“We are extremely happy with the turnout and the amazing content that we were able to deliver to such a large crowd,” said Sarah Fults, President of HEDNA. “The success of the Austin Conference bodes well for the upcoming event we will be hosting this June in Lisbon, Portugal where we will tackle ‘a conversation with tomorrows guest’ – which is also the theme.”

Austin 2018 Conference takeaways and highlights included:

Current and relevant Data and Insights everywhere:

  • Keynote speaker, Harper Redd Harper, shared his insights on demystifying big data.
  • Justin Rao from HomeAway clarified the competition between VR and Hotels.
  • The fast-paced State of the Industry sessions portrayed and analyzed the different perspectives of distribution (Guest, Property, Distributor).

    Cutting Edge Technology and Innovation:

    • HEDNA’s first Hackathon proved that HEDNA can hack – generating compelling concepts over a weekend only.
    • The Innov8ters presented exciting new ideas and solutions challenging the status quo.
    • Blockchain technology has arrived in Hospitality through Payment and Digital Identity.

    Passionate debates included:

    • How Austin regulates the sharing economy without slowing down innovation
    • How soon until AI (artificial intelligence) applications replace humans?
    • Why is there still a reception in the hotel and what is the guest experience of the future?

    “I always clear my schedule to attend this conference,” said Chris Murdock, Director, Distribution Operations, AccorHotels. “The content was engaging and educational providing me and my company valuable insights and a clear advantage. Great Return on Investment.”

    The next HEDNA Global Distribution Conference will be held in Lisbon, Portugal from June 4 – 6, 2018 at the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel. Registration is set to open Spring 2018.

    About Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA)

    HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from the most influential companies in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1991, HEDNA’s mission is to be the leading global forum for advancing hospitality distribution through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Its vision calls for HEDNA to be known for creating an environment that fosters strategic collaboration toward business development in the global hospitality industry. For more, visit www.HEDNA.org.

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    Alan Young
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