2016 Agenda

We are still building the conference agenda for 2017, if you would like to put forward a topic drop us an email on shreya@eyefortravel.com 

If you would like updates about the agenda and event join our event mailing list here - keep me in the loop 

Keynotes Start-Up Village Mobile & Innovation Social Media & Content The Connected Traveler

The 2017 agenda is coming soon... check out our 2016 agenda below. 

7.30 - 8.30am Networking Coffee

Chaired by Susan Black, Founder, Susan Black Associates LLC

Keynote - 8.30 - 10.00am

8.30 - 8.40 - Opening Remarks from the chairman Susan Black

8.40 - 10.00 Position Mobile For Success Within Your Digital Strategy

In this insightful session top hoteliers explore:-

  • What are some of the barriers preventing travel and hospitality brands delivering a seamless mobile experience?  How can they be overcome?
  • Are mobile bookings poised to overtake desktop bookings or is this wishful thinking? Will Desktop bookings ever actually disappear or will it still remain a solid base for digital transactions?
  • Pinpoint what exactly is holding back consumers from committing to purchasing travel on mobile and understand how key issues such as checkout/payment security can finally convince users to buy
  • Explore where travel companies should focus their attention and if booking numbers is a truly representative method for determining budget allocation

Kristie Goshow, SVP Commercial, Viceroy Hotel Group
Mariana Cavalcanti, VP Digital Experience, Marriott International
Brooks Martin, Snr. Director Mobile & Digital Guest Experience, Marriott International
Alex Zoghlin, Global Head of Technology, Hyatt Hotels
Jon Hudson, Head of Mobile, Americas, Criteo

10.00 - 10.30 Networking Coffee Break

10.30 - 12.00 Get to Grips with Content Integration in a Mobile First World

Is content the most powerful tool in the battle to influence and win increasingly fickle customers?

  • Discover how content can be used to inspire, create trust and radically influence behaviour
  • What does your content say about your brand?  How can we use content marketing to sell experiences and not commodities?
  • Explore the role of different content types plus how to integrate them into your overall marketing strategy
  • Budget for success – don’t fall at the last hurdle, ensure your content delivers ROI

Travis Katz, CEO, Gogobot
Sarah Roos-Essl, Head of Travel, Twitter
Robert Patterson, VP Content, Inside Out Media
Peter Cassidy, Founder & Chief Product Officer, Stackla

Start-Up Village

Start-up Village Bootcamp

10.30 - 11.30 Learn the Secrets to Success - Quiz Top Online Travel Entrepreneurs

Meet the entrepreneurs who have succeeded in the cut throat online travel space. Quiz them on what they feel their secrets to success were.
The session will include spotlights on:

  • Top tips to securing investment
  • How to analyze if there is really demand for your product/service
  • How to recruit the best team
  • Do you need a mentor?
  • Hear the top start-up mistakes to avoid

Entrepreneur Presenters

Heddi Cundle, Founder, MyTab.co
Jim Pickell, President, HomeExchange.com
Gadi Bashvitz, Founder & CEO, OLSET
Kerri Ann Zeil, Director, Online Travel Group & Amadeus for Startups
Sara Margulis, CEO, HoneyFund

11.30 - 12.15 Meet the Investors
Take the opportunity to quiz key investors on what they look for in a travel startup. What are the ways in which you should/shouldn't go about asking for money?
Saad Siddiqui, Senior Research Analyst, Edgewood Management LLC
Nancy Hayes, Managing Director, Golden Seeds
Saaed Amidi, CEO and Founder, Plug and Play Tech Center
George Arabian, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Stealhead Ventures
Roopak Pati, Investment Banking Associate, Needham & Company

12.00 - 1.30pm Networking Lunch Break
Mobile & Innovation

1.30pm - 2.30pm Create Useful and Functional Apps that Travelers Want to Use

Deliberate what to include in App, how to position it and how to balance providing information for consumers vs. selling to them - keeping usage rates up and uninstalls low

  • Explore the key trends in mobile app design and how consumers interact with their mobile phones in 2016
  • Discuss the killer features that should drive your mobile strategy, making sure you don't get left behind
  • Debate where apps should be positioned in your distribution strategy, from pre-booking to post-trip, andhow best to roll out

Rich Clayton, Senior Director, Digital Experience, Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Andrew Levy, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Apteligent
Carlos Sanchez, Sr. Manager Big Data Analytics, Product Innovation, Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Social Media & Content


Your customers are reaching out to your brand via social media more than ever before.  But are you ready to respond at scale, keeping every interaction human?

Build a Social Media for Customer Care Strategy for Success

  • Explore the key barriers to offering an exceptional customer experience via social media. Do you have the right tools & staff in place to listen to your customers ontheir channel of choice?
  • Balance the need to reduce customer response time with providing intelligent, accurate responses in line with your brand
  • Understand the importance of real-time social media listening to shape positive conversations about your brand
  • Learn how to ensure important data insights are delivered to the right department
  • Establish meaningful KPIs for your customer care strategy

Nick Ayres,Global Director, Social Marketing, IHG
Paul Johns, Chief Marketing Officer, Conversocial
Maria Roncal, Social Media Manager, Palms Casino Resort

Start-Up Village

1.30 - 5.30 The Pitches

10 finalists present their 10 minute pitches to the judges, investors and audience

Judges include:

Matt Zito, Managing Partner, Travel Startups Incubator LLC
George Arabian, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Stealhead Ventures
Kerri Ann Zeil, Director, Online Travel Group & Amadeus for Startups
Zaid Al-Husseini, VP Product, Gogobot

Mobile & Innovation

2.30 - 3.30 The Do’s and Don’ts of Mobile Advertising

Understand key advances and opportunities to target customers on the move, from engaging content to social reach, learn from top influencers in the market how best to target your consumers

  • Banners are dead! Explore the emerging techniques top brands are utilizing to engage mobile consumers
  • Learn how to use the small screen real-estate that mobile brings and make the most of every square inch
  • Discuss engaging content that truely works on mobile, delivering measurable ROI and that works for your brand

Brooke Riley, Account Executive Travel, Google
Jordan Cohen, Chief Marketing Officer, Fluent
Will Phung, Vice President of Media, M&C Saatchi
Sanjay Bhatia, Client Partner, Facebook/Instagram

Social Media & Content

3.00 - 3.30 Explore How to Adapt Your Loyalty Strategy to the Digital Savvy Customer

Understand how Orbitz’ new loyalty program drives customer acquisition, engagement and retention in a customer-first world.

Sarah Butterfass, VP Loyalty, Orbitz Worldwide

Start-Up Village

Start-up Pitches 

2:15 Tink You
2:30 POSH Adventures
2:45 SeatWizer
3:00 Flitways
3:15 Gruptrip

3.30 - 4.00pm Networking Coffee Break
Mobile & Innovation

4.00 - 5.30 Mobile Innovation in Travel Awards 2016

After a tough selection period followed by industry voting, the lucky top 3 finalists per category battle it out to share why they should win - 

Best Mobile Travel App

  • Dohop
  • Alaska Airlines
  • TripAdvisor
Best Mobile Travel User Experience
  • Dohop
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Skyjet
  • American Airlines

Best Mobile Solution

  • Apteligent
  • FLIO
  • RoamingAround

Judges include - 
Susan Black, Principal, Susan Black Associates LLC
Shahab Choudhry, Co-Founder and Partner, Propelics
Frederic Gonzalo, Consultant, Gonzo Marketing
Tim Gunstone, MD, EyeforTravel Ltd. (first and second round judge only)

Social Media & Content

4.00 - 4.45 Case Study: Hear the Story Behind Le Méridien's Follow Me Campaign

How did popular Starwood luxury brand, Le Méridien use Instagram to take consumers on a visual journey of the world’s most alluring destinations to drive inspiration and engagement?

George Fleck, VP Global Brand Management, Starwood Hotels

4.45 - 5.30 - Learn How to Find Your Voice Online as an Independent Hotelier

Explore affordable techniques to surprise and delight your guests.  Understand how, even as a independent hotelier, it's possible to find your brand voice and use social media strategy to reap the rewards of telling your brand story.

Jenny Greene, Online Sales & Marketing, Kā’anapali Beach Hotel


Please note that Robecta Ma, VP Marketing, Cathay Pacific will now be joining us on Day 2 instead of Day 1

Start-Up Village

Start-up Pitches

4:00 Lumanu
4:15 Grabr
4:30 Biz Airlines
4:45 Inspirock
5:00 Stiya

5.30 - 7.30pm Networking Drinks Break - Meet, network and relax over a drink with your industry peers after an info-packed first day! The winners and runners-up of the Mobile Innovation in Travel Awards as well as The Startup Village will be announced!

Keynotes Start-Up Village Mobile & Innovation Social Media & Content The Connected Traveler


Day Two - Tuesday March 15th - 8.30 - 4.30pm

7.30 - 8.30 Networking Coffee

Chaired by Susan Black, Founder, Susan Black Associates LLC

Keynote: 8.30 - 9.30

The Great Mobile App Debate:  Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Web – Who’s won the war?

In this session, we give you the low down on the true value of apps versus the alternatives to establish if you really have the right mobile strategy for your brand. Plus, what that strategy should look like in the future.

  • Is it true that consumers interact better with apps?  Do they really work to drive loyalty?
  • Is there a need for diversified apps or consolidation?
  • What are the pros and cons of app versus mobile web? Is there middle ground – eg. hybrid options?

Christine Warner, Head of Travel, Facebook
David Baga, Chief Business Officer, Lyft
Amanda Richardson, VP Product, HotelTonight

9.30 - 10.00 Essential Insights into Mobile Perzonalization 

  • Learn how to bridge the relevancy gap with the power of personalization 
  • Understand how to utilize machine learning technologies to predict push notification engagement 
  • Create meaningful mobile moments throughout the entire customer journey

Momchil Kyurkchiev, CEO & Founder, Leanplum

10.00 - 10.30 Networking Coffee Break


10.30 - 11.15 The Future of the Connected Traveler & Smart Travel Experience - Get the Low Down on Where You Should Invest Your Valuable Time and Resources

Smart technology is enhancing the travel experience providing exciting opportunities to engage consumers, reduce friction, drive loyalty and ultimately win sales. In this session we: -

  • Explore what technology is fundamental to improving the consumer’s experience of your brand vs. what is simply ammunition for a quick PR win
  • Avoid the pitfalls -  Learn from those who have gone before you
  • Future-proof your brand - Understand what exciting new opportunities an intelligently connected experience presents
  • Keyless check-in and mobile payments are just some of the smart features being adopted by some of the world’s savviest hotel groups. Hear how to achieve boardroom buy-in and overcome system fragmentation to deliver a five star customer experience

Dana Shefsky, Director of Product Innovation, Hilton Worldwide
Manoj Jasra, Head of Digital, WestJet
Robecta Ma, Digital & e-Commerce, Cathay Pacific

11.15 -11.45 The Dos and Don'ts of Programmatic Advertising: How to Use Programmatic to Your Marketing Advantage

Programmatic advertising is growing 30% each year. What are the advantages and pitfalls?

  • Hear how programmatic is changing the display media landscape and understand the real value it provides
  • Learn how to measure the ROI of programmatic
  • Discover how programmatic advertising is impacting all digital touch points and why it needs to feature in your social and mobile advertising strategies

Megan Harris, Managing Partner, Syzygy

11.45 - 12.15 The Journey Ahead: Exploring the Future of Marketing Analytics in Travel

In the new world of micro-moments—those intent rich moments when consumers turn to their devices to act on a need—how can you collect and connect the right data for your business and act even faster on what you learn? In this session we'll discuss marketers top challenges in this era of fragmented data, like how to

• Measure consumer behavior across so many channels, platforms and screens
• Deliver more personal experiences and more meaningful ads
• Build higher ROI on marketing spend

Neil Hoyne, Head of Customer Analytics, Google Inc.
Alex Sutton, Director Digital Media, Avis Budget Group

12.15 - 1.30pm Networking Lunch Break
Mobile & Innovation

1.30 - 2.10 Mobile Personalization to Drive Brand Loyalty

Explore how effective personalised communications can be achieved  across multiple platforms, allowing for seamless communications with guests from trip inception to completion

  • Discuss the best way to integrate yor loyalty offerings into a mobile platform, from app to mobile web and email
  • Explore how new advances in data analysis are boosting the personalization market and how this can increase customer loyalty to your brand
  • Are air miles dead? Should you be looking to adopt new methods of loyalty that cross the travelers boundaries?

Diego Dugatkin, Executive Vice President of Corporate & Business Development, Switchfly
Todd Thayer, VP Product Management, Enterprise and Intelligence Solutions, Syniverse

2.10 - 2.30 - How to build the world’s most popular travel app at scale?

It’s not enough to build a great app. You need consumers to want to download it and, depending on the business, you need to be able to scale it globally.

  • Get insights into TripAdvisor’s approach to building the world’s most popular travel app (downloaded 230 million times) by offering consumers invaluable travel features and insights whilst in destination
  • Explore the test-and-iterate culture necessary to design features consumers love, at speed, to stay ahead of competitors
  • Learn strategies for encouraging app downloads and pulling in repeat use in a way that is scalable

Yenyi Fu, Director of Mobile Product, TripAdvisor

Social Media & Content

1.30 - 2.30pm How to Implement Meaningful Content Strategies (including UGC)

Consumers want to share their travel experiences.  Brands want content.  Yet, one wrong move could have serious implications for your brand.

  • Learn how to ensure quality user generated content that’s a great fit with your brand
  • How can you encourage consumers to share their experiences?
  • Experience a destination like a local: How do you tap into local communities to grow local content?
  • Understand how to develop engaging blog and website content
  • Hear top tips including the Do’s and Don’ts of content marketing

Krista Parry, SVP Partnerships & Media, Powdr Enterprises
Kim Matlock, CMO, Social Media Monthly 
Alicianne Rand, VP Marketing, NewsCred
Sarah Gorenstein, Head of Content, Orbitz.com & CheapTickets.com

The Connected Traveler

Take a deep dive into how technology is transforming each stage of the customer journey.

1.30 - 2.30 On the Ground: Explore key Innovations in Bus, Car Rental and Taxi and P2P Car Providers

After years of inertia, the car industry is seeing unprecedented change. Explore how technology and exciting partnerships are providing a connected, frictionless passenger experience

Matt Doherty, Regional VP, Business, Lyft
Paul Steinberg, Chief Business Officer, Carma
Timothy Moore, Technologist, BART
Polina Raygorodskaya, CEO, Wanderu
Mobile & Innovation

2.30 - 3.15 Explore the Rise of Mobile Only/Mobile First Travel Brands

As App-stores around the world are flooded with companies who only have a mobile platform, is this the future of commerce and customer interactions? What can we learn from them?

  • Learn how can companies with legacy systems integrate mobile into the core of their digital strategy, using what mobile only companies have taught them
  • Explore the reinvention of a 50 year old brand for the mobile age and how this has changed how they interact with their customers
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being mobile only, from brand consistency to mobile platform limitations and how these can hinder or boost a companies bottom line

Amanda Richardson, VP Product, HotelTonight
Nicholas Young, Senior Director of Partnerships, Hopper
Angel Llull Mancas, Regional Director North America, Booking.com

Social Media & Content

2.30 - 3.00 Essential Social Media & Marketing Data Analytics for the Time-Poor Marketer!

The pressure is on to deliver a personalized marketing strategy that seamlessly integrates social media, mobile and drives engagement and loyalty.  But are you confident you are getting the fundamentals right and are able to accurately interpret your customer’s behavior to help shape such a strategy?

  • Your customers are revealing insightful information about themselves but are you tracking and interpreting it effectively?
  • Where should you be focusing your valuable time and resources to provide the most valuable insights?
  • Understand how to combine structured and unstructured data to unleash the full potential of your data
  • Are you missing valuable customer insights via social media?

Barbara Pezzi, Director Analytics & Search Optimization, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International 

The Connected Traveler

2.30 - 3.15 In the Air: Revolutionizing the Connected Airport and Airline Experience

Beacon technology, self-service and increased use of mobile options are not only revolutionising the passenger experience but also serving to drives revenues both pre-flight and during flight.  How can airlines and airports work together to deliver a first class seamless passenger travel experience?  Can data issues be overcome?

Joerg Liebe, CIO, Lufthansa Systems

Michael Childers, Chief Consultant, Content and Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems

Joe Leader, CEO, APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association)
3.00/3.15 - 3.30/3.45 Networking Coffee Break
Mobile & Innovation

3.45 - 4.15  How to Craft your Mobile Offerings and Keep Mobile at the Heart of Digital

We all know that mobile should be at the centre of your 2016 digital strategy. With more companies offering more products and solutions that will 'revolutionize' the way you connect with consumers on mobile, what should you take on board? This session features a deep-dive into what you should consider when implementing a new mobile strategy from the ground up.

  • From no strategy to mobile first, which approach is right for you and how to roll this out to your customer base?
  • Learn how can you craft a digital strategy that covers all bases whilst at the same time retains the true importance of mobile
  • Discuss how to usefully transfer legacy systems to mobile from a 25 year old 'start-up'

Jim Pickell, President, HomeExchange.com

Social Media & Content

End of track - Please feel free to join the other conference tracks

The Connected Traveler

3.45 - 4.30 Learn How to Capitalize on the On-trip and In-destination Experience

The restaurants, tours and activities sector is a hot bed of innovation. Now that the inventory is now finally in comprehensive databases, find out how to capitalize on the opportunity to give customers what they want when they want it.

Alex Kremer, Co-Founder, Actourex
Christian Watts, CEO, City Sightseeing
Ken Frohling, VP Business Development, Viator by TripAdvisor

Keynotes Start-Up Village Mobile & Innovation Social Media & Content The Connected Traveler


If you’re interested in participating in the conference, please get in touch with me directly.

Shreya Ganapathy

Shreya Ganapathy

Project and Research Director
+1800 814 3459 x7150 (US)
+44 (0) 207 375 7150 (Global)

2016 Sponsors & Exhibitors

Social Customer Service Sponsor

  • Conversocial

Social Content

  • Stackla

Start-Up Village

  • Amadeus


  • Apteligent
  • criteo
  • Fluent
  • Google Analytics Premium
  • LeanPlum
  • NewsCred
  • PressReader
  • Switchfly
  • Google Analytics Premium
  • Syzygy


  • Adadyn