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Social Media in Travel: Generating Brand Awareness is Not Enough,
Monetization is Now the Top Priority

January 14, 2009 - EyeforTravel research has shown that when it comes to social media, monetization is the top priority for  senior travel executives in North America. After carrying out extensive research for their 2nd annual Social Media Strategies event, EyeforTravel recently published the agenda for their 2009 conference, being held on March 10-11 in San Francisco.  More information can be found at: 

Speakers on the agenda include representatives from leading travel companies such as Marriott, Southwest Airlines, Walt Disney, Bebo, Priceline, Orbitz, InterContinetnal, TripAdvisor, Mobimissimo and Lonely Planet.  For a full list of speakers, click here:  

EyeforTravel research has shown that one of the most pressing problems for travel marketers is the ability to track and measure their social media campaigns.  And it’s hardly surprising.  With increased economic pressure every marketing channel has to prove its worth.  In the opening session of the event, delegates will hear how hotels, such as Intercontinental and Joie de Vivre Hospitality are applying metrics to see a visible return on their own social media investment.    

Currently, the social media landscape is dominated by just a handful of general social networking sites.  For instance, MySpace was the destination for 76% of US social networking visits in 2008.  Despite this huge amount of traffic, and growing popularity, EyeforTravel research shows that the industry is still unsure how to effectively, and profitably, work with these vast horizontal networks.  In the second session of the event, speakers from TripAdvisor, STA Travel and social networking site, Bebo will discuss how the industry can utilize social networking sites as a receptive – and responsive – travel market.  

New for this is year, the conference will also examine the close relationship between search engine marketing and social media.  More specifically, expert speakers, Yen Lee from Uptake and Ken Leeder from RealTravel, will explain how the Semantic Web will impact the travel industry.  Delegates will get an insight into the next phase of the web and find out how to align search and social media to appear higher in search engine rankings.  

The afternoon of the second day focuses on targeting specific groups through social networks and user-generated content.  Following their recent partnership, Lucian Beebe, Director of Product Management for LinkedIn and the CEO of TripIt will be talking about how to target business travelers via social media.  And Jim Hobbs, President, and Scott Gatz, Founder & CEO, Gaycities will give presentations on niche social media marketing.  

This two-day event also includes keynote presentations from renowned industry speakers from the major online agencies; Glenn Fogel from Priceline and Frank Petito from Orbitz.    

Helen Raff, VP North America for EyeforTravel said “When I launched this event last year, people asked to hear how to use social media to create brand awareness.  They also wanted to get advice on managing their online reputation.  A year later I surveyed a similar group of travel marketers and now their key concern is how to profit from this, relatively new, marketing channel”.   

“With this in mind I created a forum which focuses on using social media to generate leads, drive website traffic and boost conversions – all of which contribute to generating online sales.  By assembling some of the top names in social media, search and online marketing, this conference will provide information which is simply not available anywhere else”.  

This is EyeforTravel’s 2nd Social Media conference and the first one received rave reviews with over 250 travel executives in attendance.  (To see a list of previous delegates click here:  This is the only travel conference in the world completely focused on the profitable application of UGC and social networks and promises to be an invaluable networking and learning experience for travel executives.  

For more information on Social Media Strategies for Travel
on March 10-11, 2009, in San Francisco, click here:



Helen Raff 
VP North America 
+44 (0) 207 375 7582 


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