Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
Digital Marketing Strategy Conference 2017 Education


The day will be about maximizing the tools you are using today – whether it is SEO strategy, web presence, mobile, or social – and preparing for what the future will bring. At the end of the day, you’ll walk away with specific, practical recommendations for today and thought-provoking, challenging ideas to guide your strategy for tomorrow – all aimed at increasing revenue, driving direct bookings, and taking the agony out of managing digital marketing.

Attendees receive credit for 8 hours of continuing education for CRME and CHDM certification and re-certification. An additional 1 - 5 hours can be earned by participating in pre-conference workshops.


Hacking Marketing: The Amazing Convergence of Marketing & Software...with Scott Brinker

Revealing the surprising parallels between the professions of marketing and software development in a digital world, Scott will share how marketers can leverage software management concepts to their advantage. Adapt agile software development methods to "agile marketing." Balance the competing management trade-offs of innovation and scalability. And design marketing programs, systems, and organizations to embrace the reality of constant change.

View from the Top

Following the opening keynote, a panel of industry leaders will bring their diverse perspectives to bear on today's hotel landscape, what the future holds for digital marketing in hotels, and other important issues affecting the practice today:

  • Moderated by Dr. Lalia Rach, Founder & Partner, Rach Enterprises, and member of HSMAI's Board of Directors
  • Dorothy Dowling, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Josh Lesnick, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Wyndham Hotel Group
  • Gary Oster, SVP, US Travel Association

2020 Lightning Round:  Peer-to-Peer Case Studies and Insights

Back by popular demand, during this series of short presentations, engage with subject-matter experts and your peers to understand what digital marketing strategies are working, and in what ways. This fast paced format allows you to learn directly from the practitioners behind the case studies. You'll hear from:

  • New Data Visualizations to Better SEE (not understand) Hospitality Trends | Sean Cohen, Creative Director, TravelClick
  • Building a Hotel Brand through Smart Data MarketingJacqueline Maloney, Account Supervisor, HeBS Digital
  • The Ryder Cup: Activating a Global Event Digitally | Dan O'Neill, Vice President of Strategy and Sales, Bloomington, Minnesota Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Destination British Columbia and the Age of the Digital Concierge | Jennifer Andre, Senior Director, North America, Business Development, Expedia Media Solutions
  • ADA Website Conformity:  What You Need to Know | Chris Rockett, Sr. VP of Sales, Milestone Internet Marketing, and member of HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Council
  • #freenight: The Power of an Integrated Marketing Campaign | Cassy Scrima, Area Director of Marketing, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
  • Resolution Refresh | Erica Kline, Marketing Manager, Enchantment Group

Digital Disruption: The Consumer and Marketing Trends You Need to Know...with Geoff Ramsey, Chairman & Co-Founder, eMarketer

Make some headway in the epic battle to get consumers’ attention by leveraging Geoff Ramsey’s keen insights into customer behavior, where spend is going, the role of artificial intelligence, and more…and the implications for marketers. He’ll share specific examples of who’s doing well today – in and outside of travel – and what’s coming in the future.

Geoff Ramsey is on the cutting edge of consumer, marketing, and media trends in a digital world. Ramsey will weave together market data and a powerful narrative explaining the critical implications for hotel marketers. He has rich insights and a big-picture perspective into all facets of digital and its impact on marketing, business, and society.


Eight breakout sessions will be delivered in 2 tracks:

  • The Leadership track is ideally suited to team leaders who wish to broaden their perspectives and better understand emerging issues and concepts that impact the financial and leadership aspects of the marketing discipline.
  • The Best Practices track is designed to provide attendees with practical take-aways that can be used by digital marketing practitioners to sharpen their every-day skills and boost property performance.
Time Title Track


Detailed descriptions, including speaker information, will be updated regularly.  Check back often for the latest details.  

11:00 – 11:35 am  Macro Trends in Travel Leadership Description coming soon

Shaun Aukland, Account Executive, Travel, Google

11:00 – 11:35 am Strategic Digital Storytelling for Hotels Best Practices In the era of #fakenews, authenticity has never been more important for earning trust and loyalty with travelers. This will take a strategic approach to brand positioning and messaging on digital channels, stressing the importance of simplicity, clarity, and visual imagery. We’ll discuss how to shape messaging to attract attention and compel action while staying true to brand, positioning your hotel to exceed expectations, and mobilizing the most powerful storytellers of all: your guests.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Recognize the key elements of powerful digital storytelling
  • Craft authentic brand messages that attract attention and compel action
  • Distinguish between paid, owned and earned content, and how to optimize each type of content to drive business

Daniel Craig, Founder, Reknown

11:45 am - 12:20 pm Demystifying Distribution Leadership The key to greater opportunities is market intelligence.  The recently released Demystifying the Digital Marketplace: Spotlight on the Hospitality Industry builds on the landmark 2012 study and offers cutting edge research and insights that have never before existed for the hotel industry. Unprecedented in scope and scale, the rich insights and data provide a framework for understanding market realities as well as embracing opportunities to manage costs and optimize profit contribution.

This session will help you:

  • Identify customer acquisition costs and how they impact hotels;
  • Formulate a high level view on industry-wide revenue capture; and 
  • Assess general trends of third party booking brands.

Cindy Estis Green, CEO and Co-founder, Kalibri Labs

11:45 am - 12:20 pm Hospitality Photography: Creating Lasting Professional Imagery Best Practices Good stories are worth remember and retelling. In the case of hotels in the digital space, visual storytelling helps create a value proposition, highlighting your hotel’s unique features, to draw the traveler’s attention away from commoditized attributes like price.

What stories do your hotel’s photos tell? What stories do you WANT them to tell?

Learn from an accomplished hotel photographer how to plan for, and get, the right picture for the story you want to convey.

Michael Kleinberg, President, Michael Kleinbery Photography

2:00 – 2:35 pm 360°/ VR for Hotels – The Future is Now Leadership 360° and virtual reality are no longer distant, experimental technologies. They are here, and promise to have a continuing and profound impact on hotel marketers as 360°/ VR content will significantly influence the hotel booking process for consumers, and transform the business of marketing and selling travel.

Today, hotels and travel brands are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the future 360° / VR content. Josh, a 360° content creator, will demonstrate effective examples of 360° hotel content and VR campaigns, and will share powerful steps you can take now to create searchable 360° content.

You’ll also learn what’s next in this innovative new field, and what the future holds.

At the end of this session you will:

  • Know how 360° + VR content can lead to bookings
  • Understand what distinguishes 360° media and VR
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of what 360°content is, how to create it, and what the best platforms are for it.

Josh Johnson, Content Producer, PR + Brand Storyteller

2:00 – 2:35 pm The Intersection of SEO and Social Best Practices As SEO and Social are both strong influencers of the digital spectrum, this session will provide an overview of the impact of Social Signals on Search Engine Rankings, and identify actions you can take to create a stronger intersect. At the end of this session, attendees will be able to understand the influence of Social on Search Engine Rankings and walk away with tangible action items to implement for their hotel(s).
  • Jeri Jackson, Manager, Social Strategy, Marriott Digital Services
  • Chris LaRose, VP eCommerce Americas, Hilton Worldwide
  • Morgan Merron, Manager, SEO Strategy, Marriott International
2:45 – 3:20 pm From Search Engine to Booking Engine: Sojern and Google's Look at the Path to Hotel Bookings Leadership Looking at hotel search and booking trends over the last year, we’ll paint a picture of emerging trends in search, changes in lead time, how hotel segmentation impacts cross-device search, and more. This session will unveil Sojern’s latest collaborative insights report with Google.

Turning insights into action, Cat will discuss how to incorporate these data points into your future digital marketing strategies to reach the right traveler at the right time on the right device.

Catlyn Origitano, Content Marketing Manager, Sojern

2:45 – 3:20 pm Making the Most of Facebook Best Practices Tied to the rise of mobile, shifts in consumer behavior are requiring hoteliers to rethink their businesses strategies. Within the lodging industry, there are many opportunities to leverage this mobile-first trend and enhance traveler communications throughout the funnel, as well as the overall guest experience. Over 1.8 B people access Facebook and Instagram every day from mobile devices, and as travel inspiration, research, and bookings are all skyrocketing in this channel, Facebook has invested in solutions that allow marketers to capitalize on this behavior. In this session, you’ll learn how hotels are using Facebook to build their brands, drive bookings, and grow loyalty-bases. You’ll also learn about upcoming innovations designed to help hotels stay ahead of the curve as the next generation of hotel guests enter their peak travel years.

Will Farnan, Client Partner, Travel Suppliers, Facebook






Bronze    DerbySoft    Expedia Media Solutions  Knowland   Rainmaker    Screen Pilot    

Serenata    TripAdvisor   Triptease    Utrip    Ve Interactive    YouVisit

Media    Hospitality Upgrade