For more than 25 years, The Lodging Conference has been known as one of the most premier conferences in the hospitality industry. After getting a strong start back in 1994, the conference has brought in tens of thousands of renowned names in hotels and lodging over the years, and only continues to grow. Below, read up on where the idea for the conference came from, how it’s achieved so much success throughout its 20-plus year history, and more insights from founder and event producer Harry Javer.
What is The Lodging Conference?
The idea behind The Lodging Conference was to create a space where owners, executives, stakeholders, and professionals in the hospitality industry could come to share and strategize new ideas, problem solve, network, and build new business connections. Javer, the founder of the annual event, shares that on average, 85% of attendees are hotel owners, presidents, and chief executive officers at some of the top hospitality companies and hotels in the world – so if you’re new to the industry or want to talk shop with some of the most distinguished names in the field, The Lodging Conference is the place to do it.
What Makes The Lodging Conference Stand Out
But what really makes this conference unique isn’t just the networking and business opportunities. The atmosphere at the event is an important feature to consider, and is probably a main ingredient in how it’s become so successful. Many of the people that attend the conference head up incredibly well-known luxury hotels around the globe, and the environment of The Lodging Conference is no different.
Instead of only talking with other attendees during coffee breaks or in between sessions, guests at The Lodging Conference get countless opportunities to get to know each other throughout the four-day event. On the agenda, you’ll see plenty of relaxing and fun activities to partake in, such as morning hiking, yoga sessions, pickleball, golf and basketball tournaments, and more. Plus, each day you can indulge in the gourmet meals served at the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners made by the venue’s team of talented chefs (plus dishes flown in from top restaurants around the country!). And to top it off, attendees can kick back, chat, and enjoy the evening cocktail parties, fireworks, and live music.
Oh, and another thing – no suits and ties allowed. Javer encourages guests to stick to a “resort casual” dress code.
Speaking on the overall laid back feel of the conference, Javer explained in an interview with Hotel Management that “when people are relaxed, they’re more open to making new contacts, and that leads to deal-making.” And the dress code? “At first we had to reinforce the dress code. We made fun of the ‘suits’ and even broke out the scissors to cut off a few ties. We especially like to see our attendees in shorts, but some guys just don’t have the legs for it,” he jokes.
And of course, there’s no shortage of insightful speakers and incredible training sessions at the conference. Staying true to the out of the box way of thinking The Lodging Conference does so well, Javer and the rest of the team like to refer to their presentations as something called “think tanks.” This is because, at the conference, guests are encouraged to participate and engage in discussions with peers. In fact, the entire event has dubbed itself one big “think tank,” where attendees can collaborate, share their perspective on things currently happening in the industry, come up with new ideas, and create new solutions to problems they may be facing.
About Founder and Producer Harry Javer
Javer, the founder and producer of The Lodging Conference, was born and raised in New York and attended college at Stony Brook University. He graduated with a degree in Political Science, but during his time as a student there, he developed an interest in event production when he got the opportunity to help produce concerts and music programs with other students. As a student, he was able to help put on events for some of the most well-known musicians and bands in the world, such as Bono, Carlos Santana, James Taylor, and dozens more.
After graduating college, he went on to work at The Learning Annex, the top event production company in the country that puts on over 6,000 workshops, expos, seminars, classes, and more each year. As their National Program Director, he worked closely with founder Bill Zanker, producing events for highly renowned entrepreneurs and speakers like Sir Richard Branson, Al Gore, Donald Trump, Tony Robbins, Magic Johnson, George Foreman, and more.
In 1994, Javer founded the New York Speakers Bureau, also called The Conference Bureau. Through The Conference Bureau, Javer also started The Lodging Conference the same year. With so much success in events production, Javer has built a reputation as one of the best event production specialists there are.