Hotel Online  Special Report


 The Agenda Set for 6th HSMAI Travel Internet Marketing
Strategy Conference on April 19, 2006 in NYC
Attendees Will be High-Level Executives from Leading Companies in Hospitality and the Online Marketplace 

MCLEAN, VA (April 13, 2006) – With an early registration roster of more than 160 executives, a sought-after-level line-up of presenters including Kayak and Travelocity founder, Terry Jones, and new features such as a ‘podcast’ of the blog panel, the 6th HSMAI Travel Internet Marketing Strategy Conference to be held at the Hilton New York on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 is anticipating a huge success. 

From presidents and CEOs, to vice presidents of global marketing, eCommerce and distribution, attendance will be a remarkable cross-section of top-level executives from the hospitality and online marketplace, such as Microsoft Corp., MeriStar Hospitality, Hotwire, Amtrak, Google,, VISIT FLORIDA, The Hertz Corporation, American Express, Best Western International, Inc., Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels Group and TripAdvisor.

Held in conjunction with TIA’s TravelCom, the event will begin at 12:30 pm and conclude with a networking reception from 5:30-6:30 pm.  A highly interactive program of discussions on hot topics including metrics, blogs, legal issues and best practices, as well as an aggregation of trends from multiple research reports, the conference will deliver an in-depth look at what’s happening online – customers, their attitudes and behavior.

Also on the agenda is a timely keynote address on “The Internet Landscape in 2006 and Beyond” by Michael Tchong, trend analyst, Ubercool LLC, who was recently called “the most influential trendspotter in America” by London’s The Daily Telegraph.

A podcast audio recording of the session on blogs will be available after the event at and, the website of session panelist Amanda Watlington.

“We are very excited to offer such a compelling program with a distinguished group of leading Internet marketing experts and visionaries, bringing to light some global trends, topical issues and projections for the future,” notes James Zito, director, interactive marketing & development, Affinia Hotels and The Benjamin, and co-chair of the Hotel Internet Marketing Committee.

“Our goal is to have all those in attendance walk away with at least one item they can action and get positive results, whether they are beginning to venture into this exciting medium or have years of experience and best practices,” states Karmela Gaffney, director, eCommerce, Best Western International, and co-chair of the Hotel Internet Marketing Committee. 

A one-of-a-kind event, the conference is targeted to individuals who are in corporate and regional positions dedicated to Internet marketing and for those who want to learn more. 

Following is the schedule of events: 

12:30 pm: Welcome 

12:40 pm-1:40 pm: Opening keynote: “The Internet Landscape in 2006 and Beyond…”
Michael Tchong, Trend Analyst, Ubercool LLC
“The most influential trendspotter in America” – London’s The Daily Telegraph

Today’s market is inundated with “cool” fads, requiring ahead-of-the curve marketing to develop greater levels of discrimination to help sort through the noise.  Throughout his career, Tchong has shown a knack for catching the latest wave, proving his uncanny ability to zero in on the most important emerging trends.  His singular perspective has earned him recognition as the forward thinker of the information age. 

A captivating and internationally acclaimed speaker, Tchong has shared his unique insights with groups ranging from the Aruba Tourist Authority to Washington Mutual.  He has been quoted by, or appeared on, Access Hollywood, Adweek, Bloomberg TV, BusinessWeek, CNET, CNN, The New York Times, PBS, San Francisco Chronicle, The Times of London, Variety, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired. 

1:40 pm-2:40 pm: Metrics
What is your customer doing?  How are they behaving?  What is the next generation of metrics going to be like?  Understanding your customer behavior can increase your revenue.  This session will look at consumer activity, behavior and attitudes when shopping for travel and provide unique looks at metrics from a case study approach.

Moderator:  Cindy Estis-Green
Panelists:  Sara Stevens, Comscore; Brent Hieggelke, Webtrends; and Daniel Taras, iPerceptions 

2:40 pm-3:00 pm: Break

3:00 pm-4:00 pm: “Unclog the Blog: How to use them to help your business”
Three panelists representing the key groups governing the travel Internet blogging community – Blog Enablers (Travel Spike), Bloggers (Blogs and Feeds) and Community Review Sites (Trip Advisor) – will provide in-depth, provocative, interesting discussion on how you can utilize this medium now and where it’s going in the future.

Moderator:  Shirley Talbert, Historic Hotels of America
Panelists:  Amanda Watlington, Ph.D, Author & Blogger; Robin Ingle - VP International Development, Trip Advisor; and Ryan Bifulco, Podcaster & President, Travel Spike

4:00 pm-4:30 pm: “Privacy… lawsuits… taxation…regulations. Oh My!”
Sue Heilbronner, executive vice president of business development, TIG Global.

Legal issues are generally for the lawyers, but for those promoting their hotel online, there are a few issues to be aware of in order to proactively manage their online presence and brands in the crowded and fluid digital space.  The session will address: legal requirements of data collection and email programs; how to stay on the right side of the search engines in terms of keyword usage in one’s hotel’s website; and uses of trademarks in paid search bidding and paid search advertising.

4:30 pm-5:15 pm: Lalia Rach interviews Terry Jones (Kayak & Travelocity founder)
One-on-one interview as Lalia Rach, associate dean, Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University, interviews Terry Jones, founder of Kayak & Travelocity about: “Innovation – What’s Next on the Horizon.”

5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Networking Reception

The cost to attend the Travel Internet Marketing Strategy Conference is $345 for HSMAI and TIA members and $445 for non-members. 
Sponsors of the 6th Travel Internet Marketing Strategy Conference include: American Express, Cyveillance, eMarketer, HSMAI University, Quotient Marketing Inc. and Real Magnet.

HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry.  With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at eight annual events, including HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®, and HSMAI World Quest.  Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 38 chapters in the Americas region.

For more information on HSMAI, contact the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, 8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22102, phone (703) 610-9024; fax (703) 610-9005, or visit the web site at


Jalousie Plantation

Also See: Executives at HSMAI Internet Marketing Strategy Conference Urge Suppliers to Measure Customer Behavior; Identify Industry Need for More Universal Standards / May 2005
ROI for Online Advertising Touted at HSMAI Travel Internet Marketing Strategy Conference / December 2005
Executives at HSMAI Hotel Internet Marketing Strategy Conference Urge Partnerships Between Hoteliers and Third Party Intermediaries, Search Engines; Support Best Price Guarantees on Brand Web Sites / April 2004
HSMAI Hotel Internet Marketing Strategy Conference Report; Keyword Bidding, Pop Ups, Pop Unders, Domain Name Piracy / January 2004


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