March 29, 2018
A record 351 senior leaders in hospitality marketing convened at the New York Marriott Marquis in late February at the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Digital Marketing Strategy Conference. Attendees gathered to learn digital strategy best practices and connect with colleagues and industry partners for innovative solutions for hotel marketing.
HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference attracted senior level personnel representing hotel companies (brands, management companies, ownership groups) in addition to service providers, hospitality faculty, students, and press. More than one-third of conference goers also attended HSMAI’s 61st Annual Adrian Awards Dinner and Gala, which was held at the same venue the night prior to the conference.
The theme of this year’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference was “It starts with strategy.” Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CBA, president and CEO, HSMAI, explained, “Digital marketing is too important to a hotel’s business outcomes to be poorly planned or just a series of uncoordinated efforts; strategy should be front and center. That’s why this conference is so important.” He added, “Hotel marketers who attended not only learned lessons that they’ll be able to apply to their own work, but HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference also provided insight into how marketers can better communicate their strategy to other stakeholders, such as owners and revenue managers.”
The event opened with an a engaging keynote presentation by Heath Slawner, on the power and relevance of the “why” behind customers’ travel purchasing decisions—whether picking the destination or the hotel. He inspired attendees and challenged them to be driven by purpose every day.
Breakout sessions throughout the day featured sessions on data, customization, AI, and the intersection of digital marketing and revenue management. Attendees also gained insight into communicating more effectively with colleagues, partners, and other stakeholders about the data and strategies tied to digital marketing. A panel of hotel ownership and asset management executives shared tips for digital marketers when talking with asset managers, general managers, and owners.
“Digital Insights: Ideas Worth Sharing,” was a riveting lightning-paced presentation for attendees in which 6 marketing executives each shared exciting new ideas and relevant case studies in 7 minutes.
The conference also included the release of the new Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM) study guide, Hospitality Digital Marketing Essentials: A Field Guide for Navigating Today's Digital Landscape.
Digital marketers also relished the opportunity to meet others who work in similar roles and who face and have been able to conquer similar challenges.
Press coverage and content recaps of HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference include the following:
“4 Ways Digital Marketers Can Communicate Better” (Hotel News Now)
“4 Tips for Building a Website Personalization Strategy” (Hotel News Now)
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals & their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference, Adrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927 and celebrating 90 years in 2017, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at http://www.hsmai.org, www.facebook.com/hsmai, www.twitter.com/hsmai, and www.youtube.com/hsmai1.