How HOSPA is using extended reality to reach a wider audience

The Hospitality Professionals Association (HOSPA) has revealed it will use virtual reality at its annual conference to reach a wider audience.

HOSPACE, HOSPA’s annual conference, would usually welcome leading figures from the world of hospitality, in person, to share best practice, discuss the key topics affecting the industry and provide an opportunity to network and build professional connections. However, this year, Covid-19 presents the challenge of limited capacity.

Therefore, HOSPA will incorporate Royal Lancaster Hotel’s ‘Extended Reality’ virtual technology offering to create a hybrid experience that will see a small-scale physical conference projected to a wider audience on Thursday 19 November.

Extended Reality works by combining real-and-virtual environments through augmented reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) in live production environments to create fully immersive experiences.

Jane Pendlebury, CEO of HOSPA, said: “HOSPACE is a key event in the hospitality industry calendar. Ordinarily, it provides the opportunity for industry peers to share best practice and informative advice.

“Now though, as we face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s never been more important to collaborate and work together as one. Consequently, we’ve persevered with our plans, adapting our approach to fit within the latest coronavirus guidance while working hard to deliver an experience that attendees can both enjoy and, crucially, benefit from.”

This year’s conference is focused on recovery in hospitality. The programme includes financial and legal updates for hospitality, insights from leading hoteliers, advice on technology to support a socially distanced new world, understanding guest behaviour and the necessity of collaborative working as the key to success.

“We’ve been delivering highly relevant webinars since the Coronavirus crisis began as we look to help guide those who operate in the industry. These have been very well received” Pendlebury added.

However, HOSPA is aware that people, especially those in the events industry, are suffering from virtual-fatigue and are keen to provide a “fresh take” with its annual conference, one that people can “embrace and engage with”.

“Utilising the Extended Reality experience at the Royal Lancaster will see us provide a unique experience that we hope industry professionals will be keen to explore,” added Pendlebury.

Tickets for the HOSPACE event can be bought here.