HSMAI Europe, the European arm of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable revenue growth globally, has set a positive tone for the sector’s commercial progression in 2023.
The association brought together more than 200 thought leaders, rising leaders council members, students and hospitality professionals at a first-of-its-kind three-day business event (January 18 to 20), encompassing its popular annual pan-European revenue optimisation conference, HSMAI ROC on January 19, dovetailed by two complementary events – a Leadership Day on January 18 for members of HSMAI’s advisory boards, student council members and rising leaders council, and an invitation-only Chief Executive Officer Roundtables on January 20, fostering high-level industry discussions.
Taking place at InterContinental Park Lane, London, the event themed ‘Ride the Wave’, gathered more than 200 HSMAI members, partners and inspirational speakers – from futurists to Metaverse gurus – to share knowledge, debate hot topics and find solutions to some of the most pressing industry issues, focusing on commercial strategies to drive revenue and enhance the customer experience in an ever-changing world.
With disciplines represented at the event going beyond revenue management to include sales, marketing, communications, third-party providers, and others, the need for all departments to work together to enhance the customer experience and commercial success was highlighted.
Topics debated included leadership strategies for the future, exploiting new customer behaviours, solutions to tackle the talent crisis, creating a friction-free customer experience, the evolving role of data and technology, and the true meaning of sustainability in hospitality.
These pertinent discussions also dominated the Leadership Day and Chief executive Roundtables where HSMAI members devised action plans to improve knowledge and educational opportunities for current and future members. Strategies for engaging more industry professionals, from hospitality, travel and tourism, as well as students, were also kick-started as HSMAI Europe looks to grow its local presence in 2023 significantly.
“HSMAI Europe’s first three-day business event unleashed the true power of collaboration and communication, bringing together the region’s top talent, current and future leaders, as well as our partners and speakers to take our industry forward in 2023 and beyond,” said Ingunn Hofseth, President & CEO, HSMAI Region Europe.
“With our members ranging from experienced CEOs to immensely talented students, all passionately discussing key trends, ideas and sharing best practice and knowledge, common goals can be achieved, from improving talent acquisition and retention and boosting customer engagement to making our industry more sustainable, taking care of people and planet.”
She added: “When departments and people talk to one another and a revenue optimisation culture is embraced, great things happen, including commercial success, and I believe HSMAI plays a key role in driving this essential evolution.”
Highlights of 2023 HSMAI Europe ROC, which Michael Schäffner moderated, Vice President Sales EMEA at Duetto, the event’s Platinum sponsor, Duetto, included a keynote from customer experience thought leader Steven Van Belleghem, whose session was entitled ‘Human and Tech: How to create the perfect CX by combining these two interfaces’. He highlighted that companies who succeed will adopt a “real human” customer service culture, employ leaders who “work from the heart”, and “pay it forward with impact”.
Lennert de Jong, President of Hospitality at payment technology provider, Planet, stressed the urgent need for hotels to remove friction from processes such as check-in, while a panel of corporate travel buyers, hosted by Paul Proctor, Vice President Commercial Europe at IHG Hotels & Resorts, revealed sustainable accommodation options were now among top criteria considered during the RFP process, warning that some companies now give their employees a carbon footprint travel budget that must not be exceeded.
This year, ROC revived its tradition of Lightning Rounds – short presentations with auto-advancing slides for industry leaders to share best practices, strategic insights and big ideas in a concise format. The conference programme also featured roundtable discussions, allowing attendees to choose two sessions from 11 roundtable topics focusing on sales, marketing and revenue.
The conference culminated with the hotly anticipated HSMAI Europe Awards ceremony and the Awards dinner, which recognised the great work of hospitality people and companies in 2022. For more details on the event click here and for the full list of winners and runners click here.
HSMAI Europe’s Leadership Day, an event last staged pre-pandemic in September 2019, involved members of several HSMAI Europe advisory boards, the Student Council and the Rising Leaders Council. Discussions involved global certification updates, member survey results, and the 2023 growth plan for HSMAI Europe as it looks to set up new regional advisory boards to boost pan-industry membership, with activities set to be announced soon.
Three invitation-only Chief Executive Roundtables concluded HSMAI Europe’s three-day event, with Chief Digital Officers discussing predictive personalisation, Chief Revenue Officers asking, ‘In 2023, do you know what your revenue managers are doing?’, and Chief Sales and Distribution Officers debating sales versus distribution – the equation of how to ride the wave and maximising collaboration between the two.
For more information on the association and conference visit HSMAI Europe