What are the world's biggest hospitality conferences?

Discover the top events and how they can impact your career.

Hospitality events offer young professionals the chance to increase their knowledge, grow their network, and find career inspiration that could reshape their lives. Here are several of the biggest hospitality conferences to know.

Annual Hotel Conference (AHC)

The U.K.'s largest hospitality event, which attracts over 900 participants each year, is the Annual Hotel Conference. Designed to add value to business operations, the AHC attracts designers and architects, developers, consultants, hotel owners and operators, hotel managers, tourism boards, and other hospitality professionals. This year's AHC will be at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate and will focus on the U.K. hotel market and economy, with breakout sessions on different aspects of hotel design and operation. Breakout sessions for this year's event include finance, revenue and distribution, hotel operations, and construction and design.

The Lodging Conference

One of the premier hospitality conference in the U.S., The Lodging Conference has sold out for the last six years, with over 1,900 attendees in 2018. The majority of Lodging Conference attendees, at 85 percent, are hotel CEOs, presidents, or independent operators running their own business. While the conference is U.S.-based (this year it will be held in Phoenix), it attracts hotel industry leaders from all over the world. Think tanks, networking, and one on one business meetings help hotel owners connect with business partners and maximize their investment in the event.

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) Events

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals puts on several annual events which may be of interest to hospitality finance and technology professionals. The HFTP Annual Convention will be held in Orlando, Florida, and hospitality professionals can also choose to attend the HITEC Dubai event or the HITEC Europe event in Palma, Mallorca. Regardless of location, an HFTP event offers hospitality professionals the chance to learn about the latest technology, network with hospitality professionals, and take part in professional development workshops.

IMEX Events

IMEX, which bills itself as the premier event for incentive travel, offers hoteliers marketing, professional development, and education opportunities. This year, IMEX will be in Frankfurt, Germany, with four days of meetings-related news, business, and trends to help hoteliers cater to meetings and incentive travelers.

International Hotel Technology Forum (IHTF)

The International Hotel Technology Forum, which is held in a different European nation every year, focuses exclusively on hotel technology, marketing, and distribution. Attendees can take part in solutions-oriented business meetings, where they can meet with hotel technology companies and find their ideal solution to a pressing technology need. The 2018 event, which broke attendance records, saw over 700 networking matchups and more than 50 conference speakers. This year's conference is in Zagreb, Croatia.

Asian American Hotel Owners Association Conference (AAHOA)

AAHOA, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, is the largest hotel owner's association in the world, with AAHOA members owning close to one of every two hotels in the U.S. Their annual conference covers need-to-know events for hoteliers, from financing and data to protecting employee health and preventing human trafficking. There are conference tracks for young hoteliers, independent hoteliers, and franchisees.

The Americas Lodging and Investment Summit (ALIS)

The premier hospitality investment conference in America, with over 3,000 attendees at its 2019 event, The Americas Lodging and Investment Summit brings together hotel industry experts and investors, who are interested in hotels as business opportunities. The ALIS conference offers incredible networking opportunities as well as a deep-dive into the trends that are impacting hoteliers worldwide. While the conference it U.S.-based, it attracts global hospitality including lenders, hotel developers, real estate intermediaries, hotel investors, hotel owners, architects, and government and tourism officials.

The Hotel Show Africa

The leading hospitality event in Africa, The Hotel Show Africa brings together thousands of hospitality professionals, including hotel owners, general managers, designers, and developers. Attendees can view the supplier showcase with all the latest products or explore the latest ideas and trends affecting the region's hoteliers.

World Travel Market (WTM)

While not strictly a hospitality event, World Travel Market is one of the world's largest travel shows thus it's inherently of interest to hotel professionals. At WTM, held in London this year, attendees can network, find suppliers and other business partners, and learn about the latest tourism trends, to better cater to travelers. The World Travel Market offers a student rate, which may be of interest to the EHL community.

Budget for one of these events every year, if you can. This way, you'll continue to learn what's new and offer value as a hospitality professional.