HITEC – preparation is critical

Need I remind anyone that HITEC is only two weeks away? This year in HFTP’s home city of Austin, it promises to be bigger than ever, with all the usual impossible challenge of trying to cover everything in only three days. Whether you’re looking for new systems and vendors to see where the industry might be going or checking in with established contacts to see what new enhancements they have, the two critical parts of pre-event planning haven’t changed at all. They are:
1. Go through the HITEC Web site and floor plan now (http://www.hftp.org/explore-hitec/floorplan_2015/) to identify which vendors are highest on your priority list, where to find them and how to get from one to the next. Despite our annually unrealistic hopes and efforts we can never see all the booths with anything like enough time to understand what the vendors are offering. After you’ve checked off your top priority list, then you can wander the aisles looking for the new and unexpected. There’s always something fascinating and thought-provoking, but look for it only after you’ve covered your main reasons for going.
2. Make appointments with every vendor contact you want to talk to. Their time is in incredibly high demand every year, and without an appointment you have zero chance of finding the person you really want to see. They may not even be on the floor; several vendors have conference rooms in the Convention Center to offer a quieter, more focused environment than the zoo of the booths. Make sure that the vendor’s conference room is actually in the Center, though; while a hotel suite is always a nicer environment, the time you’ll spend getting to and from the hotel will take an extra 30 minutes out of your schedule, and when things are this tight very few can afford that.
What to look for this year? Mobility will probably still be the fastest-developing area, for both guest-facing and staff-oriented apps, and it’ll be fascinating to see who’s come up with innovative combinations of data and services in the most appealing way to become a new standard. Every vendor will certainly be offering a remotely-hosted configuration for its products, even those which aren’t natively designed for a cloud architecture, and of course data and personal information security is a never-ending field of change as black hats and vendors try to outwit each other. And even with only two weeks to go, we can never rule out some last-minute announcements of takeovers or vendor consolidation.
See you in Austin!

Leave a Reply