New York City, NY
When: An annual event held in the fall
According to organizers, this event offers the opportunity to:
“Immerse yourself in the products, projects and personalities that define the hospitality boutique and lifestyle segment. The fair’s design-focused product selection, robust conference program, and signature on-floor Designed Spaces creates a productive experience for hospitality designers and specifiers — one that combines ease of doing business with endless inspiration.”
This event gives attendees a chance to:
- Hear what industry leaders have to say
- See and touch inventive new furnishings, textiles, lighting and other design elements
- Browse a range of exhibitors
This is an in-person-only event as of right now.
You may also like: An Insider’s Guide to New York City
11. Independent Hotel Show
Where: London, England
When: Held annually in early October
This is the London version of the Independent Hotel Show, Miami.
The event is ideal for independent hoteliers and industry professionals. The show works to provide profitability and efficiency-driving solutions, supplying you with new ways to identify and embrace key trends before the competition does.
Attendees can visit the “Concept Lab” to see what new ideas and training opportunities are available. You can network in a space dubbed “The Lobby” and see what’s new on the tech frontier by visiting the “Tech Solutions Bar.”
12. Hospitality Leadership and Design Conference
Where: Singapore – New York – Dubai
When: held in fall and winter, depending on location
This conference is for those interested in all of the opportunities within the hospitality industry.
It takes place in different hospitality hotspots around the world and is meant for those at the organization’s senior-level — people interested in seeing what the future of the hospitality industry holds and participating in shaping it.
The goal is to provide a space where owners and operators, designers, analysts and suppliers can gather to discuss the future of hospitality leadership and design.
13. The Lodging Conference
Where: Phoenix, AZ
When: Held annually in September
The Lodging Conference has taken place annually for almost three decades.
It is intended for hotel owners, operators, presidents and CEOs, investors and others in the investment and franchise realm.
Participants enjoy opportunities to rest and play as well as network and learn. Mornings start with attendees’ choice of pickleball, hiking or yoga.
The panel events center around current industry trends and what the Hotel of Tomorrow looks like, from changing guest expectations to post-pandemic opportunities.
There are also networking opportunities at the end of the day during the scheduled happy hour.
14. ILTM North America
Where: Riviera Maya, Mexico
When: Held annually in September
As stated on their website:
“Whether North America’s HNW travelers are your personal clients or potential customers, our Riviera Maya-based show is the ultimate marketing and sales opportunity in paradise.
Highly curated meetings with the region’s most exclusive and sought-after travel designers, who’s who in luxury media and the world’s finest hospitality brands.”
If you want to get to know the real movers and shakers in the industry, ILTM is the show for you. Gain new business, build connections and get inspired by what other industry professionals are doing.
15. Business Travel Lodging Summit America
Where: New York City, NY
When: Hosted annually in September
This event is designed for corporate travel buyers. While travel managers are its main audience, it could be valuable for hospitality professionals to attend too. You can connect with travel coordinators and learn more about their needs and how to cater to them.
The fast rise of remote working has affected business travel in a big way. The Business Travel Lodging Summit looks at the potential impacts these changes pose.
It is a one-day, in-person event. But if you can’t make the Summit, they offer webinars throughout the year on various industry-related topics.
Regardless of which you attend, you’ll leave any of these events with new knowledge and inspiration.
Getting the chance to network and learn from industry leaders and decision-makers is an excellent way to stay current. It’s always beneficial to see what’s hot and what new technologies are available for those in the hospitality industry.
Checking out what’s new in the industry can lead directly to more travelers checking in to your property.
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