ATLANTA, Ga., Apr. 19 – The 2023 Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Convention & Trade Show in Los Angeles last week broke various records in the association’s history.
AAHOA, the largest hotel owners association in the world, hosted its annual Convention & Trade Show, AAHOACON, with nearly 8,000 attendees at the Los Angeles Convention Center for what is dubbed the “Super Bowl” of hospitality events.
There were 20+ education sessions, 500+ exhibiting companies, an immersive do-it-yourself product demo experience, top-level keynote speakers, and four networking events, including the Welcome Reception at the world-famous LA Coliseum.
With a record level of booth sales for the trade show, it was the largest trade show in AAHOA’s 34-year history, and a 22% increase over 2022. There were nearly 520 total exhibiting companies, the second largest exhibitor total in AAHOACON history.
The AAHOACON23 Trade Show was sold out, and a wait list was created – the first time ever in AAHOA history! AAHOACON23 also generated a very strong number of first-time exhibitors, 167, which is the second-largest number of first-time exhibitors in AAHOA history.
On top of that, the Exhibit Sales team achieved a new record in exhibit booth sales for AAHOACON24. A total of 170 exhibitors have rebooked and will return for AAHOACON24 in Orlando next year. This number represents more than 40% of the show floor space and 100% of all exhibiting hotel brands rebooked for AAHOACON24.
Word from the exhibit floor is that AAHOACON23 was the best trade show for business transactions in recent memory, and the excitement for Orlando is mounting.
“The adjectives and praise to describe AAHOACON23 and our remarkable AAHOA Team keep pouring in,” said AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake. “I could not be prouder of how AAHOACON23 turned out, and we are so thankful for all the sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who helped make this convention and trade show one of the very best. We could not have done any of this without each and every one of you.”
Our General Session special guests and keynote speakers included comedian and activist Hasan Minhaj, BAPS Leader Swami Brahmaviharidas, and the Honorable Sadhguru. AAHOACON23 also offered HerOwnership-driven workshops and learning sessions created just for women hoteliers, including a luncheon and a HerOwnership & Women Own the Room panel, along with two Young Professionals Sessions and a Young Professionals Reception.
Florida hotelier Bharat Patel, CHO, CHIA, became the new Chairman of AAHOA’s Board of Directors, and Rahul Patel of Bradenton, Florida, became the new AAHOA Secretary.
AAHOA Members also elected 10 members to the Board of Directors to replace those with expiring terms, recognized the achievement and excellence of the AAHOA Award recipients, and partnered with Covenant House California at this year’s AAHOACON to help raise money and awareness for youth facing homelessness and trafficking.
To give back, AAHOA Members bought AAHOACON23-branded socks and t-shirts at the AAHOA Booth during the Trade Show, where up to 80% of the proceeds went directly to Covenant House California.
AAHOA also announced the launch of its AAHOA Charitable Foundation. Forming later this year as an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the AAHOA Charitable Foundation will aim to support humanity, providing disaster relief, educational scholarships and grants, charitable initiatives for worthy causes, and humanitarian aid.
Two other notable items included Virdee taking home the top prize in the 2023 AAHOA Tech Pitch Competition, Co-Powered by HFTP. Members were able to take part in the AAHOA Garage, a new feature for AAHOACON23, which included a demo area for exhibitors to showcase tips and tricks to solve common issues that many owner/operator hoteliers face in areas such as housekeeping, maintenance, repairs and troubleshooting. Additionally, there were new learning opportunities for members in the form of deep-dive masterclasses.
“Becoming AAHOA Chairman at such a historic and record-breaking event is an incredible feeling,” AAHOA Chairman Bharat Patel said. “I received so many thank yous and expressions of gratitude for a job well done that I lost count, and I want to return the same showing of appreciation to everyone who attended and made AAHOACON23 one for the record books.”