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Industry Conference 'to look forward not back'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The New Zealand Hospitality Conference is back in-person in July after a two-year hiatus and with a big focus on the future.

The theme is "The Future of Hospitality", with the conference featuring presentations and workshops that look at multiple categories across the industry - from technology, sustainability, and how robotics will work in the kitchen, to ventilation systems, beer production, and events.

Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive Julie White says the conference will be the industry’s think tank for the future.

"We’re making this an opportunity for the industry to lead itself out of the challenges of the past two years.

"We have taken the approach we are not facing a reset, rather it will be recalibration. Looking to the future, rather than back, is incredibly important for us, and the conference will reflect that.

"Post-Covid, rebuilding the future our key priorities are people, creating partnerships, and retraining people so the industry can take advantage of what’s coming to move forward with confidence. "The future of the workforce is one the biggest issues for us as an industry, and it’s incredibly important we put a microscope on that.

"This will be a unique conference, in that we will be involving a lot of learnings from overseas, featuring special speakers and presentations."

Included will be a presentation from the Tasmanian Hospitality Association on their 2030 industry recovery plan, as well as keynote speakers from New York, Las Vegas, and New Zealand. Those confirmed are:

Danny Meyer is a New York restaurateur and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, which focuses heavily on customer satisfaction. His New York Times bestseller book Setting the Table looks at the power of hospitality in restaurants, business, and life.

Shane Green is a Las Vegas business magnate who consults global Fortune 500 leaders on customer experience and organisational culture. He talks on transforming employees’ mindsets, experience, and habits to improve the customer experience, employee retention, and organisational performance. New Zealand mental health advocate Mike King will be speaking on day 2 of the summit as a part of the Hospitality Think Tank addressing one of the most pressing issues for our industry - well-being and fatigue. More speakers will announced as they are confirmed.

The conference will also take a close look at the future of beverage, with local alcohol settings due to come up for renewal later this year.

"This is such an important part of the overall hospitality experience so this is the exact right time to have critical conversations around what local alcohol policies could look like moving forward. What does the future of LAPs look like?

"This is a must-attend for people who have an alcohol licence."

As part of the conference, the Accommodation Association, a Hospitality New Zealand brand, is partnering with Maximum Occupancy, New Zealand’s leading hotel and accommodation event, to help rebuild that side of the industry. "We want to deliver a greater experience where all accommodation operators - from hotels to motels, large operators, to owner operators - can learn more and connect more, and Maximum Occupancy will play a big part in doing that," says Julie White.

"It will bring together the hotel and accommodation industry's most influential owners, operators, CEOs, investors, and suppliers to promote, inspire, and help guide the industry into the future." "These awards are the pinnacle of our industry, and give everyone in it a chance to recognise and reward members who strove throughout the past year to create the highest possible standards and experiences for both their guests and their team," says Julie White.

"Being able to do this in person for the first time in three years to celebrate the businesses that have made it through Covid is something the industry needs to be able to do.

"This is a chance for the industry to give itself a huge pat on the back after what it’s been through."

The conference is on the 26/27 July 2022 at the Grand Millennium Hotel in Auckland. The two-day conference will feature industry experts from New Zealand, Australia and Asia and finish with the Hospitality Awards for Excellence.

Entries are now open on the Hospitality NZ website at https://www.hospitality.org.nz/s/awards

Julie White says the recalibration needs to be industry-led, where it takes accountability and comes up with our own solutions, and the conference will point the way.

"We know there will still be speed bumps along the way, but if we prepare right then we will get through together."

The conference is proudly supported by Auckland Unlimited, Tāmaki Makaurau’s economic and cultural agency committed to making Auckland a desirable place to live, work, visit, invest and do business.

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