Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Wolfe

Frank I. Wolfe

CEO, Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals

Frank I. Wolfe, CAE is CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), which produces the largest hospitality technology conference in the world - HITEC (Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference). Every other year at HITEC, HFTP reveals an updated version of GUESTROOM 20X, a hands-on exhibit that displays new and futuristic technologies for the hotel guestroom. Mr. Wolfe, along with an Advisory Council comprised of industry experts, search the globe looking for technologies that could improve the guest's experience at a hotel. The 2010 version took lead with travelers' increased use of personal electronic devices and the Internet as a central resource for entertainment and information. Some technologies featured include a cell phone application that unlocks the guestroom door with a unique audible signal, integrated environmental room controls via touch screens that include Internet access; a canopy bed with an all-in-one multi-media experience; a bathroom mirror that broadcasts the day's weather, news and health data; and much more. Mr. Wolfe joined HFTP in 1991 and has been at the helm since 1994. At that time, he was one of the youngest association CEOs in North America. In 2000, Mr. Wolfe was honored by Lodging Magazine by being included in the “75 Profiles in Leadership” edition, a who's who of 75 individuals who have made major contributions to the hospitality industry. In 2002, Mr. Wolfe received the HFTP Paragon Award for his significant and lasting contributions to HFTP and the hospitality industry. In 2010 he was recognized as a "Technology Trailblazer" by Hotel Business Magazine. In June 2011, Mr. Wolfe was inducted into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame for his leadership with various hospitality technology projects, as well as assisting in educating the industry, over the past 20 years. Mr. Wolfe frequently speaks on hospitality finance, technology, social media, travel issues, and meetings industry topics to varied audiences and has presented in more than 20 countries. He has appeared on several television network interviews and programs including CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, TVAsia, and Bloomberg TV. Mr. Wolfe is also a frequent author and has been published in publications throughout the world. Mr. Wolfe currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Finance Committee of the Texas Society of Association Executives, and the Dean's Advisory Board at the Conrad Hilton College at the University of Houston. He has been an instructor for the Academy of Assn. Management on topics including education, association law, finance and technology.

Mr. Wolfe can be contacted at 512-249-5333 or frank.wolfe@hftp.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.