2016 Middle East Conference Agenda


Times, speakers and content details are subject to change.
Unless otherwise noted, all sessions will be in Serdaal 1 and meals/breaks in Serdaal 2.

Tuesday, 10 May

15:00 - 19:30 

Registration Open
Serdaal Ballroom Foyer

18:00 - 19:30 

Welcome Reception - Tabletop Exhibits Open

Wednesday, 11 May

08:00 - 18:30

Registration Open
Serdaal Ballroom Foyer

08:00 - 09:00

Welcome Coffee - Tabletop Exhibits Open

09:00 - 09:20 

Welcome Remarks

Mike Blake - HTNG

09:20 - 10:05 

Travel's Innovation Imperative

Carol Bitter - Fahrenheit-212

Consistency and predictability used to be hallmarks for hotels. Travelers wanted to know what they were going to get. But today’s new generation of travelers are rewriting the rules of the game. They want to experience their destination with the intensity and curiosity of a tourist, but with the savvy and discernment of a local. They are seeking providers of experiences, not just services. To meet this need, hotels must take a new approach to innovation that is more nimble and entrepreneurial. In this session, Carol Bitter of Fahrenheit-212 will discuss how hotels can leverage their scale to deliver innovative new experiences that cater to the diverse expectations of today’s traveler.

10:05 - 10:15 

Sponsor Presentation - Interel

10:15 - 11:00 

Break Tabletop Exhibits Open

11:00 - 11:40 

Technology Enablers for Sustainable Operations

Hotels benefit in three ways when making their operations more sustainable. They improve guests’ image of the hotel, they usually save money and they actually help the planet. Technology’s role in this endeavor is growing, and this panel will discuss several examples of technology enablers for sustainable operations.

11:40 - 11:50 

Sponsor Presentation - Hexaware Technologies

11:50 - 12:30 

The Future of Hotel Meeting Space Technology

Ram Parimi - Social Tables

Learn about global trends and predictions for travel, meeting spaces and the hospitality industry and how tech impacts them all. Find out how properties and planners alike are experiencing a paradigm shift, from customization to the new tech renaissance and what you can do to make sure you're ready when these trends to take shape. 

12:30 - 12:35 

Sponsor Presentation - NEC Corporation

12:35 - 13:45 

Lunch Tabletop Exhibits Open

13:45 - 14:45

Hotel Asset Managers Speak Out

Hotel technology leaders are pulled in many directions, and one of the biggest pulls comes from owners through their asset managers. There is often a struggle between brand standards and value engineering, and working to consensus isn’t always pretty. In this session, we will hear from asset managers about the challenges and opportunities they face. This is the asset managers’ chance to let loose, and hoteliers, this is your chance to respond!

14:45 - 14:50

Sponsor Presentation - Aruba Networks

14:50 - 15:20

Securing the Payment Ecosystem 

Douglas Rice - Hospitality Technology Strategic Advisors

As the Payment Card Industry requirements continue to expand globally, fewer hotel companies are exempt from their reach or from the financial and reputational risks associated with breaches. But hotels can manage these risks and prevent most breaches by using best practices developed specifically for the industry along with commercial products designed around those best practices. This session will present the consensus of best practices for managing payment card data and how they are being used to reduce risk. It will offer practical insights for CIOs, IT practitioners and vendors operating in the payment space.

15:20 - 16:00

Break Tabletop Exhibits Open

16:00 - 16:40

The Cloud Imperative – Oracle's Perspective

Peter Agel - Oracle

Enterprises around the globe and across industries are actively transforming their businesses with cloud solutions. Cloud computing can help hospitality enterprises lower IT complexity and costs, increase agility, accelerate delivery of new services and enhance the customer experience. Get Oracle’s perspective on the cloud, the types of the cloud services that are available for enterprises, security, expandability, scalability and key considerations as hotels consider moving operational platforms to the cloud. Get insights from Oracle’s research on the technology experience guests seek today and see how cloud technologies can help you deliver these technology rich experiences.

16:40 - 17:30

Rethinking Guest-Facing Technology

Guest-facing technology is far from a new discussion. Some initiatives have been successful; others have failed. And guest expectations change faster than we can adapt. This panel will take a fresh look at the state of guest-facing technology and where as an industry we are headed in the coming years.

17:30 - 20:00

Reception and Dinner - Tabletop Exhibits Open

20:00 - 22:00

Post-Dinner Reception
Barasti Beach

Thursday, 12 May

08:00 - 15:00 

Registration Open
Serdaal Ballroom Foyer

08:00 - 09:00 

Welcome Coffee - Tabletop Exhibits Open

09:00 - 9:50

Using Technology to Protect Your Hotel

As technologists, we’re not used to making life or death decisions. And, until recently, physical security was not the responsibility of CIOs. But times are changing. As hoteliers, nothing is more important than the safety of our guests and staff. This session will explore the ways that technology is playing a role in physical security and life safety and prepare you for this new responsibility.

09:50 - 10:00

Sponsor Presentation - Huawei

10:00 - 10:45

Using Targeted Marketing Campaigns for Tomorrow's Revenue Management

What type of guest would you rather welcome to your hotel; one that pays a 250 euro room rate, books through an OTA and does not spend any additional money or a guest who books direct at a 175 euro rate but enjoys your spa, dines in your restaurant and uses your room service?

In this session Michael McCartan from Duetto and Maarten Plesman from Revinate discuss how hotels can use guest knowledge and targeted marketing campaigns to attract the most profitable guest to your hotel and convert them for the lowest possible cost.

10:50 - 11:30 

Break Tabletop Exhibits Open

11:30 - 12:25 

IT Leadership Panel

Top-level hotel IT executives will share how they see technology evolving in hotels in coming years. The panel will also discuss their biggest challenges, issues and concerns.

12:25 - 12:30 

Closing Remarks

Mike Blake - HTNG

12:30 - 14:00 

Closing Lunch Tabletop Exhibits Open