Hotel distribution events are a fantastic way to network with likeminded professionals, gain industry insight and inspiration to improve your business. The always-fast-paced final third of the year includes several “must attend” travel industry events, and we also need to begin planning our attendance at 2017 industry gatherings. With so much going on, we thought we would break down the highlights and benefits of attending these events taking place around the world.
Events of general interest
World Travel Market (London) – Nov. 7-9, 2016
World Travel Market, or WTM is a huge trade show with around 50,000 trade visitors each year—it has several presentation stages, but the clear value for attendees is access to so many exhibitors. Most exhibitors are destinations, but large travel suppliers and distributors as well as many technology companies also exhibit.
DerbySoft is especially excited about WTM this year for two reasons. First, we’re launching a completely new product at WTM! It’s called One, and it is a comprehensive distribution platform for independent hotels and smaller hotel groups. It’s unlike anything else on the market, and we believe it is the best way for independents to tackle the wide variety of challenges that they face in selling online.
The second reason that we’re excited about WTM is that this will be the first year that we’re attending as an exhibitor with a spacious stand. We’ll be located at TT407—please stop by and say hello. WTM is free for trade attendees who pre-register, and you can find out more about WTM London 2016 here.
ITB (Berlin) – Mar. 8-12, 2017
ITB is considered to be the world’s largest tourism trade fair with over 110,000 trade attendees and more than 11,000 exhibitors.
Yes, it’s huge, but it’s organized by segments and by destinations across 26 different halls, so it’s more manageable than one might think. Like WTM, it caters to every aspect of travel with exhibitors ranging from destinations to tech companies. For the past several years DerbySoft has rented a small portion of another exhibitor’s stand, but this year we’ll have our own, brand new stand in hall 7.1.
We hope you will come to visit us! A trade visitor 5-day pass is €50 online or €75 at the event.
Events for Travel Executives
Skift Forum (New York City) – Sept. 27-28
This conference is touted as the largest creative business forum for the global travel industry, and some call it the “TED of Travel.” The list of speakers is usually impressive, including the President and CEO’s of Expedia, Booking.com, Marriott, TripAdvisor International, to name but a few. It is fast-paced, meaning that the agenda includes a greater number of presentations that are shorter in length, so you’ll walk away with lots to think about. The Skift Forum is as the name suggests, more of a forum or conference and does not have any booths or exhibitors like a trade show. Registration is $3295 and includes an evening opening event, breakfast and lunch, networking and more.
Phocuswright (Los Angeles) – Nov. 14-17
Phocuswright is a well-respected travel research company, and their events tend to attract C-level and other leaders from companies across the travel industry. Some exhibitors will be present, but ostensibly it’s a conference more than a trade show. At the end of the day, though, it’s actually a fantastic networking event as much as anything else. As always, several members of DerbySoft’s leadership team will be attending Phocuswright. We’re also sponsoring this event, and we’ll have a dedicated meeting room throughout the conference. Please reach out and let us know if you’d like to get together. Registration is $3849 and can be purchased online.
Distribution and technology events
HEDNA (San Diego) – Jan. 10-12
This member-driven, non-profit trade organization is completely focused on hotel distribution, and its conferences are comparatively modest in number of attendees (typically 300-350). But, if you want to hear the latest thinking on distribution or talk to the person who manages distribution for a particular company, HEDNA is the perfect conference.
It’s a very friendly event, and because it isn’t so large, you can usually find the people that you want to meet during the frequent networking opportunities. DerbySoft is a long-time sponsor and contributes time and energy to HEDNA via board representation, working group leadership, white paper authorship, and other activities. Registration is $2195 ($1395 for HEDNA members).
HITEC (Toronto) – June 26-29
This perennial event organized by trade organization HFTP is primarily a tradeshow focused on all aspects of hospitality technology. Everything from Property Management Systems to electronic door locks to internet and wifi providers can be found at HITEC. Registration is $875 ($725 for HFTP members, or free for qualified buyers).
Events in Asia
Web In Travel – WIT (Singapore) – Oct. 17-19
Self-described as a community for anyone passionate about travel technology, distribution, and marketing, WIT’s premiere event is a conference format and is the largest online travel-related gathering in Asia-Pacific. Though it has an eastern hemisphere focus, delegates from around the world attend. Speakers include CEO at OYO, India’s largest branded network of hotels, Chief Growth Officer and President APAC at TripAdvisor, Chief Marketing Officer at Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific and many more. Registration is $2488.
Travel Daily China (Shanghai) – early Sept. 2017
Travel Daily is a travel media company in Shanghai that hosts two events each year, its hotel summit in June, and its larger event, the TravelDaily Conference in September. The TravelDaily Conference also includes some exhibitors, but the emphasis is on presentations and panel discussions. Hear how to unlock mobile and technology to propel travel business growth from insiders at Facebook, discover the globalization strategy of China’s Tourism Enterprises, and what kind of novel hospitality experiences users can expect from innovation and integration of technology and products. Registration for 2017 is not available yet, but you can find more information here.