We were invited to speak at the HSMA conference on February 11th in Germany by the HSMA, IFH in connection with the German Hotel Association (IHA) as key sponsors of the event. The entire day was dedicated to electronic marketing and how to make the best out of internet marketing opportunities.
During the morning we listened to representatives from Google describing marketing opportunities for travel companies; Lufthansa showing how airlines manage passengers and use the internet to ease procedures; Micros-Fidelio talking about integrated e-commerce solutions; as well as, various consulting companies presenting how the internet and web 2.0 provide opportunities and challenges.
In the afternoon the crowd of approximately 180 people was able to select from various workshops that would allow for deeper inside info. For example newsletter marketing, search-engine-optimization, legal aspects of web 2.0, RFP procedures as well as integrated revenue management and distribution systems.
We were asked to talk about Metasearch and Channel management – the balance between customer and hotel. During the workshop we established what channel management and metasearch are, how they influence consumer & hotel behaviour and how they are going to develop in the near future. As I love to show the hotel world how inconsistency is transparent on the web, we also walked through an example of why it is important to manage rates & availability properly. I managed to find a hotel during my research for the workshop that had different rates on different travel metasearches and even within the same search engine! I am sure that revenue was lost there…
After the workshops the organizers presented a panel discussion between Trivago, Holidaycheck, Choice Hotels and Romantik Hotels about Hotel-Review-Platforms. To my surprise, the audience was very switched on and engaged…. even at 6pm.
Overall the event was well received. The organizers could have done improved with some of the presenters though. When you present at a nearly 200 people event, you have to make sure your presentation is sharp, informative and interesting enough to follow along. That wasn’t always the case for some…..