Chair's opening remarks
Improving the digital customer experience: embracing new paradigms

The hospitality landscape is changing. With challenger brands innovate at an exciting pace - using technology and marketing in new and innovative ways. Athena Simpson from Y Food will explore the innovative marketing tactics and new business models that are disrupting the market and showcase how these and the tech employed can be applied to established businesses.

Taking inspiration from the most creative change makers and innovators who have used unconventional and lean methods to achieve success, this session will provide the blueprint for charging ahead of the curve by getting into the disruptor mindset.

Partner and CMO
Has GDPR broken your business? General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Ten-point checklist
  • Are you comfortable your business is fully compliant?
  • What steps have our panel of hoteliers made to ensure they have implemented GDPR?
  • Have there been many access requests by customers asking to be removed from the database?
  • What have been any early issues?
  • What changes have our panel hoteliers made to their daily routine as a result of the new GDPR regulations?
  • Now you have new practices and procedures in place, what’s next?
Director of Finance
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Information & Cyber Security Manager
Moore Stephens LLP
UK Head of Data Privacy and Cyber Security
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Case Study: The digital customer experience
  • Building a successful digital strategy
  • Differentiating between different segments of clients
  • How deep to mine your data?
  • Leveraging value from copycat guests
Inbound marketing: how to ensure your SEO strategy delivers ROI?
  • Establishing successful SEO techniques as a long-term strategy
  • Developing good online engaging content
  • How much to invest in developing your content?
  • What words to use; how to catch people’s eye?
  • The stats: concentrating on ROI & quantifying the gain
  • Digital PR and outreach: how to engage with influencers (bloggers & vloggers)?
  • How is SEO better than pay-per-click, and when does it make sense to use PPC?
  • Finding your customers: ensuring the language you use online matches your target audience
  • Finding your customers: understanding which customers want to engage with which channels (e.g. Millennials)
Hotel Marketing Association (HMA)
Delivering the technology that tempts in diners
  • Timothy Love will present the thinking behind the brand’s innovations and reveal the internal data that informs investment decisions, while also providing his predictions for the restaurant of the future. From award-winning messenger bots to the launch of its new app with first of its kind augmented reality, PizzaExpress leads the way when it comes to technology in the casual dining sector.

Senior Marketing Manager
Bookings & guest conversion
  • Ensuring your hotel website makes booking easy: simplifying the process
  • Making your website all about conversion (anything else is extra)
  • Using OTAs to give your hotel a wider geographical reach 
  • Achieving the balance: how to develop a strong bespoke booking offering and dovetail with OTA bookings?
  • Finding the right direct/OTA balance: how do you know when you’ve reached the “right” balance for your business? Have you done enough to attract your bookings direct? 
  • Using heat-mapping to create a great booking experience
The Old Stocks
Chief Executive
Pride of Britain Hotels
Revenue and Marketing Director
Hand Picked Hotels
Marketing Manager
The Calcot Collection
Customer engagement: streamlining the customer experience
  • Getting value from A/B multi-variant testing
  • Heat mapping & customer journey mapping
  • Customer engagement – how do the different parts of the customer journey join up?
  • Prioritising how deep to mine your data. And is it worth it?
  • Managing your online reputation & how to re-engage with people who have booked previously?
Head of Online
The Doyle Collection
Marketing Manager
80 Days and Founder of Hotel Speak
New digital & data trends in hospitality
  • GeoIP – successful campaigns sending different marketing messages to different audiences
  • AI – how can AI help with marketing in hospitality?
  • Using AI-based network data to personalise the booking experience
  • Opensource technology in hospitality
  • Best use of mobile apps (check-in, room service, booking meeting rooms, payment)
  • Travel is often visual: what will be the impact of voice on optimisation? 
  • Are you getting best use out of your data using personalisation and automation?
  • How to ensure it doesn’t cost more to dissect and mine the data as it does to get value from the exercise you’re doing?
  • Structuring your new marketing team for the future
UK Executive Operations Director
Delaware North
VP Food and Beverage