Digitalization in a virtual way: HITT 2020 – The entire programme

Digitalization in a virtual way: HITT 2020 – The entire programme

(May 1, 2020). Done! Our programme for the 3rd HospitalityInside Think Tank (HITT) is now adapted to the first virtual edition of this event. The entire programme for June 23 can be found here online – and you can also book it starting today! The event will be a digital edition held in English, which allows people from non-German-speaking countries to participate. A well-orchestrated digital conference guided by the seasoned moderator Tim Davis from London awaits you.

The word “corona” will not be included, but both impulse generators and their topics will touch it. After all, we are all moving towards “new norms” at high speed: in the operating models of both established and young chains, in personalised customer journeys and with respect to generating a customised service quality. Much of this is probably controlled by AI, artificial intelligence.

The virtual format of HITT 2020 can at least avoid travel restrictions and other uncertainties. Accordingly, our online conference will save Tom Seddon, our AI expert from Washington D.C., from getting on a plane. Originally, he was supposed to speak at the start of the think tank, but now, due to the time difference, he will be the highlight at the end. He got to know the hotel industry through IHG and the world of service through Subway … In his fifties, he decided to do a turnaround and studied data science, and now he is chasing promising ideas with his Foundry AI software company around the globe, among other things … At HITT, he will report on how AI can help to make decisions in these unpredictable times.

AI – new norms and varying operating models

With this, his impulse is virtually closing in on the first impulse, in which Tim Davis speaks not as a moderator but as a technology consultant about the “new norms” that are now changing our competitive environment.

After that, things will be more precise and pragmatic, just as the participants had hoped for in their feedback on HITT 2019. We will have discussions with large chains and small, younger ones, each represented by two hoteliers: Duncan O’Rourke, COO Central Europe Accor, and Caroline van Beesten, VP Technology Service Hilton, as well as Michael Struck, CEO Ruby Hotels, and Jens Gmiat, COO Zoku. Where do multi-brand companies see their greatest digital opportunities? What influence does the customer experience already have on the operating models of smaller brands?

Digitalization drives retail … Retail drives hospitality

Next up, we go on with the most hotly discussed topic of last year’s HITT: retail – an industry whose foundations are currently being shaken by the coronavirus just as much as in the hospitality industry. And this applies to changes on the real estate side as well as in dealing with customers. The ECE Group, a subsidiary of the Otto Group Hamburg, invests in and operates mega shopping malls, for example. And in the future, these will also work via their digital twin… That sounds a lot like a high-speed revolution. The driving force behind it is ECE Managing Director Dr. Volker Kraft.

His contribution is a direct link to Langham Hospitality and Sabre Hospitality Solutions. The two got together via a “hospitality retail” tool: Sabre programmed it, Langham was the test pilot. In the meantime, Accor has also docked with Sabre in terms of technology. This tool enables the hotel to sell every single feature and service individually or as added value. A new revenue generator.

It is not without reason that HITT 2020 is titled Boost Your Service Delivery. Bring your Hotels to Life in a Digital World”.

The frame, programme and rates

In other words, great topics that already show a way into the future in a more concrete fashion – factually, objectively, from multi-facetted perspectives, and hopefully in an entertaining way: We have limited the individual impulses to a maximum of 30 minutes and we will also break up this half hour – just like the breaks – again with video recordings, photos, surveys and statements. We don’t want it to get boring, for after two months of corona, we are all sick and tired of webinars. Entertainment on the screen will be a new challenge … We are working on it!

RATES: HITT 2020 starts at 9.30 am (CET) and ends at 4.00 pm (CET). The participation fee is 320 euros (net) and will be reduced by 40 euros to 280 euros for early bookers until June 1, 2020. HospitalityInside subscribers will benefit from a 50-euro discount just as HITT participants from 2019 and 2018 (discounts add up).

Last minute – a hybrid HITT?

As we know that a digital conference can never replace a personal encounter, not to speak of the unique spirit of the event ship, we are happy to try the following – always provided it complies with the “coronavirus constraints”: When registering, you tell us the city you would like to be in in order to follow the event in a hotel conference room together with other HITT participants. This will be a last-minute decision, but it would certainly be interesting to realise a hybrid think tank.

Please call us or mail us if you have questions. We are looking forward to you and the discussions that will lead us into the time after corona in a good fashion.

Michael Willems, Managing Director, Phone: +49 821 885880 20, michael[at]