A Recap of The 2018 Direct Booking Summit Americas

October 15, 2018 Lis Thomas

Amber Mayer, NAVIS VP Of Product, presents at Direct Booking SummitFrom across the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean, hotelier leaders gather each year at Direct Booking Summit for the Americas to share insights and discuss strategies around fostering business tactics that drive more direct bookings.


The 2019 conference took place in Dallas, TX, and featured topics focused on marketing trends and advancements, tools and tips for decreasing OTA dependence, and the future of technology in our industry. Triptease stated in a recap of the event that, “The program was built around three pillars: Distribution, Marketing, and Technology." 


And true to this theme, the first day of the conference focused on distribution strategies. Things were kicked off with a keynote speech from Calvin Anderson, Chief of Revenue Optimization at RLH Corporation, about the Modern Consumer’s Conversion Path, and presentations on everything from the current state of metasearch to CompSet (competitive set) analysis. No time was wasted, and the audience and speakers arrived ready to dig in. Read a full recap of day-one from our friends at Triptease, here.  


The start of day-two focused on marketing and improving the relationship between hotels’ Marketing, Digital and Revenue teams. Our own Amber Mayer, VP of Product Solutions at NAVIS, spoke about the components of a successful CRM strategy for hotels and didn’t sugarcoat the need for a complete CRM model that goes beyond email marketing. The general theme of the day ended with a discussion around how independent hotels can creatively and successfully compete with their large-chain counterparts. More on day-two from Triptease can be accessed here.


Day-two continued with a focus on technology, and technological advancements. The day started with insights from Charlie Osmond, Chief Tease of Triptease, followed by a presentation with Bill Ramsey, Senior Director Mobile and Emerging Channels, Choice Hotels International. Both speakers took attendees on a journey through the possibilities with new and emerging technology, and digital distribution channels.


The conference ended with lively presentations and discussions on day three around mapping the guest journey, expert insights on evolving booking engines, and strategies around the path to purchase. Read more about day two and day three.

It’s wonderful to see where these industry events take us and evolve each year. 2018's conference marked the third year that our team has attended the event. We sat down with Ron Botts, NAVIS National System Consultant, to gain some insight from his experience at Direct Booking Summit. Our Q&A is below:


NAVIS: What were your key takeaways from the sessions?

Ron: The industry is looking for solutions that unify data and teams. Having data in silos with very little collaboration among teams has become a hospitality industry problem. A lot of the presenters talked about this issue, and the audience wanted the information.


NAVIS: Was there a quote, theme or concept that you are still thinking about from the conference?

Ron: Calvin Anderson, Chief of Revenue Optimization for Red Lion Hotels quote during his talk--excuse me as I paraphrase here, “You have to have every potential guest touch-point along the buying process very well optimized.” It made the audience think about how important it is to meet your guests where they are in their guest journey--not just where it’s convenient for you as a marketer.


NAVIS: What was the hot topic on everyone's mind?

Ron: Silo’d data is what’s on everyone’s mind right now. Finding ways to unify data and teams is top-of-mind in the industry.


NAVIS: What was your favorite thing about the food, venue or meetings?

Ron: The meeting space at The Statler Dallas (Curio Collection) was so high-tech it was impressive! Also, the bowling alley was superb.


NAVIS: Anything else you want to share?

Ron: Johnathan Capps, VP of Revenue at Charlestowne Hotels and Lindley Ferris, SVP with GCommerce are both legitimate bowlers! We had a great time knocking pins down together.


Thanks for the takeaways, Ron! We’re looking forward to next year’s conference already.


If you attended Direct Booking Summit and are looking for the next great conference to participate in, take a look at the agenda for the upcoming NAVIS Leaders Conference. Taking place in San Diego, California, March 6-8, 2019, the event will be held at Rancho Bernardo Inn, a valued NAVIS client, located in the beautiful foothills outside of San Diego’s downtown area. Presentations will include topics such as, marketing throughout the guest journey, how to understand your KPIs, the components of a complete CRM, and much more. We hope you and your team can attend!

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