The 9th edition of Australian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) followed this year’s Design Inn Symposium with keynote speaker Tony Chi on 2 to 3 May 2018. Both conferences held at the stunning Grand Hyatt in Melbourne, Australia, were a magnet for hospitality industry leaders, investors, consultants, developers, architects, designers, and educators. Especially the AHICE where we were a silver sponsor saw more than 800 attendees this year and was the biggest conference in the series so far. HM Magazine that co-hosted the conference did an outstanding job of rounding up world-class speakers and industry representatives for presentations, talks, panels, and general industry chitchat. Keynote speaker Frits van Paasschen from New York – former Starwood CEO – talked about the power of disruption that is not only a challenge in the hospitality industry but in business in general. He was followed by Professor Toby Walsh who spends his life thinking about and researching Artificial Intelligence at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Australia. He concluded his presentation with: “AI has the opportunity to make us happier, healthier and wealthier. The smartphone in your pocket has more power than the technology that took us to the moon.” He brought technology and science a bit closer to the hotel professionals and lowered their initial adoption barriers by giving easily-applicable examples. Apart from strong industry reports and updates focused on the Australasia markets throughout the two days, AHICE revolved around and circled back to the topic of innovation. B-Hive founder Tammy Marshall shared her insights of ‘7 Deadly Sins of Innovation’ and instilled in the audience that innovating for the sake of innovating doesn’t advance the business. Airbnb Country Manager Sam McDonagh addressed the elephant in the room – sharing economy – and unleashed a heated discussion among the delegates. Conference participants had great opportunities to meet new faces, rekindle friendships with acquaintances, shake hands with world-famous peers, and network to their hearts’ content at the breathtaking Grand Hyatt.