Browsing Category

Global Hospitality Expo

Our 2018 Expo draws record number of attendees

March 2, 2018
2018 Expo

Once again, we took our annual Global Hospitality Expo to sunny Orlando. And, once again, we exceeded expectations for a can’t-miss industry event that continues to raise the bar.

More than 300 customers and 130 suppliers joined our leaders and associates for the 2018 Global Hospitality Expo at the beautiful Loews Royal Pacific Resort. This amounted to more than 1,000 total attendees, a new Expo record. This year’s Expo theme – Just Imagine – set the stage for a week of transformational presentations and conversations, as well as a lot of networking fun.

In celebrating the warmth of Florida, this #globalexpo2018 kicked off with a Super Bowl Sunday Party at a large and lively sports bar in Universal CityWalk. For many early arrivals, the following day meant teeing up and teaming up at the second annual American Hotel Golf Classic.

The more official Expo launch came on Tuesday, at a General Session Welcome where our senior leaders outlined the latest American Hotel initiatives and improvements – from data analytics to global expansion and our plans for a digital transformation. We also introduced Accentuate, a new service where we can personalize a variety of products for customer properties. At every turn in this dynamic presentation, the emphasis was on the importance of responding to growing customer needs.

At the General Session, we also formally announced our partnership Soap Aid, an Australia-based nonprofit that recycles and redistributes hotel soap to save lives and our environment. Soap Aid’s Michael Matulick took the stage to articulate the organization’s mission and the way American Hotel can help expand its efforts to the U.S. Keynote speaker Brian Solis closed out our General Session with an engaging exploration of today’s social media culture.

On Wednesday and Thursday, our Expo highlights included:

  • VIP breakout sessions where strategies were strengthened
  • Rotating supplier presentations that delved into detail
  • Customer Hot Topic sessions where priorities were shared
  • Exclusive customer trade show that demonstrated solutions
  • Associate trade show that connected people and products

There were also marvelous Expo dinners, including an authentic Hawaiian luau, complete with fire dancing, and a special Expo Block Party at Universal CityWalk. On Wednesday, our special Casino Night went all in as a fundraiser for Soap Aid. During Expo we raised more than $35k for its amazing mission. And, of course, on Thursday the 2018 Expo Awards Dinner saluted our Heroes of Hospitality.

While snowy weather in the Midwest ended this Expo a bit early, it’s safe to say it was a smashing success. Like those that came before it, our 2018 Expo epitomized the Leahy family values of family, friendship, caring, hard work and integrity. It is a tradition that sets us apart and embodies our commitment to improving all that we do for our customers, our suppliers, and our associates.

Expo in Orlando a smashing success

February 23, 2017

Each year, in late January, we host a Global Hospitality Expo that brings hospitality leaders together to share insights, explore ideas, build relationships, and make bold plans. This year was no different – except for the spectacular setting.

Yes, our 2017 Global Hospitality Expo was the first Expo to be held outside of the Chicago area. And the beautiful Hilton Bonnet Creek of Orlando proved to be a marvelous site for our 20th annual industry event.

More than 400 customers and suppliers joined our leaders and associates at this sun-drenched resort. This year’s Expo theme – Discover what’s new. Realize what’s next. – captured the essence of a hospitality industry poised for progress.

At Expo, members of our Merchandising team helped customers discover new, innovative products.

Our senior leaders kicked off the event with an engaging look at the latest American Hotel initiatives and improvements. The memorable Expo moments also included a lively keynote from Billy Beane, the one-of-a-kind Major League Baseball executive and subject of the film “Moneyball.” Other highlights of this special week included:

  • Customer and supplier breakout sessions
  • Rotating supplier presentations
  • An exclusive customer trade show
  • Vibrant product and room displays
  • Annual Expo awards dinner

This Expo also featured our First Annual Duck Derby in the resort’s lazy river. The clever fundraising race brought in $35,722, which was distributed to over 40 charities.

As in year’s past, the final night of Expo week celebrated the achievements of our supplier partners and our dedicated associates.

The 20th annual Expo, like those that came before it, is a tradition that sets us apart and embodies our commitment to improving all that we do for our customers, our suppliers, and our associates.

Global Hospitality Expo showcases products and innovation

February 17, 2016


You know the heartbeat of hospitality is customer service. Trends come and go, but repeat business is driven by the baseline of a hotel’s cleanliness, attention to detail and going above and beyond. Although authentic customer service remains de rigeur, innovation keeps the industry fresh – after all, an evolving industry is a profitable industry.

Expo-nential momentum

Reflecting this philosophy, American Hotel hosted its annual Global Hospitality Expo in late January. The one-of-a-kind industry event – branded with a “Seize the Momentum” theme – brought more than 900 leaders together to listen, learn, interact and discover.

The five-day event was once again capped with a festive awards dinner honoring the achievements of our suppliers and associates, but the big takeaways were found in its daily agenda of activities. Customers, suppliers and American Hotel associates explored innovative products, attended inspirational breakout and hot topics sessions and celebrated the launch of The Gallery, a curated luxury collection that strengthens American Hotel’s commitment to this growing market.

Momentum was at the center of the event’s topics and presentations. In fact, one hot topic speaker, Rohit Bhargava, outlined ways non-obvious momentum is curated rather than spotted. A Georgetown University marketing professor and bestselling author of Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict the Future, Rohit enthusiastically explained how anyone can identify trends and leverage where a market is heading.

“Everyday Stardom” is one trend useful in the hospitality industry. According to Rohit, the growth of personalization leads more hotel guests to higher expectations. They want to be part of an unforgettable experience where they are stars of the show. As he put it, everyone wants to be recognized, noticed and celebrated.

Simply irresistible

Another Expo speaker, bestselling author Jeremy Gutsche, promoted the ingredients of a great guest experience when he encouraged his audience to be irresistible in business.

An award-winning innovation expert and the CEO of Trend Hunter, a popular trends and innovation Web site, Gutsche’s keynote address also illuminated the ways trends occur and opportunities arise. For example, Facebook’s founding opened the door to a social media industry of Facebook cohorts and competitors. And, of course, social media and related technology have already begun to reshape the hospitality experience.

Looking beyond hotels, consider the way Disney has put technology to work with its MagicBand and MyMagic+ initiative. The waterproof wristband is a theme park ticket, mobile payment device and room key – the visitor data it collects allows characters to address guests by name and helps staff manage traffic flow.

At our 2016 Expo, the full week of activities trumpeted the belief that this year’s momentum is all about keeping an eye on the future and seizing new opportunities. What bold plan will you put into action in 2016?