Digital Travel US 2019

April 08 - 10, 2019

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, CA


DAY TWO: Booking & Experience, TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2019

7:40 am - 8:40 am Continental Breakfast & Registration for All Attendees in the Solutions Lounge

8:40 am - 8:45 am Welcome Remarks

Krishna Patel - Senior Conference Producer WBR

Krishna Patel

Senior Conference Producer

8:45 am - 9:00 am Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Ravi N. Raj - CEO & Co-Founder Passage.AI

Ravi N. Raj

CEO & Co-Founder

9:00 am - 9:20 am KEYNOTE: Win the booking! Now with… MORE ANALYTICS

It’s the same age old question: how can you get that sweet sweet conversion?  Let’s discuss what’s new when it comes to:
•How touchpoints with customers that support conversions have changed over the past few years
•Leveraging technology when you don’t have huge analytics tools 
•Integrating data from different platforms to form a complete picture
•Building and testing your approach to attribution and incrementality

9:20 am - 9:40 am KEYNOTE: None Of Us Can Stop Looking at Our Phones, Even When We Are Watching a Beautiful Tropical Sunset

•How has mobile influenced the way people plan and travel? 
•How are companies getting people to not only convert but be educated quickly?
•How to get more people into the app and using the app

9:40 am - 10:20 am PANEL (Tonight Show Style): Win the booking! Now with… MORE CONTENT

•Examples of getting people to book and stay using branded content
•Content is expensive, the space is crowded, how are companies coming up with new and fresh ideas for content?
•The challenges of content and getting quality content
•What kind of content are people looking for that is going to inspire and convert them in the transaction phase
•Pros and cons of leveraging UGC

10:20 am - 11:00 am Morning Refreshments & Networking Break

11:00 am - 11:20 am CASE STUDY: Giving Your Customer Future-feels By Bringing Tech into the Experience

Have you ever walked into a travel experience and felt overcome with a sense of wonder, thinking, “have I travelled to the future?”  With each case study we’ll look at how hospitality is taking a page from The Jetsons when it comes to the following, with specific emphasis on how was this tech chosen, developed, integrated and received.

•Digitalization of guest experience
•New ways to connect with guests when they are not on site
•Smart home tech and voice activated assistants in hotels
•Digital check in
•Door key entry with mobile phone
•Operationalizing the tech: how do you gather those requests and use that info to serve a guest?
•Where does automation and AI stop and personal service take over?

11:20 am - 11:40 am TECH STOP

11:40 am - 12:00 pm FIRESIDE CHAT: I’ve Discovered an Easier Way to Get People to Book Directly

There has been a slow progression to understanding how the majority of travelers are comfortable in booking.  This case study will offer an illustrative example a tactical change that led to more direct bookings,
•Agree or disagree: Offering niceties and personalized connections with the customers is the only way to differentiate.
•Are OTAs just going for price?

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch for All Attendees


1:00 pm - 1:15 pm Chairperson’s Afternoon Address

1:15 pm - 1:55 pm PANEL: Everyone Can Win When We Admit: No One Owns the Customer, The Customer Owns Us

Justin Erbacci - Deputy Executive Director - Chief Innovation and Technology Officer Los Angeles World Airports
When it comes to offering customized products and services to people through their preferred channel, it takes a lot to admit that that favorite channel might not be you. This discussion will bring together cross industry players to discuss how the travel industry can work more collaboratively to provide better service to the customer across the digital ecosystem.
•Benefits to partnerships
•Working around sensitive areas like customer privacy and proprietary systems
• Who is the key interactor with the customer and how they can be a touchpoint for other players to provide everything the traveler needs to have a smooth journey 

Justin Erbacci

Deputy Executive Director - Chief Innovation and Technology Officer
Los Angeles World Airports

1:55 pm - 2:15 pm CASE STUDY: Win the booking! Now with… MORE URGENCY

As travelers leave more and more to the last minute, companies are searching for ways to create urgency in the booking process that go beyond discounts.  
•Tips and tricks for staying top of mind with the customer 
•Benefits for customers convenience perks 
•Benefits for companies including the opportunity for increased touch points


1:00 pm - 1:15 pm Chairperson’s Afternoon Address

1:15 pm - 1:55 pm PANEL or CASE STUDY INTERACTIVE: Doing Nothing Is Not the Answer – Keeping Up with Increasing Adoption of Virtual Pay

Movement in other industries, particularly retail and restaurants, is raising table stakes in the minds of consumers. The hospitality industry is working to move the needle to make the payment experience a seamless component of overall guest experience as well.  This session will delve into major considerations to keep in mind to help your company change, including:

• Avoiding the feeling that you have to completely overhaul your system, all at once 
• How do you get everyone to get together and align  - finding your allies in your finance and product departments 
• Estimating the minimum you can invest
• Structuring impact testing
• Drawing conclusions and moving forward  

1:55 pm - 2:15 pm CASE STUDY: Speaking with One Voice: Challenges and Successes When It Comes to Getting Your People to Coordinate Across Departments

•How to balance interactions across departments that have a stake in the omni-channel experience including coordinating your social media calendar and media buying 
•User experience
•Product development
•Processes or initiatives to increase collaboration and innovation

Small Group 

1:00 pm - 1:55 pm LOUNGE

Channel Surfing: What Three Things Would You Recommend to Your Peers When it Comes to Leveraging Your Budget to Maximize Campaign Efficiency

2:15 pm - 2:25 pm TECH STOP

2:15 pm - 2:25 pm TECH STOP

2:25 pm - 2:45 pm FIRESIDE CHAT: Virtual Reality – The Awareness Exists in the Mind, The Sales Exist in Reality

Robecta Ma - Vice President of Marketing, Americas Cathay Pacific Airways
This fireside chat will delve into how one company leveraged VR content to exceed the performance of its brand campaign and aggregate additional incremental bookings.
•Finding the right tech partner
•Repurposing VR content to drive views and leads
•Strategies for measuring the impact

Robecta Ma

Vice President of Marketing, Americas
Cathay Pacific Airways

2:45 pm - 3:25 pm PANEL: The Top Five Questions to Ask When Evaluating the Customer Journey on Your Website

The first step through your doors a customer takes is onto your website, is your virtual house ready for visitors?  From spring cleaning to a gut reno, let’s take a look at how hospitable your website is, and the most impactful steps you can take to elevate your experience.
•What tools are out there to improve the customer journey?   
•Making your website more responsive
•Advancing your backend system
•A/B testing of website.  
•How much does it cost your business when customers leave the site because they have issues?
•What does it mean to have a performance website?  Methods for testing and measuring impact
•Find and fix problems before you personalize it
•How do you drive a call to action in the few moments the customer is first looking at your site?

2:25 pm - 2:45 pm CASE STUDY: Deals are Deals are Deals are Deals

Promotional strategy has a lot of needs.  These include consistency to avoid confusing the consumer, a technology stream (or several), localization of offers, personalization, and more.  This discussion will highlight how these needs were met through a deep dive into the conception and execution of a promotion with unexpected results.

2:45 pm - 3:25 pm CASE STUDY INTERACTIVE: Moving On Up! When Your Team Has Mastered the Basics of Digital Strategy and Is Employing More Sophisticated Tactics

Craig Olinger - Vice President, Digital Marketing Diamond Resorts
•Agree or disagree: the foundational pieces of a digital program are search, social, and email
•Advanced steps include native display and mobile

Craig Olinger

Vice President, Digital Marketing
Diamond Resorts

3:25 pm - 4:05 pm Refreshment Break & Networking


A highlight of Digital Travel, roundtable discussions are your best opportunity to deep-dive into discussions and idea-share with your peers. You pick 2 themes during this session. 

ROUNDTABLE 1 Employing Geotagging and Beacons to Elevate the Guest Experience
Discussion Leader

ROUNDTABLE 2 I Can’t Be Bought! Ways to Link and Differentiate  Loyalty and Rewards Programs
Discussion Leader

ROUNDTABLE 3  Let’s Talk About GDS – What Tactical Approaches Can We Take Today
Discussion Leader

ROUNDTABLE 4 To  Everything There is a Season – Managing Your Reputation on the Quality of Your Offering  Even When You Have to Drop Rates 
Discussion Leader

ROUNDTABLE 5 We Have CRM and We’re Not Afraid to Use It
Discussion Leader

ROUNDTABLE 6 Channel Surfing: How Has Your Marketing Mix Shifted Between Channels When It Comes to Promoting Your Brand
Discussion Leader

5:05 pm - 6:30 pm Explore and Discover Offsite Reception @ Local Attraction

6:30 pm - 6:30 pm End of Day Two