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The 8th annual Social Media & Mobile Strategies for Travel 2015 March 23-24 | San Francisco

2014 Agenda

The 2015 program and speaker line-up are currently being researched. To put forward your suggestions contact gina@eyefortravel.com

The past 2014 agenda can be viewed below

Day One Day Two

Optional Networking Welcome Drinks will take place on Sunday March 16th at the Hotel Nikko between 6.30-7.30pm

Day One - Monday March 17th
8.30 - 9.30: Essential Insights: The Social Media Giants Reveal Their Key Innovations
As the social giants turn towards more commercially orientated business models, what does this mean for your travel business?

We have assembled the who’s who of the social media landscape to reveal what innovations are happening right now for travel brands to capitalize on and to debate what predictions they foresee for the next 12 months in the digital world.

Hear from both the social media giants vs. the travel brand perspective

Will Pinnell, TripCase Director of Sales & Marketing, Sabre
Mike De Jesus, Head of Travel, Twitter 
Shaun Aukland, Head of Social Media - Travel, Google 
Shashank Nigam, CEO, SimpliFlying

9.30 - 10.30: Take Social Media to the Next Level:  Learn How to Integrate Social Media Across Your Company to Boost Loyalty & Sales
Many brands admit that social media should not sit in a silo. For optimal results, it needs to be integrated across your company strategy, structure and communications.  In this session we explore how to overcome the barriers to integration as well as how to make the most of the opportunities integration presents.
  • Understand how to leverage social data across your organization
  • How can social be integrated with loyalty and CRM systems to boost sales?
  • What are the benefits of developing bespoke social tools in-house vs. externally?
  • How can you open up your systems/improve APIs to become more able to integrate new technology?
Jonathan Pierce, Director of Social Media Communications, American Airlines
Ed Perry,Global Senior Director of Social Media, Worldhotels
Mike Supple, Director of Social Media, Milestone Internet Marketing
10.30 - 11.00: Coffee Break
11.00 - 12.30: Content Marketing Reigns Supreme - But What Really Drives Conversions?
Content is undoubtedly still king. But where should content be generated from? Should it be branded, co-branded or user-generated? Understand what type of content drives conversions at every step of the customer journey.
  • What constitutes great, inspirational content?  Understand the growing importance of context.
  • Content faux pas - Learn from case studies demonstrating where it can go wrong
  • Competitions - understand the do’s the don’ts
  • Build the right content partnerships for your brand
  • Ensure each piece of content uses the right voice and tone
  • Discover optimal ways to work with travel bloggers to expand your brand reach and tell your brand/product story

Simon Bradley, VP Marketing, North America, Virgin Atlantic Airways
Lynn Carpenter, VP Marketing, Visit California
Fiona Goldstein,Director of Social Media + Brand Content, Commune Hotels + Resorts
Robert Patterson, VP of Content & Social Strategy, MMGY Global
Krista Parry, SVP Marketing/Media, Powdr Enterprises

12.30 - 2pm: Networking Lunch Break
1.20 - 2pm: Optional Interactive roundtables - Get your burning mobile and social media questions answered by the experts!  Choose your the roundtable you wish to attend here
Mobile Track Social Media Track
2.15pm - 3.30pm: How to Create a Slick Mobile User Experience - Including Payment & Check Out! 2.00 - 2.45pm: Capitalize on the Rise & Rise in Importance of Video and Visual Social Media
Big brands have invested billions in ensuring their mobile experience doesn’t confuse users.  They have identified how to increase adoption, and avoid putting obstacles in the way of engagement.  In this session we explore how to achieve mobile UX success.
  • What constitutes a good mobile user experience?  Learn how to sense intent, and aim to expose the (relevant!) possibilities available at each stage of their  task
  • Avoid simply shrinking down your desktop website - go back to the drawing board
  • Achieve tasks in the smallest number of steps and minimize any unnecessary functionality
  • Understand how your customers are buying via mobile
  • Debate how effective a responsive design approach really is
  • Payment via mobile is still a barrier. Learn how to get a slick mobile check out design and efficient, secure payment system in place
Robert Brown, CEO, Optionsaway.com
Dr. Natasa Christodoulidou, Director of the Hospitality Technology Research Institute, Associate Professor, Department of Management and Marketing, California State University
Keith Swiderski, Director, Mobile & Emerging Channels, Strategy & Development, Wyndham Hotel Group
According to research by HubSpot, 40% of people respond better if something is visual rather than text.  With the rise in popularity of video and sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, you need a visual social media strategy in place. 
  • The battle of the brands on Instagram vs. Vine - who’s doing the most inspiring video campaigns and how are they maximising each platform?  How does each audience on each platform differ?
  • Learn how to use video to tell a story, set a tone and humanise your brand
  • Understand what consumers want out of a video.  What formats work best?
  • Discover how to use video to climb the search rankings
  • Capitalise on using photos to as a recommendation tool and to increase traffic to your site
  • Learn how to use Pinterest to curate content - what are the do’s and don’ts?
Allison Sitch, VP Global Public Relations, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
Ed Gazarian, Social Media Specialist, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company 
Taylor Cole, Director of PR & Social Media, Hotels.com
2.45 - 3.45pm: Assess the Role & Purpose Of Each Social Media Channel in Your Communication Armoury
Savvy travel brands have become more sophisticated in their use of social media. Get to grips with social web attribution - which sites are best for which purpose?
  • Hear an overview of the latest social media channels - new and existing
  • Understand what your social media goals are and learn how to optimally use each social channel to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Localisation of social media channels - understand the importance of which channels your diverse range of customers are using. Global versus local social media channels - evaluate where to spend your valuable time and resources
  • Understand which social media to use for which purpose eg. new product launches, brand awareness, brand repositioning etc
Mac Joseph, Senior Manager, Social Media Marketing, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Diego Sartori, Executive Social Media & Internet Strategies, citizenM Hotels
Piper Stevens, Director of Social Media, Loews Hotels & Resorts
3.15/3.45 - 3.45/4.15 Coffee Break
3.45 - 5.30: Mobile Innovation in Travel Awards 4.00 - 4.45: Creative Ideas for Social Media Engagement
Top travel brands battle it out to win one of the following categories -
  • Best Mobile Travel App



  • Best Mobile Travel User Experience



  • Best Mobile Travel Strategy



Marriott International

  • Best Mobile Travel Solution


Egencia TripNavigator

Judges - John T. Peters, President, Travel Media Group, USA Today
Gina Baillie, GM, EyeforTravel Ltd.
Glenn M. Gruber, Sr. Mobility Strategist, Propelics, Inc.
Michael Becker, Managing Partner & CEO North America
Dr. Natasa Christodoulidou, Director of Hospitality Technology Research Institute, California State University

To see the details for the finalists - http://events.eyefortravel.com/mobile/vote-entrants.php

Mastering social media not only requires innovation, passion and enthusiasm but also an abundance of campaigns, comments and competitions that really excite your consumer base.   In this session we explore tried and tested ideas to engage travelers of varying demographics. 

Nick Ayres, Director of Social Marketing, InterContinental Hotels Group
Juan Pablo Larrain, Director of Social Media, Latam Airlines

4.45 - 5.30: Create the Optimal Social Media Culture - Staffing, Resources, Budget
Instilling the right social media culture within your organisation can be challenging especially in large organisations.  The need for real-time responses to customers puts increasing pressure on your social strategy.
  • Where does social media sit in your organisation?  Explore examples approaches from leading travel brands
  • Foster the right social culture: Balance social media guidelines from HQ vs. individual property needs
  • Hire & train the right people: How is the role of the social media manager evolving?
  • How do you keep staff motivated and encourage them to be fun and engaging?
  • Resources: Learn how to maximise the impact of your social presence with minimal resources
Craig Jacobs, SVP Sales, Preferred Hotel Group
Michael Bennett, MD, Digital Marketing & Strategy, KSL Resorts
Gregg Tilston, Global Social Media Leader, Flight Centre Ltd.
5.30 - 7.30pm: Networking Drinks Reception (inc the Mobile Innovation in Travel Awards Winners’ presentation)

Day One Day Two

Day Two - Tuesday March 18th
9.00 - 10.30: Overcome Fragmentation: Learn How to Create A Seamless Cross-Screen Customer Experience of Your Brand
In this vital session, we explore the new Mobile, social, desktop, ‘phablet’ & tablet customer journey and what it means for your marketing approach.
  • Analyse how consumer behavior changes via mobile, desktop and tablet devices. At what stage of the customer journey is the customer normally at when using each platform?
  • Learn how to ensure a consistent experience of your brand for the new multiscreen consumer
  • How can you track the customer experience of your brand, cross platform and use the data to target them with the right message at the right time on the right device?
  • Are most customers using iPads to research ideas and be inspired or are they lucrative converters?
  • At what point in the customer journey do mobile and tablets really add the most value? Is the last minute booking notion a myth?
  • Do you risk losing the customer in a mobile app? Or do they serve to keep your customers engaged with your brand and increase sales?
Travis Katz, CEO, Gogobot
Vincent Macri, Head of Mobile - Travel, Google
Keith Swiderski, Director, Mobile & Emerging Channels, Strategy & Development, Wyndham Hotel Group
Ian Berman, VP Business Development, WorldMate
10.30 - 11.00: Coffee Break
11.00 - 12.00: Discover The Future of Mobile & Wearable Technology
  • New technology such as Google Glass has the potential to transform how customers experience travel.  But when will wearable technology go mainstream?  What other technological advancements lie just around the corner?   How do you prepare your business to capitalize on the opportunities they provide?
  • Smartphone, phablet, tablet - which platform will see the most growth in 2014 and beyond?
  • Watch a live Google Glass demo and travel industry case study from a Google Explorer.  Don’t forget to ask them your burning questions!
  • Hear key updates from tech gurus on what technology will dramatically change the way your customers experience, research and book travel in the next 2-5 years

Allen Darnell, VP Technology, Silvercar
David Zakariaie, CEO, Glassic LLC & Google Glass Pioneer
Robert Patterson, Vice President of Content and Social Strategy, MMGY Global (A Google Glass Explorer)

12.00 - 12.30: Understand the Importance of Mobile and the Power of Influence
  • Learn how mobile is changing your consumer’s behavior on Facebook and how you should adapt your strategy
Erik Hawkins, US Group Leader, Facebook
12.00 - 2pm: Networking Lunch Break
1.15 - 2pm: Optional Interactive roundtables - Get your burning mobile and social media questions answered!  Choose the roundtable discussion group you wish to attend here
Mobile Track Social Media Track
2.00 - 3.15: Connect Social Media, Data, Mobile & Tablet to Enhance the Guest Experience 2.00 - 3.15: Get to Grips with Attribution Modelling - Pinpoint What Really Influences Customer Behavior
New technology is enabling brands to communicate with customers on the move. From home to airport to flight to resort - how can you make the most of new technology to wow the customer at every stage and win their trust by providing useful, engaging information?
  • What new technological advancements are transforming the guest experience?
  • Airline, airport, OTA, hotel/resort - Who owns the customer at what stage?
  • As customer's choose to book each part of their trip separately, how can you get a true picture of how and when they are travelling where
  • How can you coordinate timely, relevant marketing messages throughout a customer's journey to engage the customer, be useful whilst also capitalizing on the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell (without being creepy!)?
  • Learn how to overcome the issue of a lack of open APIs
Caterina Fake, Co-Founder Flickr & Founder & CEO, Findery
Drew Patterson, Founder, Checkmate
Charles Schuler, Associate Deputy Airport Director Communications & Marketing, San Francisco International Airport

Includes New Product Launch from Austin Cooley, President, Tripstr
With so many consumer touch points at play to influence the consumer’s interaction with your brand how can you really measure what led them to purchase?
In this session, we explore how to go beyond the last click and build a truly holistic picture of the role both social media and mobile play.
  • What useful tools are available to help you accurately attribute influence?  How can you measure sentiment?
  • Are you interpreting conversion cross platform accurately?
  • How do you communicate ROI for mobile and social back to upper management?
  • Is visual social media harder to measure than other forms?
Barbara Pezzi, Director - Analytics & Search Optimization, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International
Jonathan Isernhagen, Director of Market Analysis, Travelocity

Includes New Product Launch from Austin Cooley, President, Tripstr
3.15 - 3.45pm: Coffee Break
3.45 - 5.00: Position Your Brand for Mobile App Success 3.45 - 4.30: Destinations Go Social & Mobile - How Can You Create a Digitally Savvy Destination?
A customer will give you just 2 secs before they decide whether they will use your app.
  • In a crowded app space, how do you cut through the noise?
  • Assess the role and purpose of mobile apps in the user journey
  • What are the solutions to overcome lack of connectivity -  eg. offline apps
  • How can travel suppliers compete with OTAs and provide useful, timely information via their apps after a customer has booked?
  • How can you ensure your app is used frequently and not downloaded and forgotten?
  • What do travel customers want from a travel app? Do apps really drive loyalty?
  • Hear the latest insights into key platform updates and considerations

Marissa Chacko, Senior Product Manager, HotelTonight
Matthew McCroskey, Head of Mobile Product, Lonely Planet
Katherine Bose, Head of Mobile Partnerships, Americas, TripAdvisor
JD Lasica, Co-Founder, Cruiseable

More and more destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) are developing digital travel experiences to wow customers about a destination.
  • What is the role of the DMO in the digital experience? 
  • SoLoMo - How do tourists use social and mobile at a destination?
  • What information and digital tools do travellers find useful at the destination?
  • Understand what makes a successful travel supplier and destination collaboration
  • Learn how to combine social content with a transactional focus
  • Hear successful case studies from top digital savvy US destinations
  • Understand how to use new tools such as Google Field Trip
Michael Hauser, Digital Marketing Manager, Tourism Victoria (Australia)
Debate: Who Owns the Mobile Travel Customer?  
4.30/5.00pm End of conference