Hot topics at the HBAA forum
Our Experience. Your Success.©
The HBAA forum 2016 is a must-attend event for people who work in the hospitality and events industry as it provides the perfect opportunity to discuss the sector’s most pertinent and current topics. Following the event, where she was asked to be a panellist, Carol Dodds, VP for revenue management at Interstate Hotels & Resorts Europe, gives us her thoughts on some of the hot topics that were discussed.
“It’s always an honour to be invited to play a role in an important event such as the HBAA annual forum and as a panellist you really get to be involved on the front line and speak to people in the business to hear their views and opinions. It’s definitely given me some food for thought to take back to Interstate HQ!
“I was involved in the ‘Back to Basics for Business Success’ forum and some fantastic conversations were had across a number of topics. Here are some of the key points that I made as part of the discussions.”
“Not all customers are equal and buying behaviours vary greatly as they all want different things from both their stay and buying experience. We also have a rapidly changing customer base. People living much longer, and we also have the next generation of ‘always on’ consumers who all need to be considered. Brands do bring trust, however customers now take more feedback and are swayed in their buying decisions from their peers and blogs rather than industry experts.”
Third party management
“Interstate is the only pure third party management company - we own nothing! There is huge value in this as there is no conflict in where we spend our time. We also have a very rounded view of what ‘good’ looks like due to the diversity of the brands we manage as well as the ability to challenge brands more than the brands would if they managed the assets themselves. It helps that we have strong relationships with the brands we work with, but it’s good to have healthy tension too!
Third party management, however, is a real sweat spot for banks and investors due to the level of flexibility we offer as they can fire us for under performance and also upon sale unencumbered.”
Changing landscape of distribution
“The changing landscape is levelling the playing field between core brands, soft brands and independent operators. There is no linear path to purchase anymore. It is a real mix between experience and practicalities. Collecting behavioural data is key, as is creating unique experiences to stay ahead of the game.”