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TRAVDEX 2010: Sell Me Mobile - By Julie Keyser-Squires, APR

Julie Keyser-Squires Reports from TRAVDEX 2010

Softscribe “Put the power of a kiosk in each one of your customer’s pockets.” 
- Jack Loop, VP Business Development, Mobiata, at TRAVDEX

 

When Phil Wolf launched TRAVDEX 2010 in Atlanta early May, he thumbed his nose at the recession.  

He also departed from the format used for PhoCusWright’s previous 50 events and may have inspired a new type of pre-scheduled appointment-driven tradeshow for travel buyers and sellers. 

“We had 30 appointments set up at TRAVDEX before we left England,” said UK-based attendee Robert Wortham, joint CEO and CIO with RWA Travel Technology Solutions.  

RWA was one of almost 200 participating companies at the show. 

TRAVEX solves a central problem for the world’s largest industry – travel, tourism and hospitality: the basic buying and selling of travel technology, which is “increasingly time-consuming, costly and confusing.” 

TRAVDEX is for airlines, hoteliers, tour companies and other travel providers. 

It is an all-in-one format full of information-rich keynotes, exhibition space, sponsored events and buyer-seller appointments penciled in every 15 minutes over a two-day period.

Two tracks formalized the information exchange; this article covers “The New Airline Business Model” track, which was heavy on mobile.

Less dazzling, but of interest to technical attendees, was the second track: OpenTravel Alliance Seminar on Technology Standards. Click here to learn top takeaways from that track.

Here are four innovative trends from TRAVDEX 2010:

Mobile:  A different metaphor than the web.

 

Patrick Payne, CEO, Quickmobile 

Tweet: “Hoteliers must understand that mobile is a different metaphor than the web.” 

Takeaways:

  • Mobile apps offer a more personalized experience than the web.
  • Hotels hosting conferences can offer an event mobile app with all the meeting details.
  • Mobile is measurable; it has analytics. If you distribute
    1. Between 2 and 4 pm, open rate is 50%.
    2. Between 4 and 7 pm, open rate is 70%.  
Mobile Apps: Help travelers through any part of the travel process.

 

Ben Kazez, President, Mobiata

Tweet: “I saw a need for mobile apps that would help travelers through any part of the travel process.” 

Takeaways:

  • Mobile is the single highest touch point to integrate travelers with your brand.
  • Mobile web is constrained to a browser and limited to lists; mobile apps blend web services and present data to the traveler in engaging ways.
  • Airlines and hoteliers:  travelers have a need to engage with you before their trip.

Norman Rose, Senior Tech Analyst for PhoCusWright
President, Travel Tech Consulting

Tweet: “Downloadable mobile apps allow you, the hotelier, to bond with your best clients on a device that they prefer.” 

Takeaways:

  • Three drivers of mobile:
    1. Adoption of Smartphones
    2. Early adopters spend more per trip
    3. The mobile app stores
  • How to think about mobile:
    1. Empower the mobile traveler
    2. Improve travel efficiency
    3. Build ancillary revenue and services
  • Make sure your website is mobile ready.
A La Carte Fees: A Revenue Generator

 

Jay Sorensen, President, The IdeaWorks Company 

Tweet: “Look at the airline industry, then put yourself in a traveler’s shoes.”

Takeaways:

  • What types of a la carte services can you sell before your guests arrive and while they are at your hotel?
  • How to create an a la carte ancillary revenue story for your own company:
    1. Make an a la carte feature into a product.
    2. Promote what you have.
    3. Provide a meaningful discount.
    4. Tell your story frequently and clearly. 
  • In the lodging industry, the budget models – Holiday Inn Express, not Four Seasons – should provide a la carte fees.
Said Phil Wolfe, founder of PhoCusWright and the company’s first tradeshow, TRAVDEX 2010: “The best time to innovate is when we are all playing defense.”

That time is now, and venues like TRAVDEX explore new evolving revenue strategies.

Julie Keyser-Squires, APR, is CEO of Softscribe Inc., a digital marketing + PR firm that applies SEO and social media to help clients in the hospitality, travel and related markets increase relationships and sales. Give her a shout on twitter @Juliesquires or comment on the company’s blog http://www.softscribeinc.com.



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