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15 Must-Attend Hospitality Conferences for Industry Professionals in 2021

2020 was a really hard year for everyone — including those in the hospitality and events industries — and many businesses are just beginning to emerge with thoughts of “normalcy” in 2021. While many of 2020’s conferences and trade shows were canceled or postponed, 2021 is looking like it might be a bit more normal. While conferences may still look different (with lots of virtual and hybrid programming), expect to see many conferences back and ready to help hospitality professionals navigate the changing world of hospitality and tourism.

Read on for some of the top hospitality conferences that the year 2021 has to offer.

Add these top 2021 hospitality conferences to your calendar:

1. Cvent CONNECT

August 1-4 | Caesars Forum | Las Vegas, Nevada

Cvent CONNECT is a leading event technology, planning, and hospitality conference that brings together industry professionals to showcase the latest in technology and strategy. While Cvent pivoted to virtual for CONNECT 2020, they’re bringing attendees back to Vegas in person in 2021.

As the world moves towards recovery, Cvent CONNECT 2021 will usher in a new golden age of events as a re-imagined hybrid event experience that blends the best of in-person and virtual gatherings.

2. HSMAI ROC Americas

September 28-29 | Dallas, Texas

HSMAI ROC, which has been around for almost 20 years, focuses on hotel revenue optimization. It features over 650 industry professionals who come together to address current trends affecting hotels. This year, HSMAI will co-locate the program and associated roundtables in Dallas, in conjunction with HITEC.

“We look forward to welcoming industry revenue optimization professionals to Dallas along with HFTP as we bring the community together to lead the recovery,” said HSMAI President and CEO Robert A. Gilbert.

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3. The Americas Lodging Investment Summit

July 26-28 | JW Marriott/Ritz-Carlton L.A. Live| Los Angeles, California

The ALIS has been dubbed the “leading and largest hotel investment conference in the world,” according to its website. The 2021 installment will be the 20th annual conference, and definitely not one to miss. Around 3,000 industry leaders from throughout the globe attend each year, and C-suite speakers connect with attendees through talks about the latest industry trends. 

4. Hunter Hotel Investment Conference

May 10-12 | Location TBA

The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference has been recognized as a top hotel convention for over 30 years. Each year, more than 1,700 industry pros flock to the event 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.

5. International Hotel Technology Forum

April 27-28 | Virtual

IHTF will take place virtually in 2021, tackling the most pressing issues for the industry as it reacts to the global pandemic. The forum will bring together hoteliers, management companies, OTAs, and solution providers to discuss the learnings and challenges of 2020, as well as how technology is helping transform the hotel industry. Registrants receive access to a handful of assets and sessions, including thought-leadership presentations, live Q&As with industry experts, one-on-on group video chats, interactive polls, and downloadable resources.

6. The Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

June 2-3 | Virtual

This conference is designed to foster discussion between boutique hoteliers, investors, and other industry stakeholders. The primary focus is on learning the tools of the trade, hearing successful strategies, and getting an overview of what the market looks like, alongside the ability to network with potential clients, investors and collaborators. Industry professionals who purchase a ticket will receive access to the event app, the virtual “speed dating” platform, seven-day access to all content, and much more.

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7. Hotel Data Conference: Global Edition

March 25 | Virtual

The Hotel Data Conference focuses on the tools and strategies that hoteliers can use to take advantage of data, effectively putting numbers behind their hotel’s actions. This year, the event has expanded from the U.S. to the rest of the world and will be held virtually “with 12 straight hours of live, data-driven presentations and panels, kicking off in the Asia Pacific region and then ‘following the sun’ with stops in the Middle East, Europe and Central/South America before closing in North America.” 

8. Future Guest Experience

September 27-28 | Henderson, Nevada

At the Future Guest Experience convention, pros gather to discuss the changing hospitality industry and the evolving expectations of guests. Attendees will get actionable insights and tactics to use at their hotels, restaurants, casinos, and more.

“Join us for two days of action-packed stories, conversations and connections with the top minds in hospitality,” reads the conference’s website. “You’ll hear and meet C-suite, VPs, operations, technology, design and innovation spanning every hospitality category, with an emphasis on the trailblazers, visionaries and trendsetters that are changing the world with immersive experiences.”

9. HT-NEXT

December 13-16 | Fairmont Scottsdale Princess | Scottsdale, Arizona

In 2021, HT-NEXT presents HOTEL NEXT — a simulated hotel experience built for the “new normal, complete with operational areas like a lobby, guest room, back office, plus an exhibit hall, auditorium, and more.” The conference focuses on important industry topics such as touchless experiences, safety and cleanliness, data analytics, and more. You don’t want to miss out on this one.

10. The Lodging Conference

September 27-30 | JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort | Phoenix, Arizona

The Lodging Conference has been extremely popular for 25 years, and with good reason. It’s where some of the industry’s most influential leaders join to strategize about development, finance, franchising, management, construction, design, and operations. The event prides itself on being “more than just a conference,” but rather “a think tank where everybody in attendance has the opportunity to join in the conversation, discuss issues, and solve problems.”

11. Direct Booking Summit Americas

September 20-21 |Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina | San Diego, California

If your goal is to increase direct bookings, this is a hospitality conference for you. According to its website, “a packed agenda of keynotes, debates and workshops ensures delegates leave with plenty of fresh ideas on everything, from the opportunities that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic, to changes in guest booking behavior, and the changing landscape of OTAs.”

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12. Annual Hotel Conference (AHC)

November 22-23 | Manchester Central Convention Complex | Manchester, United Kingdom

The AHC has been around for nearly 20 years and remains committed to providing “hoteliers, owners, operators and managers as well as investors, developers, designers, architects, consultants, tourism leaders and regional tourist boards unrivaled practical knowledge, insight, debate and content to equip them for the new normal and help them return to business and deliver an even stronger, more profitable, more popular and more successful hospitality experience than before.” The conference boasts more than 1,000 attendees, 90 industry-leading speakers and features over 14 countries represented and 11 main plenary sessions.

13. The Hotel Show

May 31- June 2 | Dubai World Trade Centre | Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Hotel Show has been “driving and inspiring change in the industry” for over 20 years and features webinars, interviews, tutorials, and much more. The show brings together over 1,000 international and regional brands with products designed for the hospitality industry and offers over 30 hours of seminars, live competitions, and demonstrations.

14. National HR in Hospitality Conference

September 21-23 | Hotel Del Coronado | San Diego, California

The National HR in Hospitality Conference is different that most of the hospitality conferences on this list due to the fact that it brings together the legal and practical aspects of human resources within the hospitality industry. If you’re an HR professional working in hospitality, or need to network with and educate yourself about that side of the industry, this is the place for you.

15. HITEC Dallas

September 27-30 | Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center | Dallas, Texas

The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference prides itself on being the “world’s largest and oldest hospitality technology event.” The event offers attendees “essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines.”

Attend these hospitality conferences to grow your networking and professional development!

Prefer to look back on what we learned in 2020? Check out 8 of 2020’s most impressive examples of virtual events.

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