September 22, 2022

6 Hotel Trade Show Badges Worth Their Weight In Gold (2023 Edition)

by Jacob Statler

When you are neck deep in running (+ improving) your hotel operation, it can seem daunting to think about investing time and money into attending hotel trade shows.

You’re familiar with the term “sharpen your axe,” and you know that statement rings true. 

But, lean in close for this one: KNOWING and DOING are 2 different animals. 


Attending hotel trade shows gives you the chance to put your boots on the ground, and get a first-hand, inside look at the latest products, services, and trends to stay ahead of your competition and position your hotel chain for future success.

Knowing which hotel trade shows to attend is uber important.

Today, we’ll list the 6 top hotel trade shows that are a must-attend in 2023. We’ll cover who should go and why, and:

Why attend hotel trade shows?

Travelers’ wants and needs are ever-changing, and the hospitality industry is constantly evolving.

Your hotel chain’s marketing, sales, and operation must be educated on the latest trends and best practices to stay relevant and ahead of the competition. 

Attending hotel trade shows allows you to learn from industry professionals about best practices to serve your guests well and run your hotels with excellence. 

In addition to education, networking is a huge benefit to attending hotel trade shows. 

Hotel trade shows showcase the hottest new products to give you an edge in the hospitality world.

According to the Tradeshow Network, 92% of tradeshow attendees went to discover new products and services, and 72% of decision makers found at least 1 new supplier at the last show they attended.

The relationships and connections you make in the hospitality industry have a real business impact.

At hotel trade shows, you can:

  • Find new business, new partnerships, and growth opportunities
  • Learn about the newest technology and the latest industry trends
  • Meet exhibitors and vendors for face-to-face communications
  • Attend educational sessions for best practices and valuable takeaways

4 trade show facts

  1. 81% of trade show attendees have buying power — exhibitors know this and will be ready with the pertinent information you need to make a purchasing decision.
  2. The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits — so wear comfy shoes and be ready to do some walking!
  3. 51% of trade show exhibitors value face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers. Exhibitors are itching to talk with you. Stop by booths and strike up a conversation.  
  4. Roughly 79% of trade show attendees believe that going to a trade show influences their buying decisions — when you chat with reps and demo products, you make better purchasing decisions. 
A glimpse of the exhibit hall at HITEC Orlando, June 2022. Photo courtesy of Plate IQ

6 Top U.S. Hotel Trade Shows in 2023

Attending hotel trade shows in 2023 is an investment in your hotel chain and management staff. Discovering the latest trends in the hotel industry will arm you with the knowledge of changes and upgrades you need to make. 

Hotel trade shows dish out education geared toward guest service, hotel operation management, and back office efficiency. You’ll learn valuable information to help management run your hotels more efficiently and retain quality employees. 

But you must do your homework before deciding which hotel trade shows to attend. 

Below are the 6 top U.S. hotel trade shows: 


Want a chance to check out the Hollywood Stars? This trade show and convention takes place in Los Angeles, CA, April 11-14. 2023. 

AAHOACON is the biggest gathering of AAHOA Members, who own 60% of the hotels in the U.S.

Who should attend? 

Anyone looking to schmooze with the world’s largest group of hotel owners and operators — from one-property motel owners to ownership groups with hundreds of properties. All the big brands and franchisors will be there, along with all the newest guest-facing technology gadgets.

Why go?

It’s one of the largest hotel conferences with over 6,000 attendees, 500 exhibiting companies, 10 education sessions, and 3 networking events. The AAHOA annual convention offers many opportunities to build relationships, network with hotel owners, operators, and developers, and create connections in the industry.

There’s enormous potential to grow your network with this event. 

2. NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference

Get ready to take a bite outta the Big Apple — this convention takes place in New York, NY, June 4-6, 2023. 

This conference is a little different but equally valuable. 

It’s a hospitality real estate conference featuring general sessions and networking events that provide data, analysis, insights, and opportunities. Leading lodging execs, investors, developers, analysts, and economists will participate in discussions on various relevant international hotel industry topics. 

There isn’t a trade show attached to this conference, but it’s got plenty of learning and networking opportunities.

Who should attend? 

Hotel owners, operators, and deal-makers looking to network and discuss transactions. 

Attendees can join educational sessions to learn about today’s pressing challenges, such as CapEx, demand segmentation, design, development, the economy, and legal issues.

Why go?

You’ll be able to meet the Who’s Who of hotel ownership, including the top brands and investors from Wall Street. 

You’ll leave this conference with an in-depth understanding of the current state of the hospitality industry, what’s coming, and how to take advantage of this knowledge.  

3. Hotec

Pack your swimsuit and sunscreen — this event takes place in Sarasota, FL, June 12-15, 2023.

Hotec brings together senior executives of leading hotel chains, top hotel management companies, and purchasing companies for face-to-face engagement with innovative suppliers. 

It includes 3 days of pre-scheduled, 1-to-1 meetings and exclusive networking opportunities.

Who should attend? 

Hoteliers looking for a solution to a specific challenge will benefit big time from this event. 1:1 meetings offer ample opportunities to brainstorm and find specific solutions to your challenges.

Why go?

You can connect with your peers and top professionals at a premier networking event. The networking events allow you to pick the brains of others in the hotel industry (peers & suppliers) to find out how they tackle the same challenges your hotel chain is facing. 

4. HITEC: The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference

You can squeeze in a Niagara Falls tour with this event — it takes place in Toronto, Canada, June 26-29, 2023.

After the successful 50th Anniversary of HITEC Orlando in 2022, they’re changing venues to shake things up.

HITEC is hosted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), a global nonprofit hospitality association. HITEC is the tradeshow of the year for anyone involved in hotel technology. 

See nearly every vendor on one giant tradeshow floor, hit the evening parties, and stop in for discussions centered around improving the hotel tech ecosystem.

Who should attend?

Anyone looking to make an impact in the hotel tech space and anyone looking to implement innovative technology into their hotel operation. 

Why go?

Learn about the technology guests demand in your hotels today and what technology guests will want 10 years into the future. Find a cutting-edge solution for any of your operational challenges and connect with industry leaders in today’s hotel technology arena.

Learn about the latest technology to automate your back office & streamline workflows.

5.  The Lodging Conference

Love yoga, pickleball, and golf? You’ll get all these activities and more with this hotel convention. It takes place at the JW Marriott Phoenix in Desert Ridge, AZ. 

The 2023 dates aren’t set, but it’s usually in September.

This isn’t your traditional, somewhat stuffy hospitality industry real estate investment conference! 

This hotel trade show and convention is much more laid back – ditch your suit and tie and relax and have comfortable convos on the lawn. 

The Lodging Conference brings together the hotel industry’s most influential leaders to strategize about development, finance, franchising, management, construction, design, and operations.

Who should attend?

Hotel industry owners, operators, presidents, CEOs, investors, and dealmakers will gain insight and high-level connections at this conference.

Why go?

This event is 3 days of continuous networking opportunities, gourmet food, leisure activities, a casual dress code, and laid back atmosphere. It’s a who’s who of senior-level industry developers and executives. 

Many attendees say they make more contacts and initiate more deals at The Lodging Conference than at any other hotel industry event. 

6. Phocuswright Conference

Toss in your hiking boots so you can visit the Grand Canyon while attending this convention. It takes place in Phoenix, AZ. In 2022, it happens on November 14-17 — you’ll have to wait to find out about the 2023 dates. 

Experience all the travel technology disruption news and insights on one stage — the Phocuswright Conference is the platform for intelligent insights and healthy debate as the travel industry navigates a new environment. 

Expect to see research-driven, first-to-market content and debates.

Who should attend?

Global decision-makers and C-level executives from the travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors.

Why go?

Develop deep connections and stellar insight into the hotel industry. Come away with travel’s next big ideas before those that skipped this event know about them. 

Swing by the Plate IQ booth at your hotel trade show

If Plate IQ is at your hotel trade show, you’ve got a friend waiting for you. Look us up and swing by our booth for coffee, a cocktail, or to get your bearings on the event. 

Photo courtesy of Plate IQ

Why we go:

To create connections and showcase the latest in cutting-edge technology to automate your hotel operation back office.

We jump at the opportunity to get to know our customers. Even with today’s technology, there’s no substitute for some good ol’ face-to-face time. 

And, of course, we’d love to let you demo our products — there’s nothing like a test drive before you buy. 

And while all the above is spot on, the #1 reason we go to hotel trade shows is Y.O.U. 

At Plate IQ, we want to know you, serve you, and help your hotel AP run efficiently now and into the future.

Prioritize 2023 hotel trade shows

We know trade shows can be expensive, so if 6 is outside your budget, focus your surgical strategy on at least 2. Use the above info to choose which hotel trade shows best suit your hotel operations needs for the immediate future. 

Beyond networking, there’s much to be gained by claiming your space at industry events.

We look forward to seeing you at our booths in 2023. In the meantime, feel free to demo Plate IQ to see how we can streamline your hotel AP. When you’re neck deep in running (+ improving) your hotel operation, it can seem daunting to think about investing time and money into attending hotel trade shows.

Jacob Statler writes about the unique challenges of hospitality AP automation for Plate IQ.

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