This week we took a trip to a rather sweltering Frankfurt (37.2 degrees!) to attend HSMA’s Pricing and Distribution Day. Over 300 delegates, from group revenue managers to individual hotel owners, came together to find out about the latest trends that are affecting German hoteliers.

Here are three things we learnt:

Mark Friesen from Quinta Consulting opened the day with a fascinating talk on pricing. Citing the age old Robert Cialdini suit example, he talked about three different tactics hotels can use to better set their pricing. The strongest in his opinion is value-based pricing. When it comes to hotels, Mark argued that different people will soon be willing to pay different prices as personalisation takes off. He suggests better use of data and a watchful eye on where dynamic pricing will take us in the future.

Mark was followed by Michaela Pappenhoff from h2c, a consulting company that will soon launch results from a joint study with Phocuswright. There were some fascinating stats mentioned throughout Michaela’s talk, namely that in the next three years 73% of hoteliers say they will increase how much they invest in their own website, whilst 8% will reduce the use of third parties. Granted that 47% will not change their OTA usage, it supports the current (smaller) studies that show a rise in direct booking.

As the day continued there were a number of other interesting talks, and the day ended with a fascinating talk by Lisa Edelmann from InterCity Hotels Leipzig. Lisa wrote her bachelor’s thesis on ‘how to make direct a more appealing channel. She summarised her findings, stating that guests want to see comparisons on the hotel website. It’s not just pricing, as our Price Check widget shows, but customers also want to see what other hotels nearby are offering. That’s something that CitizenM has been trialling, and you can read about more in our ‘Get a room’ ebook.

In all it was a fascinating day at the Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel. We came away better informed about what’s happening for revenue managers now and we’re excited for what the future holds.