HT-NEXT Visits Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Almost 300 HT-NEXT conference attendees filled the Rosen College of Hospitality Management’s Darden Auditorium on Monday, April 10, 2017, as part of the conference’s first day of sessions. For a little over an hour, information and ideas about hospitality technology workgroups was shared, in a lead up to the soft-opening of the Rosen College’s Hospitality Technology & Innovation Lab.

The HT-NEXT Forum in the Darden Auditorium at Rosen College

The Lab, is a hub of product demonstration and testing, research, professional training and innovative education to advance the hospitality industry. In its current temporary space on the second floor of the campus’ main classroom building, the Lab links practical lecture-based learning to real-life experience, and extends high quality education and training to students and professionals worldwide.

At launch, in its infancy, the Lab is supported by two major sponsors, Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), and industry partners such as Samsung and Freeman. HTNG is a global not-for-profit trade association that fosters, through collaboration and partnership among hoteliers and technology providers, the development of next-generation solutions enabling global business enterprises.  HTNG is providing work group opportunities and solutions for the Lab over at a three-year period. Rosen College will be undergoing an expansion over the next two years, adding a 50,000 square-foot building to the campus. In the new building, 4,000 square-feet will be carved out to house the Lab, allowing for more work groups and greater flexibility for learning and research.

(L-R) Danielle Orchard, Rosen College Director of Development talks with Boro Petrovic, Orro Hospitality

The Lab’s mission, goals and purpose are as follows:

  • Establish a product and service test-bed along with evaluation services for the hospitality industry and supporting technology suppliers.
  • Consumers can perform product testing on new technologies and innovations and lead focus group efforts.
  • Develop a lab for the hotel of the future and technologies for the next generation of travelers.
  • Enhance the quality of education by providing students with a virtual hotel world lab.
  • Students will practice customer service and operational skills in an online, multi-user 3D simulation, allowing them to visualize and interact with the tools.

(L-R) David Heckaman, Vice President of Technology, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Dr. Youcheng Wang, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs & Research, Professor at Rosen College

The idea for the lab was spawned by alumni David Heckaman, Vice President of Technology, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, who fully supports training future leaders of the hospitality industry with the latest technology available.

(L-R) Dr. Youcheng Wang, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs & Research, Professor at Rosen College and Michael Blake, CEO of HTNG

HT-NEXT’s visit to the Rosen College campus culminated with a reception in the college’s courtyard. HTNG sponsored the reception. The HT-NEXT conference was hosted at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, located next door to the college and ran from April 10 to April 13, 2017.

The reception in the Rosen College courtyard

 

— (April 14, 2017)