The hotel conference calendar seems endless every year. There are hundreds of events for hospitality operators, owners, and brands around the globe. You could spend every week attending a new event, but frankly, most of us should just pick a few of the best conferences and spend most of our time building our businesses.
So what are the best hotel events to attend?
I’ve participated in dozens of hotel conferences and tradeshows around the world as an attendee, speaker, and exhibitor, and have a short list of favorite events I recommend now for hospitality professionals.
Here are my top 10 hotel conference suggestions for 2023, in order of when they take place throughout the year:
Let’s take a look at each one in a little more depth:
ITB: March in Berlin
One of the biggest industry tradeshows in the world, ITB typically attracts more than 100,000 hospitality and travel industry professionals from around the globe each March.
Skift Future of Lodging Forum: March in London
I attended the Future of Lodging Forum last year for the first time and it was the best event I had been to in a long time. To me, it showed what’s possible when you throw out the traditional template for events and do things that just make sense, like starting programming at noon, having 20-minute sessions, and putting conversation topics on cups during networking. The Skift team crushed it and I can’t wait for the next edition.
International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF): May in Berlin
This event used to be co-located in Berlin with ITB but is now taking place in May (arguably a better time to visit Berlin). The event focuses on investment deals, but I appreciate the breakout sessions focused on trends and opportunities in hospitality.
NYU Hospitality Investment Conference: June in New York
The NYU Hospitality Investment Conference is another can’t-miss event for investors, operators, and brands. Similar to IHIF but with a US focus, NYU features panels with a who’s who of hotel executives as well as smaller breakout sessions on topics such as operations, technology, design, and marketing.
HITEC: June in Toronto
HITEC is one of the biggest hotel technology tradeshows and a can’t-miss event for anyone working in and around hospitality today.
HSMAI’s Commercial Strategy Week: June in Toronto
Co-located each year with HITEC and formerly two separate events (The Revenue Optimization Conference – ROC – and the Marketing Strategy Conference), HSMAI’s new combined Commercial Strategy Week reflects the convergence of marketing, revenue optimization, and other commercial functions into new and evolving commercial strategy organizations inside many hotel companies.
Hotel Data Conference: August in Nashville
The Hotel Data Conference focuses on trends and stats, yes, but also on how to turn data into insights for action. I find this event to attract a very thoughtful, engaged audience of hoteliers each year. The setting in Nashville and proximity to live music isn’t bad either!
The Lodging Conference: September in Phoenix
Each Fall, The Lodging Conference brings together some of the hotel industry’s most influential owners, operators, presidents, CEOs, investors, and dealmakers in a casual resort environment to strategize about development, finance, franchising, management, construction, design, and operations.
Skift Global Forum: September in New York
As you may expect from the Skift team, their flagship event each year attracts the top leaders in travel and hospitality. They usually host these events in creative venues and their attention to detail at each step of the process makes them thought-provoking and inspiring.
Independent Lodging Congress
“The Congress started with the idea of inspiring and being inspired,” founder Andrew Benioff told me. Andrew sees the Congress as a series of conversations where participants can learn from each other, both from our speakers on stage or those off stage and just sitting and having a drink. “I find it fascinating that people come in and the conversations we have and what we learn from them. That’s why we do it.”
The Congress has multiple events planned for 2023:
- February 7th-8th – South Congress Hotel, Austin TX
- April 26th-27th – The Maven, Denver, CO
- July 12th – 13th – NYC (TBD Location)
- October – West Coast (TBD Location)