Direct Booking Summit 2018: Airbnb, Google, Marriott and more

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It doesn't feel long ago that we wrapping up our last Direct Booking Summit in Barcelona, but before we know it we'll be in Amsterdam ready for the launch of Direct Booking Summit 2018!

This year, we're pulling out all the stops with our agenda. With speakers from Airbnb, Google, Marriott and a whole host of independents on the cards, we're covering all bases of the Direct Booking Movement. Take a look at the snapshot below to see what's in store, or check out the full agenda on the Direct Booking Summit website!

Ready to buy tickets? Register now!


Distribution

Distribution in focus


Brand of one: How can an independent hotel compete against large chains?

Geoff Andrew, CEO, WorldHotels

To kick off the summit, Geoff will be taking us through the art of the 'inside-out' approach to sales and marketing. How does an independent hotel identify what makes it truly different and fuse that USP through its entire operation? In an environment of increased consolidation and soft branding from the biggest chains, this session will be vital listening for those indies looking to differentiate their offering and push their 'brand of one' to the next level.


Metasearch in 2018

Moderator: Gopakumar Menon, Highgate Hotels

Panelists: James Bishop, Siteminder | Phil Ford, Firmdale Hotels | Adrian Hands, TripAdvisor

Too many hotels are still at sea when it comes to meta. How much should you spend? How much is too much? Where do the OTAs fit in? And what about Google? Our expert panelists are here to answer all those questions, and more. Hear from TripAdvisor's Adrian Hands on his view of the metasearch landscape, and put your questions about advertising spend to SiteMinder's James Bishop. Want a refresher before the event? Check out these articles on meta from the Triptease blog:


With friends like these, who needs enemies? The state of the hotel-OTA relationship

Moderator: Michael Simon, Marriott International

Panelists: Marta Varela, Barcel├│ Hotels & Resorts | Satyan Joshi, Google | Ludovic Cacciapaglia, IHG

The hotel-OTA relationship is never far from the news. Whether it be Marriott renegotiating their commissions or ETTSA making claims that direct bookings aren't more cost-effective than OTAs, there'll be plenty to discuss on this panel. Some of the industry's biggest hitters will be sharing their thoughts on the ideal agreement between a hotel and an OTA, approaches to negotiations, and the when is the best time to prioritize direct bookings. Don't miss Google Hotel Ads business leader Satyan Joshi bringing his experience to bear on this thorny issue; given Google's recent growth, hotels need to be paying close attention to where the search giant is going next.

Interested in more on this topic? Check out these posts from the Triptease blog:


Marketing

Marketing in focus


Convincing your boss: How to prove the value of new investments

Rob Paterson, CEO, Best Western Great Britain

As a hotelier hungry to boost sales and increase brand awareness, you know all too well the struggle of having to slow down your plans because you can't your budget approved. Join Best Western's Rob Paterson to find out how to make the case for new technologies, new marketing initiatives and greater investments. Rob oversaw the large-scale automation project at Village Hotels before joining Best Western, so isn't short of experience of rallying support for new ventures!

You can read more about Village's automation project in our Spotlight on Direct Booking Strategies.


The need-to-know of Customer Relationship Management

Maarten Plesman, Revinate | Christoph Kempa, Samuel Braun Hotels | Kyle Borg, Luna Holiday Complex | Alex Obertop, SIDE Hotel Hamburg

Every hotelier needs CRM. In this session, hear from both leading solution providers and seasoned hoteliers about everything from building successful campaigns to investing in the right technology. You'll learn how to build an effective (and sustainable!) CRM system, the real difference between segmented content and personalization, and how to merge your online experience with what your guests get in-stay.

If you need a primer, check out our six-part Hotelier's Guide to CRM from earlier this year.


What hoteliers need to know about Airbnb Robin Clifford, Airbnb

Since they moved into hotel distribution earlier this year, Airbnb has been front and centre of many a boutique hotelier's mind. Will the home-sharing startup become a serious contender against the heavyweight OTAs? Time to put your questions to Robin Clifford, Head of Host Operations for Northern Europe at Airbnb.

Watch this space for more Airbnb content - but in the meantime, check out our recent articles on the subject below:


Technology

Technology in focus


A hotelier's guide to blockchain distribution

We've all heard of it - but what is it? Join us for blockchain 101 and learn how the technology could disrupt Expedia and Booking's duopoly in the hotel industry. Plus, learn why blockchain is a potential solution to 'the wholesaler problem'. We'll be covering new ground in this session, but if you need some background reading then check out our blockchain primer Blockchain for hotels: What you need to know (and what you don't). For that piece, we spoke to Maksim Ismaylov of Winding Tree for his expert insight. Do you have an insight to share in Amsterdam? Let the Triptease team know and you could be speaking at the Direct Booking Summit...


Bot vs. human: Which chat is right for my hotel website?

Stephen Keschelis, NH Hotel Group

In 2017, having a messenger on your website was desirable. In 2018, it's pretty much necessary. Consumers are comfortable with chat as a medium for searching, browsing and buying - so hotels need to be meeting them on their own terms. Hear from NH's VP E-commerce and Digital Translation as he explains the relative merits of bots, human chat, and a combined approach. Crucially, Stephen will be diving into the reasons why having live chat on your website can super-power your direct bookings. It's not one to miss!

Ready to buy tickets? Register now!

About The Author

Lily is Content Manager at Triptease. When she's not investigating the industry or spreading the word that #DirectIsBest, she enjoys music, cycling, and obscure radio quiz shows.