Harry Javer

Founder of The Lodging Conference

The Lodging Conference is known for being one of the top events in the hotel industry. Attracting thousands of high-powered hospitality executives, owners, and professionals each year, the conference’s goal is to provide a space for strategizing, networking, and having some fun in a luxury resort setting. The trademark of the conference is the casual setting - while it is an event for industry professionals, Javer insists that you leave your suit and tie at home, invites attendees to partake in a golf tournament or morning yoga class, and indulge in gourmet food while you’re there. Below, we’ll share some insight from Javer himself into the benefits of producing a more casual conference, plus how it’s achieved so much success over the years.

The Beginning of the Lodging Conference

Javer first got the idea for a luxury hotel conference after producing concert programs and events for some of the biggest names in music and entrepreneurs while attending school at Stony Brook University. He realized that a conference for the hospitality industry was lacking, and no one was doing anything that was on the luxury side. That’s when he started The Lodging Conference in 1995.

What to Expect at The Lodging Conference

The Lodging Conference is a professional event truly unlike any other. Javer opted to leave suits and ties at home with the idea that when guests are able to relax, they’ll be more open to creating new connections, which in turn leads to making new deals and business opportunities. But not only will you be comfortable when you attend the conference - on each year’s agenda, you’ll also see activities such as hiking, sporting tournaments, and more.

When asked what his favorite part of the conference is, Javer says it’s the annual dinner party at the pool. It features incredible food made by the venue’s culinary team and from restaurants flown in from places across the country. In addition to some amazing food (Javer warns guests that they might gain a few pounds while they’re at the conference!), attendees also get to enjoy the beautiful resort surroundings of Phoenix, Arizona, plus great opportunities to talk shop and bounce ideas around with some of the industry’s leaders. As far as networking opportunities go, there’s no shortage - on top of the daily outdoor activities and “think tank” sessions, guests also get to mingle and make new connections at each day’s meals, refreshment breaks, cocktail parties, and down time around the resort.

Javer's Most Noteworthy Memory from the Conference

The Lodging Conference recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Naturally, the founder has no shortage of notable moments from the conference over the years. However, one memory in particular stands out to him. He says that it was September 11, 2001 - the night that year’s conference was scheduled to begin. With the tragic events that took place that day, the conference was rescheduled for January of 2002. Members of the industry came together around the conference, and the event resulted in even higher attendance than they had originally planned. Javer says that he “still gets chills” thinking about the outpouring of support The Lodging Conference team felt that year.

The Lodging Conference's Success Over the Years

The hospitality conference has seen tens of thousands of attendees throughout the years, and it’s not difficult to see why. If all professional events followed the same mindset as The Lodging Conference team, I’m sure we would all attend more of them! But on top of the casual approach and one of a kind professional opportunities, Javer attributes the conference’s success to his wife Liz, his son Jack Javer, and the rest of their incredible team that helps to produce the event each year. He also notes that, even having had the opportunity to work with some of the most well-known musicians and entrepreneurs in the world, people in the hotel industry are truly unmatched.

Looking to the Future

As The Lodging Conference moves into its 26th year, Javer’s goal each year is to make every conference better than the last, whether it’s with new food, new activities, or new ways to further improve the “think tanks.” As this year’s event approaches, he’s looking forward to what the future of The Lodging Conference has in store.