Deep Dive 1: Charlie Osmond, Chief Tease, Triptease

Charlie loves startups. He built his first business after graduating from Oxford with a degree in engineering. Named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Esquire Magazine, Charlie founded Triptease in 2013 to help hotels get more direct bookings. He will cover the following topics and of course, anything you want to ask him as well.

• Getting practical – Direct booking actions you can take today.
• The problem with AB testing – AB testing seems easy and obvious but people’s expectations are often overblown given low data volumes for most hoteliers.
• Managing parity – Making sure you’re not losing bookings to OTAs undercutting your direct price.

Deep Dive 2: Hichame Assi, CEO, HotelsCombined

Hichame has a wealth of international experience in digital travel. Born in France to a Syrian dad and English mum, Hichame Assi was employee No. 8 at OctopusTravel in London in 2000. He joined HotelsCombined in Sydney in 2010, becoming employee No 15. He became COO three years ago and was appointed CEO last year.

Hichame is passionate about:

• Getting the best results out of meta-search
• Mentoring young talent and entrepreneurs
• Open & Social Innovation

Deep Dive 3: The Customer-Centric Hotel: Lorraine Sileo, Vice President, Research, Phocuswright

The competitive landscape for hotels and lodging is heating up. Pressures from online travel agencies, metasearch sites, and private accommodation sellers such as Airbnb are forcing suppliers to rethink their value proposition and marketing tactics. Whether it’s loyalty programs, member discounts, or improving the guest experience, hotels must up the ante. This deep dive will explore consumer preferences and how the hotel industry is adapting and exploiting the many innovations shaping travel today – and in the future.

Lorraine Sileo has been watching hotel trends as an analyst for decades and is a passionate traveller who pays attention to the customer-centric details.

Deep Dive 4: The Art of Startups: Launching, Scaling & Exiting – Fritz Demopoulos, CEO, Queen’s Road Capital

With a couple of startups and exits under his belt, Fritz Demopoulos, one of the co-founders of Qunar, knows the challenges of starting a business well. Today, he runs his own portfolio, with investments in several travel startups as well as in other verticals. In this deep dive, Fritz will share his experience and knowledge of the different stages of running a startup – from launch, to scaling, to exiting.

Deep Dive 5: Digital, Flight & Loyalty: Steven Greenway, CEO, U-Holidays, reward-U

Steven Greenway loves to fly. More than that, he loves to make things fly especially airlines’ e-commerce businesses. He was known as Chief Cash Cow at Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ low cost subsidiary, and is now responsible for the Hong Kong Express Group’s “non-flying” businesses including U-Fly Alliance, Reward-U (Loyalty), U-Fly Holidays, U-Technologies and leading a range of merger and acquisition (M&A) activities.

In this session, Steven will share lessons he’s learnt in the airline industry, how those can be applied to hospitality and in particular, how to win and keep loyalty of customers and partners.  

Deep Dive 6: Customer Experience Strategy Development: Widhadh Waheed, Director of eBusiness, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Widhadh has a deep passion for digital marketing and evolving how companies speak to individuals through automation. Her pet topic is Putting The Customer First – customer strategy development across online and offline touch points, automation vs the personal touch. 

A believer in continuous learning, she studied Architecture, Mathematics and Computer Science going on to build nine different businesses and selling five. She worked with fortune 500 companies within the bay area before joining Shangri-La to deep dive into the hospitality industry. 

Deep Dive 7: Parallels between Mountaineering & Performance Marketing: Puneet Mahindroo, Corporate Director Revenue Management APAC, Revenue Management, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

A mountaineer by passion, Puneet scaled his first 8,000 meters summit when he was 18. His most daunting adventure has been attempting the summit of Mount Everest in May 2016. In his work life Puneet has been a Revenue Management and Distribution professional for past 19 years working in different parts of the world. Representing the Board of Directors of HEDNA and now the APAC Chair for HSMAI Revenue Management Advisory Board, he has been involved in several industry-wide projects and initiatives. At the age of 27, he was one of the youngest visiting faculties to India’s premier business school - Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Puneet finds inspiration from his passion and draws parallels between his lessons from mountaineering and performance marketing. Ever growing margin pressure, escalating costs of marketing and shrinking profitability has brought a renewed focus to understanding the true cost of Distribution and Marketing. Puneet believes this aspect in no less formidable than climbing Mount Everest!

Deep Dive 8: Enhance your customer experience with unique tours and activities: Blanca Menchaca, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, BeMyGuest

Travellers are looking for much more than cheap rates for hotels or flights. Hotels are starving to differentiate their brands by offering value-adding services. Millennials want to experience the world in a unique way, yet Asian travellers are still collecting destinations and are still hesitant to explore alone. Tours and activities just started to come online.

Learn how to leverage this ancillary product to enhance your customer experience.