July 30, 2020. That is the date when the Hotel Cast TV, the hospitality webinar series by Asksuite was born. Our main goal was to try to help the community through the toughest time ever, providing information and guidance the best can together with global top professionals in the industry.
From the day it started until December 2020, we recorded 6 webinars, 451 minutes, invited 15 special guests, and shared dozens of experts’ insights with hundreds of registrants. In 2021, the series is still going strong! So far, we’ve covered the following topics in the industry:
- 1. Hotel Marketing
- 2. Hotel Revenue
- 3. Hotel Customer Experience
- 4. Hotel Distribution
- 5. Hotel Website Experience Workshop
- 6. Hospitality Lessons Learned in 2020
All webinars are recorded so you can catch the replay of our episodes by clicking on this button below:
It was a true pleasure to be the host of all episodes in the first year of the Hotel Cast TV. After working in the hotel industry for over 8 years, from being Reservation Agent to General Manager, now I create content about hospitality, technology, and artificial Intelligence in the hotel industry in blogs, podcasts, and webinars for hoteliers around the globe.
I was lucky to have amazing professionals working with me and extraordinary guests on this hospitality webinar series, who made my job much easier.
Here are the 2020’s Hotel Cast TV episodes:
#001: Hotel Marketing Strategies to Increase Direct Bookings
The first webinar of the series was about putting guests on target again. As demands changed due to the COVID-19, hotels had to readjust their marketing strategies to increase bookings, especially direct ones.
To help hoteliers in this mission, we invited two experts to share their insights and expertise to guide us through new paths:
- Rupesh Patel: Hospitality Influencer and Leader, Speaker, Hotel Industry Ambassador and Hotel Ower, who shares insights to over 37K professionals on LinkedIn. He is also the Founder of Smartguests.com and a real estate investor;
- Allan Nelson: CEO and Co-Founder of For-sight, a hotel CRM that truly understands the power of data and help hoteliers increase their revenue and personalize their services
With travel demand so low, it’s crucial that hotels understand what travelers want and how to find them. The experts shared:
- How data can lead your way to find more guests and provide better service
- The newest trends in hotel marketing
- The online channels for communication
- The power of online reviews
- Marketing technologies for hotels
- Practical tips to adjust your marketing strategy
#002: The New Distribution Game: How to best find guests and get more bookings
Are you on top of the new distribution game? Like everything else in the hotel industry, distribution was also affected by the pandemic. The game field has reshaped, players have changed their positions. OTAs, Google Travel, direct bookings. Where are your potential guests and how can you best distribute your hotel rooms to get more profit?
In this episode, we chatted with two global experts in hotel distribution:
- Enzo Aita: Global Head of Business Development at Hyperguest. Over 18 years of hands-on experience in the Travel and Hospitality industries creating insightful business development strategies and utilizing an industry-wide reputation as a Revenue, Sales and Marketing management Subject Matter Expert to develop and drive client growth strategies. Enzo has been able to consistently deliver successful outcomes across a wide range of business initiatives.
- James Bishop: Senior Director, Global Demand Partnerships at SiteMinder. James Bishop plays an instrumental role at the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, SiteMinder, living out his passion for providing technology that empowers both hoteliers and technology innovators alike to find success online. Having led the diverse EMEA region’s sales team for many years, James now works with SiteMinder’s ever-expanding global partnerships portfolio to drive demand for hotels worldwide.
In this one-hour episode, we cover the following topics:
- Customer Acquisition Cost in the hotel industry
- How to set the price of a hotel room
- What roles OTAs and travel agents have now regarding hotel distribution
- What is the best channel to put your money and effort into
- Tips on how hotels can improve their distribution plans
#003: Humans & Robots in Hotel Customer Service
Humans or automation: does one model fit all? Customer service is the core of any business, but it is extra-special in the hospitality industry. In order to run a successful hotel, you need to provide a top-class service to your potential guests and customers.
While some hoteliers still hesitate, automated customer service has come to stay. People (and guests) want services to be easy, fast, and safe. Automation provides all that. Especially now with fewer human resources, digital assistants are a great choice for hotels to optimize processes to keep excellence in service.
In this webinar, we invited two of the best Customer and Guest Service Experts in the US to help you with this mission:
- Christine Trippi: Award-winning GM at Marriott International, Christine Trippi is now the CEO of The Wise Pineapple and Author of Yes Is the Answer. Christine helps leaders and organizations create Sweet Hospitality, Sweet Cultures, and Sweet Results through training, consulting, and speaking.
- Shep Heiken: customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession. Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees.
In this episode, we chatted about:
- Hotel Services: are they providing what customers want?
- The main problems in customer service
- How hotels can measure the services they are providing
- Advantages and problems of texting service
- How automation can provide good customer service
- Training the team: what is important and examples of good practices
#004: Revenue of the Future: Humans & Machines in Hotel Revenue Management
These were some of the questions we asked our guests:
- Francine Heywood: As Regional Sales Manager – EMEA for OTA Insight, the leading cloud-based data intelligence platform for the hospitality industry, I’m responsible for driving our growth in Southern and Eastern Europe. My passion is pure and simple – helping the industry to leverage technology to grow revenues.
- Damiano Zennaro: As IDeaS’ director of Advisory Services, Damiano Zennaro is a firm advocate for the power of positive, meaningful and strategic transformations. He’s made it his mission to push the boundaries of revenue science into new verticals while supporting the ongoing success of IDeaS’ existing clients. Always looking ahead, he believes in the importance of proactively embracing change with trusted partners by your side.
In this Hotel Cast’s episode, we covered the following topics:
- What a good Revenue Manager should focus now
- How technology can boost revenue, especially direct bookings
- How AI can be applied in Revenue Management
- What data should be carefully analyzed in the RM sector
- Tips to improve hotel revenue
#005: Master Hotel Website Workshop
This was not just another webinar, but a workshop with tips from top experts on online experience on Hotel Websites. With these insights, you can turn your hotel website into a high-converting booking machine.
This episode was in a different format where you can actually learn how to improve your online performance. We invited four experts who shared their tips in a 1,5-hour-long workshop. It’s not just talking, it’s action!
- Melissa Kavanagh – Director of Analytics at Fuel Travel, where she helps hoteliers drive direct bookings by using actionable data. Melissa is also a regular co-host of the award-winning Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast. She has been in the analytics field for over 15 years and has been specializing in hospitality for the last 8.
- Harry Fielder – Managing Director at Umi Digital, a marketing agency for hotels and travel. The London-based team currently develops and supports over 150 websites around the World.
- Susanne Williams – Revenue & Performance Director at Journey Travel. With over 25 years of experience in hospitality, Susanne has a breadth of experience in luxury hotel operations, sales and marketing, and most importantly, commercial strategy and distribution.
- Paula Carreirão – Content Marketing, Podcaster, Webinar Host, and Hospitality Expert at Asksuite
In this workshop, our guest talked about:
- Mobile-first website
- Personas & micro conversions
- Hotel Positioning
- Attraction and guest retention
- PPC & Google Hotel Ads
- Booking Process
- Customer user journey
- Google experience
⇒ If you want to turn your hotel website into your best salesperson, you should pay attention to copywriting. In this free ebook, we give you quick tips for great improvements [DOWNLOAD HERE]
#006: 10 lessons learned in the Hospitality Industry in 2020
I guess it’s fair to say that most of us felt (or still feel) like 2020 has beaten us up. Calling this year a “challenging year” seems like an understatement. All of a sudden, we lost our jobs, saw our businesses struggle, and watched as the whole world tried to understand how to fix the damage.
We all needed to adapt, reinvent ourselves, and get a plan B (or C). It was just not possible to continue doing life as normal. The last Hotel Cast TV episode of 2020 was about the hospitality professionals that changed jobs, companies, job positions, business strategies or moved on to a completely new path. They really put up a fight:
- Amy Brandford: Regional Sales Manager (UK) for GuestRevu. Amy loves to connect with hoteliers and hospitality professionals and stay up-to-speed with the latest trends concerning direct feedback and online reputation management. Her genuine interest in her clients’ success has seen her play a consultative role to hoteliers throughout Europe and beyond, helping them to understand their guest satisfaction data, make the most of their guest feedback and improve their online reputations.
- Calvin Stovall: Chief Experience Officer of ICONIC Presentations, LLC and specializes in delivering high-energy presentations and training programs to help organizations attain iconic status. With over 25 years of experience in hospitality, marketing, and branding, he led the marketing and public relations for more than 150 Homewood Suites, and earned numerous accolades, as the VP of Brand Marketing with Hilton Worldwide.
- Cristal Bukler: Strategic Partnership Manager at Asksuite.Cristal is a Hospitality Specialist transitioning to Software Development with a focus on humanizing tech. She is also very passionate about supporting women in technology and hospitality.
- David Arraya: General Manager at Auberge Resorts Collection. Global and charismatic hospitality leader, David inspires humans to think, learn, and lead, narrowing the gap between leaders and managers. Very charismatic, he is able to connect to different people with different backgrounds, which makes him a successful global leader in the hospitality industry.
- Paula Carreirão: Content Marketing, Podcaster, Webinar Host, and Hospitality Expert at Asksuite
In this episode of the hospitality webinar series, our guests shared their top lessons, which included:
- The illusion of having control
- It’s ok to be yourself
- The Silver Linings of working with a smaller, more intimate team
- Teamwork in time of crisis
- The importance of adaptability and vulnerability
- and more!
It’s a wrap: Asksuite Hospitality Webinar Series 2020
There so many great episodes and so much value in every panel. If you want to watch the Hotel Cast, click on the button below and get full access for free:
The show must go on and we hope to see you in 2021.
Write in comments what topic you would like us to cover over the next episodes