Break down in to smaller groups for collaborative discussions over a prosecco or two on the following topics:
• Guest reviews and reputation management - led by Francine Heywood, GuestRevu
• GDPR and its implications for hoteliers - led by Paula Swain, Shoosmiths
• China: tips on exporting your brand, and appealing to the Chinese guest back home - led by Stuart Johnson, pre-opening general manager, Shanghai - Rocco Forte Hotels (tbc) and Cho Wong, managing director, Compass Edge Europe
With a population of 1.38 billion people, the Chinese economy growing at 6.7% (source: World Bank) and outbound travel predicted to grow by 10% in 2018, it is a misconception that China is an 'easy' hospitality market - only 6% of the population have passports. We shall discuss how a typical Chinese traveller starts researching for his/her trip and makes the decision/bookings. How can European hoteliers reach out to Chinese travellers despite Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube being banned in China.
• "Alexa, order me a hotel room" - what's next for voice and digital marketing? - led by Rahul Arora, CEO, Digital Hotelier (tbc)
• Recruiting the next generation and working with hospitality schools - led by Mark Jones, GLION Hospitality school (tbc)
• Effective facility and energy management - led by Frazer Duris, Businesswise Solutions and Alfred Eetlink, Hotel Facility Concepts
• Hybrid hotels and poshtels - led by Navneet Bali, CEO, Meininger Hotels
• Beginners guide to blockchain and its potential impact on hospitality - led by Katia Lang, Co-Founder and CEO, Disrupts Media
The potential for blockchain to disrupt hotel distribution and more is very real. But how will this nascent technology compete with or complement the existing ecosystem? From advanced loyalty programs to disintermediation strategies, regaining control over room inventory and guest data is one of the main priorities of both branded and independent hotels. Blockchain technology could theoretically guarantee an open door to travel distribution, solving the problem of inventory access at its root: no more minimum volumes required by big players in order to open their APIs and no more exorbitant integration costs. This means close-to-zero cost per guest acquisition for hotels and a less OTA-dependent landscape. What will a blockchain-enabled future look like? What opportunities does blockchain offer hoteliers to get closer to the customer?
• Sustainability - a necessity not a luxury - led by Thomas Kendall, senior designer, Wayward, and Jan Hazelton, VP global business and real estate development, Kerzner International
The time for lip service is over – when the government sets a date for banning petrol and diesel cars you know the low carbon agenda is not going away. But a sustainably and efficiently run hotel is more profitable, especially with the shadow of sustainability levies on the horizon. What are the most effective ways to transform your property?