Digital Marketing Strategy Conference 2019 Education & Speakers - HSMAI
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
Digital Marketing Strategy Conference 2019 Education & Speakers


The 2019 conference is centered around the customer journey. Speakers and sessions will address new developments in marketers’ efforts – online and off – to connect with, track, and influence consumers throughout all phases of their travel.

At the end of the day, you’ll walk away with specific, practical recommendations to sharpen your action plan and thought-provoking, challenging ideas to guide your strategies – all aimed at increasing revenue, driving direct bookings, and taking the agony out of marketing in a digital world.

Attendees receive credit for 8 hours of continuing education for CRME and CHDM certification and re-certification. Additional hours can be earned by participating in pre-conference learning.


Marketing in the Age of Assistance

Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist | Brand Marketing, Google

Today’s consumers are highly empowered because of the digital landscape, which has made them more curious, demanding, and impatient. Brands that are succeeding in today’s world of digital assist the consumer. They look at all consumer touchpoints and reduce friction, and they do so by being personal and by being prompt.

Chief Marketing Officer Panel: A View from the Top

This panel of leading hotel chief marketing officers will bring their diverse perspectives to bear on current events in the hotel marketing landscape, what the future holds for marketing hotels in the digital world, and other important issues affecting the industry today. It is a candid conversation with actionable insights that you’ll only hear at HSMAI – the industry’s only organization committed to fueling sales, inspiring marketing, and optimizing revenue for hotels and their partners.

Moderated by Natalie Osborn, Director, Marketing, SAS Institute, Inc. and member of HSMAI's Marketing Advisory Board

  • Lisa Checchio, SVP Global Brands, Wyndham Hotel Group
  • Dorothy Dowling, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Sherri Gilligan, Chief Marketing Officer, Two Roads Hospitality

Digital Talks: Insights Worth Sharing

It's a conference tradition: marketing executives will share their interesting ideas and case studies for driving revenue and profit. In 7 minutes, each will share:

  • Best practices with practical takeaways that attendees can used to sharpen your every-day skills and boost property performance, or
  • Strategic insights that broaden attendees’ perspectives and help them better understand key issues and concepts that impact the strategic and leadership aspects of the digital marketing discipline.

Presentations and presenters include:

  • 7 Minutes in (Hotel Marketing) Heaven | Cady Wolf, Vice President, Strategic Accounts, Sojern
  • Case Study: Biometric Activation | Siobhan Mitchell, Director, Loyalty Marketing, North & Central America, Accor Hotels
  • Creating Authentic Customer Experiences in the Era of Visual Content | Jose Canelos, Sr. Manager, Digital Product Development at The Leading Hotels of the World and Gary Zurnamer, Enterprise Sales Director, Stackla
  • The Benefits of Becoming BFF With Your DMO | Brandy Hastings, Regional Partnership Manager, VISIT FLORIDA
  • The Rapidly Changing Search Environment | Daniel Verdi, Vice President of Performance Media and DMP, Red Lion Hotel Corporation

The Promise of AI

David Atkins, Principal and Co-Founder, Digital DNA Infusion

The first “killer” app for artificial intelligence that could impact hospitality, travel, and tourism is coming sooner than you think. When it does, it will likely cause massive, wide-ranging, impacts to all aspects of hospitality, travel and tourism similar to those that accompanied the interstate highway system in the U.S.

AI is an over-used buzzword. Are you ready for the reality of it?


Choose from 12 breakout sessions throughout the day.




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

Traveler Trends and Booking Behaviors: Actionable Data and Insights for Hoteliers Marketing Strategy Traveler motivations, priorities, accommodation preferences and booking behaviors vary by age, geography and individual preference, as well as trip type. To understand traveler purchase decisions, hoteliers must first understand how travelers are influenced, why they are traveling and what they are looking for in their travel experience. Through a mix of global custom research, proprietary first-party data and industry examples, attendees will learn how to target, inspire and convert potential guests from around the world. From the power of package bookings to how much travelers budget for hotels and the influence of deals, to culinary travel and bleisure trips, hoteliers can learn about the trends and behaviors shaping today's travelers and leverage these actionable insights to better inform their own digital marketing strategies and campaigns.

Presented by Jennifer Andre, Senior Director, North America & Latin America, Expedia Group Media Solutions

Legal Headlines and Headwinds for Digital Marketers  Marketing Strategy Issues that digital marketers need to be aware of in the travel landscape change daily. Greg Duff, Principal and Firm Chair, from Garvey Schubert Barer, will share his list of the most pressing and controversial issues he sees from his point of view and attendees will have the opportunity to ask him specific questions about the topics of interest to them.

Presented by Greg Duff, Principal and Firm Chair, Garvey Schubert Barer

Reimagining the Hotel Booking Site to Better Compete Digital Tactics Get an inside look at what it takes to completely reimagine the hotel booking site, and take away specific ideas to apply to your own.

In a highly competitive lodging market, hospitality brands like Aqua-Aston struggle to win direct booking and loyalty from consumers. Consumers may visit a hospitality brand's website while in the planning stage of a trip, but often end up booking on an OTA. With the advent of more travel content, review sites and price comparison engines, travelers spend 5 months on average planning a trip and conduct approximately 50 searches across 700 digital touchpoints during that time. The redesigned Aqua-Aston Hospitality website is an industry first, allowing consumers to "shop" for travel based on the type of trip they want. Designing more than a hotel/hospitality booking site, Aqua-Aston developed a personalized portal experience that delivers extensive content by establishing digital brand ambassadors and features to help travelers navigate through the dreaming, planning, booking phases. The new website has seen an increase in revenue by 22% YoY and conversion rate to 1.03%, with travelers booking longer stays through the portal.

Presented by James Karabelas, Vice President, Marketing, Aqua-Aston Hospitality

Hotel Data Science Boot Camp for Marketers Digital Tactics Learn the fundamental skills of working with datasets as a hotel marketer. In this session, we will walk you through the key data segments and techniques hoteliers can use to make smarter business decisions and apply actual intelligence to marketing programs. Deepen machine learning skills and gain best practices for data cleaning, modeling, clustering and more, including hotel systems, combinations and recipes for success when you slice, dice and segment. Walk away with a data science tool kit and game plan to implement at your hotel.

Presented by Michael Bennett, SVP Global Marketing, Cendyn

The Business of Influencer Marketing: More than likes & #hashtags Marketing Strategy Influencer marketing is booming. In a recent survey of marketing leaders from HSMAI, one-third reported that their priorities for 2019 are shifting more toward influencers. As more brands and properties leverage influencers, and more influencers come onto the stage, both sides of the equation are experiencing growing pains.

Best practices are emerging around the issues of influencer identification, contracting, performance measurement, and funnel integration. Learn the keys to building a holistic influencer marketing practice on a solid foundation that consists of much more than likes and hashtags.

Moderated by Robert Cole, Founder-CEO, RockCheetah, and member of HSMAI's Marketing Advisory Board

Marketing to the Rescue: Leverage Digital Opportunities to Mitigate Pricing Reactions and Stabilize Prices Digital Tactics From this hands-on session, you will go home with the tools and knowledge you need to facilitate a group-based learning exercise that actively places participants in situations where they need to make price and allocation decisions in a competitive, multi-channel environment. You’ll also end up with a framework that allows them to diagnose the outcomes of their decisions.

It is an effective training tool to develop key revenue management decision making and performance analysis skills of revenue managers, GMs, sales managers, asset managers, and others whose jobs regularly intersect with digital marketing.

Presented by Dr. Chris Anderson, Academic Director, Cornell University

The Progression of Personalization: A Panel Discussion on Operationalizing 1:1 Marketing

Marketing Strategy

Moderated by Robert Patterson, Vice President of Marketing Technology, MMGY Global

Finding and Elevating Common Ground Metrics for eCommerce and Revenue Management Cross-Discipline Integration Presented by Chris LaRose, VP, eCommerce Americas, Hilton Worldwide
Strategic Distribution: Getting to an Effective Channel Mix Cross-Discipline Integration Details coming soon!
Integrated Marketing: Trends and Tools to Maximize Results Cross-Discipline Integration Your guests don't rely on only one channel when making their booking decisions. And integrating your advertising, public relations, and digital marketing -- designing them to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on your customer's needs -- is no small feat. But when done successfully, integrated marketing creates a seamless, welcoming experience for guests to interact with the hotel/brand/enterprise.

Learn from the “best of the best,” a panel of Adrian Awards winners who will share:
  • Lessons learned about evolving channel mix and new traffic sources to grow your direct revenues.
  • Insights on the tools that make integrated marketing possible and manageable – how they work, and the your results you can expect to see.
  • Quantitative conversion trends and data.

Moderated by Tim Peter, President, Tim Peter & Associates

Optimizing Content for Voice Search & Virtual Assistants Digital Tactics With more than 400 million Google Assistant-based devices in use and 20 million Amazon Echos sold, the power of a customer's voice has never been greater – and not just figuratively. Customers are literally using their voices to interact with brands in myriad ways.

Now is the time to rethink content marketing and digital strategies to include – and constantly learn from – voice. It can mean the difference between high-quality, relevant experiences for your guests, and irrelevance for your hotel or brand.

This session will cover the opportunities and challenges that voice search presents hotels and the travel industry, including:

  • Optimizing your content and user experience for a future in which half of all queries are voice-driven.
  • The role featured snippets play in surfacing voice search results.
  • Using variables such as location, long-tail keywords, and reviews.
  • Creating task-based and informational content.
  • Identifying cost-effective ways to experiment and learn with voice search.

Presented by Anil Aggarwal, CEO, Milestone, and member of HSMAI's Marketing Advisory Board.



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