Despite the recent international slump in general convention and tradeshow attendance, HFTP`s Annual Convention & Tradeshow last week, Oct. 17-20, in Phoenix, Ariz. had a full crowd with 585 attendees.
The attendance is right on mark with the association`s most recent Annual Convention & Tradeshows, which have been growing steadily in the past decade. Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals offered attendees a balance of professional continuing education, with unique social events that provided opportunities for networking, fun and relaxation. The tradeshow had 44 companies in 49 booths displaying their products and services geared toward the hospitality industry.
The education programming focused on professional development for convention attendees who were financial and technology professionals working in clubs, hotels, resorts, restaurants, casinos and other hospitality-related businesses.
“The balance of the subject matter was excellent,” said Thomas Steinberg, CPA, CHTP, CHAE, president and chief executive officer of Stonehill Systems Inc. and a member of the HFTP International Board of Directors. “It was a perfect combination of motivation training, management training and discussion of timely professional topics. All the courses that I attended were geared at the right professional level—not too basic and at the same time addressing the needs of a professional who may be knowledgeable, but may not be proficient in a specific area.”
For the first time ever, all four of the general sessions as well as the HFTP Annual Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon were broadcast live from Phoenix and were made available on the HFTP web site at www.hftp.org. This opportunity allowed those who could not attend to benefit from the interesting topics presented by professional speakers. Broadcast topics included, “I Can Do That!” with Suzie Humphreys; “Going Green - Save Your Energy” with Peter Noland; “The Impact of the Economy” with James Meek, CIMA; and “I`m Their Leader, So Where`d They Go?” with Larry Johnson, CSP.
“Thanks for the opportunity to watch the sessions from my desk here at work,” commented HFTP Member Dena Kemp, controller for Heron Creek Golf and Country Club after watching the opening session presented by Suzie Humphreys. “I thoroughly enjoyed [this] presentation ... the idea of being able to watch as it`s being presented is great.”
The concurrent sessions covered topics specifically related to the attendees` professions. The subjects included discussions on club taxation, hotel day audits, cash flow management, business risk management, club capital improvement, detecting fraud and more.
Besides the high-caliber education provided, attendees were treated to a live rodeo and country and western dance at the Corona Ranch on Thursday, Oct. 18. Other highlights included the installation of the 2001-2002 HFTP International Board of Directors at the Annual Business Meeting luncheon; and the installation of the 2001-2002 Executive Committee at the, space-themed President`s Evening dinner and dance.
The 2002 HFTP Annual Convention & Tradeshow will be held Oct. 23-26 at the Renaissance Hotel in Austin, Texas. HFTP is planning an extra-special event in celebration of its 50th anniversary next year.