HX: Form follows function


AAHOA leaders shared industry wisdom at HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA


HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA and Emerald Expositions was co-located with BD|NY to bring the aesthetic and business sides of the hotel industry together at one massive conference in New York. The Javits Center was transformed into a trade show floor for vendors across the hospitality industry to meet and mingle.

The discussion panels provided a wealth of information. Panels such as We Said, They Said: What Hotel Owners and Designers Can Learn from – and Teach – Each Other on the BD|NY side provided varying perspectives of one process, such as designing a hotel.

“We will continue to work with design firms to ensure our hotels are unique,” AAHOA Secretary Nishant (Neal) Patel said.

AAHOA COO & VP of Franchise Relations Rachel Humphrey (second from right) discussed networking tips and opportunities during her panel.

Frantí is trained to sniff out and locate bed bugs. As demonstrated, Frantí could survey a property the size of the trade show floor in about 90 minutes – a task that would take a team of humans approximately five hours.

Other panels focused on what is usually considered the more “practical” side of the hotel business, such as Budgeting for New Development. AAHOA Treasurer Vinay Patel reminded hoteliers that new development is risky and planning is key, but to also expect the unexpected.

“When you dig, you never know what you’re going to get into,” Vinay Patel said.

Networking is valuable in any industry, so industry leaders gathered to discuss the topic in the panel How Successful Women Network. Varying personalities communicate and, therefore, network differently, so understanding your own habits and tendencies was a significant part of the discussion.

Congratulations to the winners of the Editors’ Choice Awards for excellence in exhibiting!

AAHOA Senior Director of Conventions Akshar Patel conversed with Jody Mosely, VP of Operations, Emerald Expositions during the Top 5 Things Event Planners Want in Your Hotel panel.

“Take that moment to say you have to be OK with this role you have voluntarily assumed,” said Rachel Humphrey, AAHOA COO & VP of Franchise Relations.

AAHOA Chairwoman Jagruti Panwala interviewed Wyndham President & CEO Geoff Ballotti on the best leadership practices and how he manages Wyndham – and his life.

“Identify the young leaders because you’re not in front of them all the time,” Ballotti said about managing corporate staff. “I’m always asking people I respect – the people I trust – who those young leaders are.”

AAHOA Secretary Nishant (Neal) Patel and AAHOA Director of Marketing Heather Carnes both asked competitors questions during the HX TECHPitch Competition.

AAHOA Chairwoman Jagruti Panwala interviewed Wyndham President & CEO Geoff Ballotti.

College students studying to enter the hotel industry flocked to New York to learn, network, and make deals with the successful professionals they will likely join soon in the industry.

News in the industry has been shaky. Stories about the labor shortage and constant talks of an industry-wide slowdown have made hoteliers anxious. However, the overall feeling at the show was energetic. From the students entering the industry to all the education and discussions, hoteliers are ready to take 2020 in full force.


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