This morning The Direct Booking Summit: Americas once again opened its doors for the smartest minds in the hospitality industry. Delegates from across the US, Canada and the Caribbean joined us in The Statler in Dallas to discuss the current challenges they face and share their best practices for continuing to drive direct.
Day 1 of the Summit offered participants an agenda packed with keynote speeches and panel discussions. The program was built on three major pillars: Distribution, Marketing and Technology.
Check out our write-up of Distribution here!
Marketing in focus
We kicked off part 2 of the day with a discussion on improving the relationship between hotels’ Marketing, Digital and Revenue teams. For a balanced discussion, we invited representatives from all three areas on stage: Paolo Torchio, Vice President Digital & eCommerce at Two Roads Hospitality; Cady Wolf, Vice President Strategic Accounts at Sojern; Terence Sham, Head of Revenue at Ace Hotel Group; and Melissa Conn, Managing partner at iCore Marketing. Andrew Rubinacci, Senior Vice President of Revenue Management & Global Distribution at Omni Hotels & Resorts moderated the diverse panel. Top tip of the day:
"Fail fast," said Andrew. "If it doesn’t work, move onto the next idea. Test and improve. Where we see people fail is where they go ‘we’ve got 50 great ideas, let’s do all 50’."
Andrew's sentiment was echoed by Two Roads' Paolo Torchio. Paolo's team has implemented lean and agile practices in the organization. "Using something like Trello is a way of focusing on a small number of things. You have your backlog and then you only bring over the ones you can actually tackle at that time. It limits the number of things you’re focusing on to the areas where you'll be able to make the biggest difference.
From team relationships to CRM: Amber Meyer, Vice President of Product at NAVIS, took the stage next to highlight the key components of a successful CRM strategy for hotels. Our favorite advice: "Rather than emailing people around the anniversary of their stay, email them around the same time they booked. It's way more effective - we see hotels get almost $30 return per delivered email."
Our Marketing section wrapped up with a resonant topic for many hoteliers in the room: how can independent hotels compete against chains? Marissa Brady, Director of Hotel Direct Digital Marketing at The Leading Hotels of the World, was joined on stage by Trey Yost, Vice President – the Americas at Siteminder, Gary Hawkins, Vice President of Revenue Strategy at Sydell Group, and Carlos Aquino, Vice President Sales and Business Development at Tafer Hotels and Resorts, to provide independents with actionable tips.
Check out our write-up of Distribution here - and stay tuned for Technology!