15 Must-Attend Hotel Conferences for Industry Professionals in 2018

As we charge ahead toward 2019, the world of hotel properties is as dynamic as it’s ever been. From new technologies to the changing expectations driving the guest experience, group business, and event sales, properties need to keep their collective fingers on the pulse of the industry to stay ahead. Below, we’ve rounded up the top hotel...

As we charge ahead toward 2019, the world of hotel properties is as dynamic as it’s ever been. From new technologies to the changing expectations driving the guest experience, group business, and event sales,  properties need to keep their collective fingers on the pulse of the industry to stay ahead. Below, we’ve rounded up the top hotel conferences where property owners and executives can explore innovative solutions to the challenges that are sure to dictate RevPAS in 2018.

Be sure to budget for these top hotel conferences in the year ahead.

30th Annual Hunter Hotel Conference

March 21 -23 | Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Long recognized as one of the nation’s top hotel conferences, the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference is celebrating its 30th iteration this spring. Over 1,500 key hotel owners and leading industry influencers will join together from a broad range of organizations, for expert panels, respected speakers, and unique networking opportunities. Plus, don’t miss Finance Friday — an entire day dedicated to hotel financing and raising equity.

BD West – A Boutique Design Trade Fair

April 4 – 5 | Los Angeles Convention Center

BD West is a new generation of trade fair that educates attendees through interaction, giving them the opportunity to find out what’s on clients’ minds and maximize their networks. This gathering of principals, project designers, hoteliers, and investors incorporates leading voices on the client side of the table so that properties can adjust to shifting priorities, increases in third-party commissions, and the reasons behind those shifts and increases.

Chicago Hotel Investment Summit

April 11 | Chelsea Ballroom at the Langham Chicago

Chicago’s hotel market has boomed since the recession with record growth in supply and demand, thanks to a diverse demand base that is strong in leisure, corporate, and convention business. As a result, the Chicago hotel landscape has emerged with innovative products and first-of-its-kind brands. CHIS explores what’s in store for hotel performance in 2018, exploring several data points that perhaps indicate the boom has reached its peak.

Cornell Hospitality Thought Leadership

April 26 | Arent Fox Washington DC 

The Cornell School of Hotel Administration will present two outstanding panels in Washington, DC covering two timely, top-of-mind topics in the industry. In the first, a panel of law experts will discuss how to create an organizational culture that battles sexual harassment, diving into the obligation of hospitality employers to train, react, and investigate. In the second, a panel of owners, operators, intermediaries, and brands will dive into the evolution of hotel branding in the digital age. Over 100 alumni and members of the hospitality industry are expected to attend.

International Hotel Technology Forum

May 15 – 17 | Barcelona, Spain

Over the course of 3 days, attendees of IHTF will hear over 50 presenters tackle some of the most pressing issues facing a rapidly-changing industry. Delegates will take part in an interactive experience of workshops, debates, round-tables, case studies and interviews split across two focuses: technology issues and sales and marketing. Alongside these learning opportunities, delegates and suppliers will have the opportunity to attend a series of pre-scheduled business meetings where hoteliers are matched with top solution providers.

The Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

June 6 | The Times Center NYC

Business professionals in the boutique and lifestyle sector of hospitality need a deep understanding of the investment landscape to thrive. This conference hosted by the BLLA arms developers with facts, figures and a compelling presentation for potential investors, lenders or equity partners — all by bringing together top players in the industry to share their insights as panelists and keynote speakers. Properties will be given the tools to maneuver the complex, exciting world of boutique hotels and build a network for innovation and support.

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Revenue Strategy Summit 2018

July 10 | The Newseum Washington, DC

At this conference for hotel professionals, hoteliers and industry thought leaders will come together to identify the major trends transforming hospitality and share best practices for facing them. RSS 2018 combines educational sessions, networking and the presentation of new research to forward-thinking hotel brand executives, ownership groups, management companies, and asset managers. Over 300 hotel innovators and thought leaders are projected to participate.

Future Hotels 2018

July 11 – 13 | New York City

5,000 United States Hotel projects are currently planned amounting to 600,000 guest rooms, which means there’s no better time for hotel operators, REITs, developers, architects and suppliers to discuss trends across development and design. The hotel conference will explore how these stakeholders can cater to sophisticated guests by providing exceptional environments, cultures, and technologies through superior collaboration.

The Lodging Conference

September 24 – 27 | Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa

The Lodging Conference has sold out for the last five iterations with a whopping attendance of 1800+ in 2017. The hotel industry’s most influential owners, operators, presidents, CEOs and dealmakers will join to strategize about development, finance, franchising, management, construction, design, and operations. Considered more than just a conference, this think tank gives all attendees the opportunity to join in the conversation and discuss the relevant issues in a rapidly-changing industry.

Direct Booking Summit Americas

October 3 – 4 | Dallas, TX

The industry’s largest event series dedicated to direct bookings will take place in Dallas this fall. Delegates will take part in over 25 talks, panels, and workshops, including case-study based learning opportunities from the world’s leading hoteliers. The event also includes unique networking access to DBS’ hand-picked solution providers and an after-party with a reputation as big as the event itself.

The Annual Hotel Conference

October 10 – 11 | Manchester Hilton Hotel, UK

Running for the 15th year and attracting 900+ delegates with each iteration, the AHC is considered the leading event for the UK hotel industry. An acclaimed program of world class keynote speakers, engaging presentations by industry leaders, interactive workshops, debates and panel discussions will impart delegates with innovative insights from senior leaders in the industry. This year’s “Innovate to Elevate” theme will bring together hoteliers, owners, operators and managers as well as investors, developers, designers, architects, consultants, tourism leaders and a regional tourist board.

IMEX America

October 16 -18 | Sands Expo Las Vegas

With group business becoming an ever-growing piece of the property success puzzle, it’s more important than ever for hotels to keep up with the changing world of incentives travel, meetings, and events. At IMEX 2018, delegates will experience the cutting-edge of events education, learn how the world of business events is rapidly shifting to a landscape of experiences, and find out what their properties can do to keep up and attract group business.

The Hotel Experience: Rooms to Restaurants

November 11 – 12 | Jacob J. Javits Convention Center NYC

HX is the largest hospitality show in North America, giving attendees a 360° impression of the guest experience. The event caters to hotel owners, GMs, and hospitality property executives from casinos and resorts, independent and branded hotels, management and purchasing companies, military base lodging, and beyond. From customer-facing innovations to back-of-the-house technologies, the conference covers all of the hospitality trends that properties need to care about in the year ahead.


November 13 | New York City

The TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR is a series of one-day conferences around the world for industry leaders in the world of hospitality.  Focused almost entirely on networking, the conference is tailored to make it easy to meet all fellow attendees in one day. Delegates will create longstanding relationships for their respective properties, and enjoy a range of topics covered by respected keynote speakers — from hotel development and innovations to analyses of local markets.

Have you attended a great hotel conference in the past that we left off of this list? Let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to add it!


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