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Agenda Set for HEDNA's Winter Meeting
-- "Don't Gamble with Your Distribution Strategy" --
December 7-9, 2009, Las Vegas

 LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- 1 December 2009 -- HEDNA (the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) will hold its Winter Meeting -- "Don't Gamble with Your Distribution Strategy" --  on 7-9 December 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada at The Wynn.

Newsworthy highlights of HEDNA's Winter Meeting include:

  • Announcement of the 2010 HEDNA Board of Directors 
  • Announcement of the 2009 recipient of HEDNA's Award of Excellence 
  • Announcement of HEDNA U, a new educational initiative 
  • Announcement of HEDNA's Networking Lunches, a new outreach initiative 
Here's a summary of the agenda for HEDNA's Winter Meeting:


Monday 7 December 

9:00am - 4:00 pm  Board Meeting
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm  Conference Registration
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm  Committee Chair Meeting
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm 

New Members Orientation:
This meeting is for New HEDNA members as well as first time HEDNA member attendees.
Chair of Membership Committee: Sarah Fowler, Pegasus Solutions and HEDNA Secretary: Edward Perry, WORLDHOTELS"

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm  Opening Reception

Tuesday 8 December 

8:30 am - 5:00 pm  Conference Registration

8:30 am - 9:00 am  Welcome Remarks/HEDNA Update - Melanie Ryan, HEDNA President, Orbitz Worldwide

9:00 am - 9:45 am  Opening Keynote - Barry Maher, Author and Inspirational Speaker, Barry Maher & Associates Author of "Filling the Glass" referenced by Today's Librarian as one of the seven essential popular business books.
Filling the Glass: Real World Tactics and Motivation for Increasing Productivity AND Job Satisfaction.

9:45 am - 10:00 am  Committee Overviews

10:00 am -10:30 am  Morning Networking Break

10:30 am - 11:30 am 
Economy In Transition (Panel)
Economic indicators suggest that the hospitality industry may have seen the worst of the economic crisis that has plagued our businesses over the last year. What can we learn from this experience from an electronic distribution perspective? How did the hospitality industry contribute to worsening its own outlook? Most importantly, knowing what we know today, what changes should we put in place now to ensure a brighter future in our own companies and the industry as a whole . How should we prepare for economies in transition so we don't make it hard on ourselves to recover?
Moderator: Patricia Brusha, Co-founder and Principal, A Couple of Chicks
Panelists: Art Jimenez, Senior Director of Leisure Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Jan Freitag, Vice President, STR
Jay Hubbs, Director, Hotel Revenue Management,Expedia Partner Services Group, Hotwire
Sandy Riach, Vice President, IT and Product Development, Trust International Hotel Reservation Services GmbH

11:30 am - 12:30 pm 
Future of Travel (Panel)
The future is hard to predict. The future travel distribution landscape is even harder to predict. Our distinguished panel of experts is connected enough and influential enough to venture to guess how electronic distribution will change over the next 5 years, 10 years, and beyond. They will debate the impact of the explosion of social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) on travel; the future role of search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), meta search, and review sites. Join them in contemplating whether or not these labels will go away as technologies converge, and hear their predictions on who will be the next major player to come on the scene.
Moderator: Henry Harteveldt, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
Panelist - Kurt Ekert, GTA
Howard Lefkowitz, President,
Pamela Keenan Fritz, Senior Vice President, North America, Expedia
Drew Patterson, CEO, Jetsetter

12:30 pm - 12:45 pm  Award of Excellence
Board & Committee Recognition
Announcement of the 2010 HEDNA Board of Directors - Melanie Ryan, HEDNA President

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm 

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm  Board Luncheon
(Current & New Board Members by invitation only)

Committee Meetings

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm 
Group Committee
Chair: David O'Donohoe, StarCite
Board Liaison: Edward Perry, WORLDHOTELS
The groups committee will discuss the current status of online meetings from a chain perspective, how revenue/ yield management will play into this new world and the types of content that will be valuable in booking online meetings more effectively moving forward.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm 
Tour Committee
Co-Chairs: Lisa Barker, Hotel Booking Solutions and Paul Fraser, Accor North America
Board Liaison: Nancy Little, InterContinental Hotel Group
The tour committee is working to educate, communicate and collaborate with hoteliers and the tour operator community. Work is in progress to provide a comprehensive resource on the fundamentals of automation and the RFP process and how it can benefit both hoteliers and this important segment. This is the ideal time to get involved as the committee is progressing towards these goals!

Concurrent Workgroups

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm  Travelport GDS - Keith Harrison, Director of Strategic Content
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm  Orbitz Worldwide -Melanie Ryan, Senior Director, Global Strategic Accounts and Peggy Bianco, GVP, Hotel Partner Services

4:00 pm - 4:15 pm  Afternoon Networking Break

4:15 pm - 5:15 pm  Closing Keynote - Kevin Krone, Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Distribution, Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has continued to inspire the travel industry on their ability to effectively market their product, through electronic means, while staying true to their core values all while ensuring profitability during a tumultuous economy. Come listen to their VP of Sales, Marketing and Electronic Distribution share best practices on how to stay abreast of an ever changing market.

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm  Evening Networking Event
Network with your colleagues at the Evening Event! Strolling through the crowd will be celebrity impersonators, show girls, a mime, a juggler, and an acrobat, a performing in the style of Cirque d' Soleil. Catch up with your colleagues and meet new ones at this lively event.

Wednesday 9 December 

Committee Meetings

9:00 am - 10:00 am  Standards Committee
Chair: Jodi Gibson, Wyndham Hotel Group Board Liaison: Erica Penley, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
This committee is focusing their efforts specifically on content distribution to on-line distribution partners. The committee is striving to ensure that content is presented in a structure format to ensure proper display and maximization of hotel data in a consistent manner across channels.There is an industry need to understand how, when, where and through which methods content is being distributed.

10:00 am - 11:00 am  Payment Systems Committee
Chair: Patrick Glories, MoneyDirect
Board Liaison: Keith Cotton, Hotel Booking Solutions
Discover what research has been done and what progress is being made to help hotels address the various issues and challenges associated with payment. How is HEDNA tackling the issues? How do we compare to other industries? What more can be done?
Join our interactive presentation and discussion session.

10:00 am - 11:00 am  UGI Committee Meeting
Chair: Laury Anne Behrens, WPS Board Liaison: Melanie Ryan, Orbitz Worldwide
Staff Liaison: Valerie Cooper, HEDNA Executive Director
The UGI committee proposes to implement an open standard numbering system and registration system that supports all sides of the reservation and other electronic interexchange within the hospitality industry to increase trade, revenue and harmonization of first the reservation process and eventually becoming the identification standard of the industry.
Join us in our session to review:
-Which business processes would be most improved by a UGI.
-Which industry players need to be among the first to adopt the UGI concept.
-Steps your firm would need to take in order to implement UGI for your business processes.
-How one would access UGI information.

Concurrent Workgroups
A tremendous opportunity for direct access to senior managers, these sessions have been designed to provide you with an opportunity to voice industry needs, discussion of current functionality limitations, technology enhancement updates and prioritizing of future enhancement needs. These are closed door sessions and we kindly request that you refrain from attending your competitors session. In addition these sessions are closed to the press.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm  Pegasus - Dee Thomas, Sr. Product Director and Michael McCartan, VP Product Strategy
11:00 am - 12:00 pm  Travelocity - Marcus Blatch, Director of Global Hotels & Content, Travelocity Global

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm  Lunch

Concurrent Workgroups
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm  Expedia- Dean Gregory, Senior Director of Global Lodging Connectivity
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm  Amadeus - Hugo Ehrnreich, Head of Hotel Distribution
2:30 pm - 3:00 pm  Afternoon Break

Concurrent Workgroups
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm  Priceline - Joann D'Andrea, VP of Hotel Operations
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm  Sabre Travel Network - John Carlile, Director, Hotel & Car Product Marketing

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm 
Industry Update - Christine Dezarn, Professional Services Consultant, Rubicon Group

While the future holds many unknowns, new technology has given us the ability to measure hotel reservation and group block activity for the upcoming 365 days, across all distribution channels. What are the facts? How are bookings, RevPAR and ADR measuring up? How are they shifting, relative to each distribution channel, for the upcoming year? What does the hard data show, with regard to economic recovery within the hospitality sector for 2010? The facts presented in this wrap-up session may support (or possibly refute) the predictions of the industry forecasters.

4:30 pm - 4:45 pm  Closing Remarks - Melanie Ryan, HEDNA President, Orbitz Worldwide

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm  Closing Reception

The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting


Valerie Cooper, HEDNA Executive Director, at or phone: +1 202-204-8400. 

Melanie Ryan, Orbitz Worldwide and HEDNA President, at or phone: +1 312-894-6839.

Also See: HEDNA's Winter Meeting Wrap-up; Unique Global Identifiers (UGI) and its Impact on the Distribution Industry Studied / December 2008

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