HSMAI Commercial Strategy Conference Welcomes Record Attendance For Two Days of Collaboration


HSMAI Commercial Strategy Conference Welcomes Record Attendance For Two Days of Collaboration


The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Americas, proudly concluded its highly anticipated first Commercial Strategy Conference which took place from June 25-26, 2024, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The sold-out event, an evolution of HSMAI’s Marketing Strategy Conference and HSMAI ROC, brought together a record-breaking 860 industry professionals from 152 unique hotel brands and management companies, and more than 40 partner companies, from across the hospitality sector to explore the latest trends, strategies, and innovations shaping the future of commercial success in the industry.

The two-day conference, along with its associated pre- and post-conference workshops, trainings, and executive roundtables, featured a dynamic lineup of keynote speakers, panel discussions, and interactive workshops, all designed to provide attendees with actionable insights and strategies to navigate the complex interplay of sales, marketing, revenue management, and distribution — the commercial disciplines — towards growth in profitability. The week also included the debut of the HSMAI Contact Center Summit, as well as recognition for the 2024 HSMAI marketing and revenue optimization award winners.

HSMAI Commercial Strategy Conference general sessions and breakouts covered the leading topics impacting the industry today, from artificial intelligence to how to attract, retain and develop top talent in a post-Covid world. Commercial leaders gained an informative look into the effective customer strategies in the age of AI in a groundbreaking general session led by Dave C. Edelman, Executive Advisor, Independent Board Member, and HBS Lecturer, recently named among Forbes “Most Influential CMOs in the World.”

“Personalization is changing the way you compete,” Edelman shared. “Personalization means delivering experiences at scale, based on a customer's data, fine tuned from each interaction, that empower customers to get what they want better, faster, cheaper or more easily. All of this means unlocking the potential for growth from AI.”

Attendees also heard from Dorothy Dowling, author of the HSMAI Foundation’s State of Talent Report, on how to embrace AI and use it to retain and develop talent, rather than eliminate jobs. Dowling also spoke on how to effectively train less tenured sales employees in a post-pandemic industry, how to create a meaningful and supportive environment for employees and how to incorporate hybrid/remote policies into work culture and strategies.

“This year we’ve taken what used to be two one-day conferences, the Marketing Conference and ROC, and turned it into one two-day extravaganza for hotel commercial leaders,” said  Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO, HSMAI. “We are thrilled by this year’s turn out - we actually sold out . Attendees are talking about commercial strategy, and looking to gain invaluable insights and strategies to get ahead of the industry’s leading trends.”

In a breakout session led by Calvin Tilokee, CEO, Revpar Media, attendees gained practical strategies, tools, metrics, and more to help their teams work with influencers, maximize their social media collaborations and measure the success of those campaigns. Tilokee encouraged marketers to ask themselves ahead of working with a proposed influencer: Do they have high engagement and quality content, and are they aligned with the hotel’s brand?

HSMAI’s Commercial Strategy Conference culminated in a final general session bringing together the three disciplines to focus on what is needed now more than ever before: strong communication and inspirational leadership. In the closing session, attendees heard from Denise Thomas, Founder and Owner, The Effective Communication Coach, on Mastering the Art of Communication: Transformative Strategies for Commercial Leaders.

“When you are communicating, do not underestimate the power of meeting people where they are at,” Thomas said. “I want to emphasize the power and importance of knowing the difference between impact and intent.”

The travel and hospitality service industry is at the peak of change, whether it is pricing or experiences. Industry leaders should not underestimate the power of communication to bring out the best in each other, and Thomas provided attendees with strategies and tools to foster effective communication within their teams to do just that.  

The 2025 HSMAI Commercial Strategy Conference will take place June 17-18, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Additional information on HSMAI’s Commercial Strategy Conference can be found at commercial.hsmai.org.

Thank you to the partners sponsoring HSMAI’s Commercial Strategy Conference events and programs:
Preferred: IDeaS Revenue Solutions
Platinum: Cendyn, FLYR, Lighthouse, RateGain, Tambourine, Uplift
Gold: Amadeus, gcommerce x metadesk, Kalibri Labs, Revenue Analytics, SiteMinder, Venuelocity
Silver: Booking.com, Curacity, Infor, Hovr, Lotus Marketing, Sojern
Bronze: Aegis, Ascent360, Cloudbeds, Cvent, DerbySoft Inc., ESLA, Flip.to, HFTP, HSMAI Academy, Ibex, LodgIQ, Milestone, PhotoShelter, Plusgrade, Revinate, Sabre, SOARR, STR, Thynk, Triptease, Women in Travel Thrive, Vertical Booking, Vizergy, xquic
Media: Hospitality Upgrade

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference, Adrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927 and celebrating 90 years in 2017, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at hsmai.org, HSMAI Facebook, HSMAI, Twitter, and HSMAI YouTube.

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