It was 7:30 a.m. in Las Vegas, which for that town is either an early morning or a very late night. Still being on Eastern Time, it felt a bit like both. Our publisher, Lenore O'Meara and I (pictured above at MURTEC) were having breakfast with Hospitality Technology's Editorial Advisory Board, which has become something of a tradition at the annual Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference (MURTEC). The breakfast meeting was excellent. Our Board members were eager to share feedback on the conference, discussing everything from the educational sessions they'd attended the prior day, to the topics they'd most like us to cover at future events. All of the feedback was invaluable, but what made the meeting even more satisfying was the positive outlook on the faces of the restaurant executives surrounding us.
Despite an economic recession that has certainly shaken the restaurant industry (and the early hour!), the meeting with our Board was full of positive energy; an energy that was overwhelmingly shared, quite noticeably, across the entire conference. Coveted sponsorship opportunities were sold out for the 14th consecutive year, and attendance at MURTEC was nearly on par with prior years; overall a stellar turnout.
In a time when work-related travel is limited, and executives are working with shrinking budgets and resources, MURTEC 2009 is an incredibly powerful indicator that technology innovation is alive and well, and that the hospitality industry will survive and thrive in the months ahead.
We're personally very inspired by the energy and brainstorming power our speakers and attendees brought to this year's MURTEC; and to the event's sponsoring vendors, we echo your message: technology empowers.