Event dates: Wednesday, 1st April 2009 09:00 AM to Thursday, 2nd April 2009 17:00 PM

Location: Singapore Contact: Announcements
 
2009 Travel Distribution Summit Asia
Business

Singapore - Online innovation to combat challenging times is the underlying theme to the 2009 Travel Distribution Summit Asia.

It is often challenging times like the present that foster innovation, whether that innovation be through new products, services or strategies. The difficulty of shrinking margins can be the driver of increased efficiencies, and the developer of new best practices.

Online innovation to combat challenging times is the underlying theme to the 2009 Travel Distribution Summit Asia. As with previous years, Online Distribution and Sales is the extensive subject that provides the core to many business activities of a modern travel operator, and is therefore a focal point of our 5th annual Asian event.

This year we will take a refreshing look at online travel distribution from the perspective of distribution leaders and innovators, alongside modern sales and marketing experts.

Attend this conference to achieve these 5 core business objectives:

Broaden your online distribution horizons - Which channels work for you, what ones could you be using more efficiently, and what new channels are you neglecting?
Cut distribution costs - Are your individual distribution channels becoming cheaper and cheaper as they should be?
Increase distribution accuracy - Hit potential customers with the best information at the perfect time.
Seamlessly integrated online sales and distribution - Ensure your strategies are complimentary and comprehensive.
Innovative distribution technologies - Understand the latest technologies to maintain your competitiveness in a modern distribution environment.

Conference Program
Day 1
KEYNOTE: Online success in challenging environments
Its no secret the global economic crisis is impacting the travel sector hardest. Weathering the storm will be a tough task, and the consensus is that there maybe worse still to come. But tough times nurture innovation…

Expedia are no strangers to challenging economic climates, and have emerged from similar situations a stronger brand strategically. As with all travel their strategy has changed recently, but this change should not represent trepidation.

Join us for our first ‘wisdom of crowds’ interactive session, led by Cyril Ranque, VP APAC Partner Services Group for Expedia. Discuss innovative techniques with which to tackle the recession head-on, share your own opinion and hear how Expedia plan to positively leverage off the troubled economy. What from their previous experiences can be applied now to defy the downward trend?

CAUGHT IN TIME - THE WISDOM OF CROWDS

We will be revisiting the results from the wisdom of crowds interactive voting at the 2010 summit. Let’s see if popular opinion really can be a predictor of business trends, and look for ways of practically applying this knowledge in the future!

Cyril Ranque, VP Partner Services Group APAC, Expedia
Coffee
SESSION:
Channel Management
During tough times optimizing the mix of your chosen channels is essential for placing your product in front of the right audience. Identify which channels will reap you the greatest rewards, and align your product offering across multiple channels.

KEY LEARNINGS:

Expected benefits from an automated channel management system
Channel harmony - complimentary marketing campaigns that cut across all your chosen channels
Shifting third party distribution to more lucrative direct channels
Should you consider paying higher agency commissions if the agency has an extensive global presence, and the ability to attract cash rich foreign markets?
Advertising model versus sales model - optimise your channel mix
Discover the core business advantages to exploring several different channels, versus relying on one or two.
Olivier Horps, VP Marketing (APAC) & GM Commercial, Club Med Asia
Tran Kien, Chairman, iVivu.com
Berthold Trenkel, President APAC, Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Meraj Huda, Principal Consultant,Forumline
Lunch
PRESENTATIONS: Distribution using unorthodox and innovative methods
Not all travel distribution has to be as expensive as traditional means. Exploring innovative new channels and partnerships can keep distribution costs down, while casting a wider net to reach new segments.

KEY LEARNINGS:

New low cost means of distribution that should be on any organizations radar
Meta Search as a viable and competitive alternative to the OTA model
What extra expenses does Meta Search add to your marketing and sales compared to merchants, where these functions are largely covered?
Video content as a distribution tool
Using social networking sites and online communities as a targeted distribution channel
Grant Coluqhorn, Director of Hotels, APAC, Travelocity
George Harb, Commercial Director, Travelport
PRESENTATIONS: User generated and unmanaged content
Adding content to your travel site is not always going to be about fancy video and emotive imagery. Providing customers with the ability to discuss/critique your product is now a key consideration for any modern travel business.

KEY LEARNINGS:

Travellers believe other travellers - the argument for providing an outlet for user criticisms and reviews
Integrating user generated content tools means managing new content at an added expense
Is there much point including user generated content on your site if you are not monetizing it in some way?
Turning negative feedback into positive PR - strategies to deal with adverse consumer reviews
The risk of adding favourable content with an organisational bias
Nathan Clapton, Senior Director Brand Distribution,TripAdvisor
Ric Shreves, Founding Partner, water&stone
Coffee
Distribution marketing
We revisit this popular topic in 2009, to decipher some of the key types of Asian travel marketing, With a particular focus on the mysterious Search Marketing. What will bring you the greatest ROI?

PRESENTATION: How to wean yourself off search engines
Oodles.com founder Steve Sherlock believes the strategic use of SEO and SEM can be vital in the early stages of a company´s growth, but businesses put themselves at risk if they fail to evolve more sophisticated brand marketing strategies.

Using Oodles.com as a case study, Steve will explore why a company that is too reliant on search can be a sitting duck, and look at ways in which a business can wean itself off search engines in order to build long-term value to its brand.

Steve will support his argument by comparing direct site traffic metrics with that of paid search traffic. He believes that Google itself is the perfect example of a company using innovation rather than search to build its brand: “Google didn´t rely on other search engines to become Google”.

Steve Sherlock, Managing Director, Oodles.com
PRESENTATION: Optimizing multi-channel online marketing campaigns
As consumption of digital media increases, companies are increasing their efforts at targeting consumers through emails, SEO initiatives, Pay-per-Click advertising, display advertisements, affiliate marketing, and social networking. In this complex online environment, search advertising has been seen as the most effective channel at delivering results, particularly transactional ROI. However, consumers engage the brand via multiple channels before purchasing, and there are many points in which a company influences them before a transaction.

Are companies paying attention to this brand engagement journey? Do they have an understanding of which combinations of campaigns and channels are contributing to their success events? Ultimately, are they optimising towards the channels that produce the best ROI, or is it simply a shotgun approach?

Joe Nyugen, Regional Manager SEA, Omniture
PRESENTATION: Managing marketing channels with complimentary offline and online campaigns
Mark Wong, Vice President, Marketing & Development – Asia Pacific, Preferred Hotel Group
Day 2
SESSION:
Forecasting through an economic downturn
Lead times are shrinking, as are travel budgets - from corporate and leisure alike! Forecasting has become both worryingly difficult and increasingly essential at the same time. Can we actually continue to forecast with any degree of confidence or accuracy?

KEY LEARNINGS:

Understanding your customers and booking validity to increase forecasting accuracy
The impacts of the volatile economic climate on travel forecasting
How is forecasting achievable during economic climate and what to be wary of
Maximize forecasts with shortened lead times
Under what circumstances should you alter your forecasts - what will be the likely impacts of this?
Currency fluctuations - their continued influence over long and short haul travel patterns
William Chua, VP Revenue Management & Distribution, Meritus Hotels & Resorts
Peter Gammon, CFO, Abacus
Ricky Ang, VP Sales & Marketing, Hotel Equatorial
Coffee
SESSION:
Optimized third party distribution to stimulate sales
As ominous signs of a price war begin to loom, third party websites as sales and distribution tools take on new importance. Hear the key considerations you should make before offering more inventory for 3rd party sales.

KEY LEARNINGS:

OTAs as a distribution channel

Identifying what works - What proof is there that a chosen OTA will sell?
Increasing your reach is essential when times are tough, so will OTAs demand higher commissions?
Should you be considering dropping less lucrative channels, or expanding your intermediary net to reach as many people as possible?
Rob Rosenstein, COO,Agoda
Roshan Mendis, Director of Supplier Relations and Partnerships, Zuji
OTAs as a sales and marketing channel

Tailoring promotions according to the type of OTA being used
Sourcing local OTAs with better local knowledge depending on the country being targeted.
Can OTAs fill the sales gap left by corporate bookers who ignore negotiated rates and shop for cheaper rates online? Or are they an instigator of this change?
Janice Chan, Director Online Distribution, Starwood Hotels & Resorts APAC
Lunch
PRESENTATION: Content aggregation with meta search
Mea search is a search concept that we are all very familiar with, and one that is here to stay. Fritz Demopolous of Qunar believes that 2009 will see new meta search offerings that could change how consumers access hotel pricing and travel information.

Hear Fritz provide details on how Qunar plans to aggregate and filter relevant information, and provide context to hotel reviews, pricing information and non-price content. Can classic meta search engines move beyond simple price comparisons, and into the technical realm of content, context and customization? You be the judge...

Fritz Demopolous, CEO & Co-Founder, Qunar.com
SESSION:
Enhancing the customer experience using innovative content
A clear website content strategy can add stickiness to your website and engage customers to turn lookers into bookers. Hear how optimized content can bolster your natural search rankings

KEY LEARNINGS:

A great website reflects well on your brand. Learn the minimum features that are now the common standard
Customers vs Optimization - should your website content be tailored towards optimizing your site or enhancing a customers experience?
The expense of upgrading your website with modern functionalities
Simple features like video content add clarity to your product offering. Hear which consumer demographics prefer rich content, and what text remains essential to conversions
Does the variable standard of internet connection across Asia limit your ability to integrate rich content? Where will this be most problematic?
Michael Lee, VP Marketing Systems & Services, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts
Sameer Poonja, VP Technology, Kiwi Collection
Coffee
PRESENTATION: Using video content as a sales tool
With increased connection speeds, advancements in mobile devices and internet penetration continuing to spread across Asia, video content has become much more viable. As with all forms of content, video can be provided in more than one format - user generated, professional, unbias. This presentation will cover the following issues:

Choosing the right style of video content for your site
Where connectivity will still present a barrier for video
The ROI you can expect from different video formats
Video as a measurable marketing tool instead of a branding exercise
David Chambat, VP Asia Pacific, TVtrip.com
PRESENTATION: Usable and enjoyable sites for sales success
Customer expectations evolve, so it is vital to have an ongoing program of analytics merging insights from search, traffic, sales and research data. These insights build hypotheses that can be continually tested, with winning candidates implemented to increase engagement, conversion rates and average booking values.

Keith Timimi explains how to add depth to your website content using this technique, while optimizing both your organic and paid search traffic in the process.

Keith Timimi, Chairman, Qais Consulting
PRESENTATIONS:
Tailoring website content to satisfy different cultural needs
Each Asian culture interacts with - and responds to - different types of rich content in different ways. Understand what types of content appeal to the different Asian market segments

KEY LEARNINGS:

Learn the content preferences and requirements that different Asian cultures demand of a travel website
At what point should you offer translated language websites, and what ROI can you consequently expect?
Understand which countries are embracing both the contribution and consumption of UGC.
Is your content being presented in the way that it was originally intended? Maintaining the quality and consistency of content across different channels
Edward Perry, Senior Director of eCommerce, WORLDHOTELS
Dan O'Sullivan, Director of Sales EMEA,Translations.com


For more information about the speakers and conference program, please contact the Event Director Reece Gladstone at reece@eyefortravel.com

http://events.eyefortravel.com/tdsasia/conference/

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