HSMAI Hosts Record-Breaking Commercial Strategy Week


HSMAI Hosts Record-Breaking Commercial Strategy Week


The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Commercial Strategy Week took place in Toronto on June 26-29, 2023, hosting nearly 1,000 industry professionals over the course of the week. The week saw record-breaking attendance as the innovative events blended marketing, revenue optimization, and other commercial functions, reflecting new and evolving commercial strategies being deployed by many hotel companies.

The Marketing Strategy Conference had over 600 registered attendees, which was a 34% increase over last year’s record of 445 participants. Nearly three-quarters of the hotel attendees were in corporate or regional roles, representing 118 unique hotel brands, management companies, and ownership groups. Attendees benefitted from speakers on global trends and evolving customers, and how each are affecting hotel marketers. Experts spoke on hot topics like AI’s impact on marketing, best practices in social media, and how team leaders can effectively foster valuable talent.

Marketers heard from experts on how to better market their hotels, utilize social media influencers, and navigate TikTok and Meta. AI emerged as the topic with one of the highest levels of interest, with most experts agreeing that while AI will not replace talent, it should be used to support hospitality teams’ efforts.  One of the sessions featured essential steps on how brands can maximize their impact, including:

  • Leverage the power of emotion through your brand positioning, messaging, and marketing.
  • Bring your brand to life through custom, brand-first guest and employee experiences.
  • Once developed, protect your brand through education, documented brand standards, and approved property tools and resources.
  • Bring your brand promise to life purposefully, authentically, and effectively within ALL external marketing channels to achieve your marketing objectives.
  • Stay inspired! Get out there and enjoy the journey – you never know where your next source of inspiration will come from.

HSMAI ROC Americas boasted over 700 registered, which was also an increase from last year’s record setting registration for ROC in Orlando. Three quarters of hotel attendees were in a corporate or regional role, representing 145 unique hotel brands, management companies, and ownership groups, with another 106 attendees from individual hotels. ROC attendees enjoyed speakers who delved into the latest traveler trends and insights and participated in breakouts where groups discussed travel data for maximizing revenue, various global economic challenges, and what these factors mean for hotels and travel. One of the highlights was a session that detailed tips on Management vs. Strategy and “How to become a true Revenue Strategist.” Some of the suggestions include:

  • Stop focusing on data entry, segmentation fragmentation, and “reports” – use the technology at hand.
  • Identify what metrics and goals are most important to your key stakeholders.
  • Learn how to tell the Revenue Strategy Story through communication, confidence, persuasion, and preparation.
  • Build a holistic revenue strategy team where everyone buys into the key metrics of the hotels and contributes.
  • Stay agile and flexible - continue to find innovative, new ways to get business differently.
  • Look to AI to assist with the “dirty data work.”

The week also included several innovative Executive Roundtables with participation from 104 select Brand Chief Digital Officers, Hotel Management Company Chief Digital Officers, Chief Distribution Officers, Chief Revenue Officers, and Ownership Commercial Executives, who gathered to discuss important topics at the forefront of hospitality, including AI and what the future holds for marketing and revenue in hotels.

“We were thrilled by the record-breaking registration for HSMAI’s Marketing Strategy Conference and ROC Americas,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO, HSMAI. “It proved to be an exceptional week with groundbreaking insights for marketing and revenue optimization leaders, and executive roundtable discussions where attendees were able to strategize and discuss innovative and effective ways to drive revenue and boost hotel performances.”

More images available here.

Both the Revenue Optimization and Marketing Professionals of the year, and the Vanguard Award for Achievement in Revenue Optimization Award Honorees were celebrated respectively with special VIP breakfasts. Throughout the week, HSMAI offered half-day CHDM and CRME workshops ahead of the Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer certification and Certified Revenue Management Executive certification exams; volunteer opportunities with HSMAI Helps that benefited the Fort York Food Bank in Toronto; and Rising Leader Council meetings. Partner Insights Workshops accompanied Partner Showcases throughout both conferences where attendees could learn about the latest products and services from more than 40 companies:

Preferred: IDeaS Revenue Solutions

Platinum: Adara, A RateGain Company, OTA Insight, Pace Revenue, Revenue Analytics, Tambourine

Silver: Amadeus, Duetto, Infor, Kalibri Labs, RateGain, Revinate, Sojern, Venuelocity

Bronze: Curacity, DerbySoft, Expedia Group, Flip.to, HFTP, HSMAI Academy, iVvy Pty Ltd; Karen Laos Consulting, Miles Partnership, Milestone, PTG Consulting, Vizergy, Women in Travel Thrive
Supporter: EveryMundo, GoTab Inc., Inntopia, Knowland, LodgIQ, MeetingPackage, MMGY, RezRecover by CartStack, Selfbook,
The Hotels Network
Media: Hospitality Upgrade

Mark your calendars for HSMAI Commercial Strategy Week 2024: June 24-28, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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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