Agenda

See the 2020 conference agenda. We’re constantly looking to inspire, grow and improve year on year so we always up the ante by introducing different themes, new keynotes, more panel sessions and workshops led by industry experts. 

 

 

  • 08:00am - 08:45am
    Registration, Welcome Coffee and Tradeshow Open to Conference Delegates

    Pick up your lanyard and name tag at the registration desk and enjoy a coffee while networking with other conference delegates. The exhibitor tradeshow will open to all conference delegates.


  • View bio

    Adrian Caruso's biography

    Founder, Managing Director
    Fastrack Group

    Adrian is founder and CEO of Australasia's leading travel, tourism and hospitality full-service marketing and communications firm, Fastrack Group.

    Adrian is a highly experienced and respected travel, tourism and hospitality digital marketing, media and communications expert with over 25 years in the industry. He is also a management consultant and strategist. 

    08:45am - 08:50am
    Welcome Address

    Adrian Caruso, Founder, Managing Director
    Fastrack Group

    A welcome introduction to Maximum Occupancy New Zealand 2020 by the conference MC and organiser, Adrian Caruso.

  • 08:50am - 09:30am
    New Zealand Accommodation: The past, present and future

    The opening conference presentation is a must-attend for it sets the basis for the entire day. Listen to two of New Zealand's best speakers on the New Zealand accommodation market, the past, present and future. Uncover how New Zealand markets are behaving in conjunction with supply as a growing factor. Listen to the outlook for accommodation operators 2020 and beyond. And listen to the opinions of a panel of hotel operators their comments and opinions on the current and future market.

    Panellists

    • Wim Reupert,
      Horwath HTL

    • Paul Hammond's biography

      Business Development Manager, Pacific
      STR

      Paul Hammond is the Business Development Manager, Pacific at STR, a global company who collects performance data from accommodation properties all over the world and provides aggregated reports and insights on market performance for accommodation providers and custom groups, which enables them to make better business decisions. Paul has over 20 years of experience in tourism & hospitality, and previously he worked for almost 10 years in the Online Travel (OTA) industry with global companies Orbitz, part of the Expedia Group, and Booking.com, as well as over 2 years in a major sports project with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) organising committee. Paul has also held several management and sales & marketing roles with numerous Hotels and Hotel Chains internationally and in Australia including Palazzo Versace, Hyatt, and Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG).

      Paul Hammond, Business Development Manager, Pacific
      STR

  • 09:30am - 10:00am
    Making the most of every guest

    Speaker to be Announced,

    We’re in a golden age of personalization. Guests expect it. In this presentation, learn how to better understand guest spending behaviour, across all your properties, to be more targeted with your marketing messages. The end goal is to help you be smart and successful in getting the right heads in the right beds through the best channel to maximize net revenue. In short, the goal is to make the most of every guest.

  • 10:00am - 10:30am
    Parity - Does it still exist? 2020 and beyond

    Parity is crucial to conversion however it is becoming more and more difficult to maintain with OTA, Metasearch and rock-bottom wholesale rates all vying for the same booking. Throw in the growth of AirBnB and other accommodation innovators, and it becomes a nightmare for some. In the panel session, listen to a heated discussion between OTAs, Metasearch, wholesalers and hoteliers and why they can all work in unison.

    Panellists

    • More Panellists to be Announced,

    • Andrew Boocock, Sourcing Regional Manager - Pacific
      Hotelbeds

    Facilitator

    • Facilitator to be Announced,

  • 10:30am - 11:00am
    Morning Tea

    Break time! Enjoy a delicious pastry and tea or coffee with fellow delegates.


  • View bio

    AJ Shantiratnam's biography

    Principal Client Partner
    Tripadvisor

    AJ Shantiratnam is Principal Client Partner for TripAdvisor in Australia. AJ manages click-based advertising business for hotel chains and OTAs in Australia.With a blend of experience working for large OTA and hotel chains, AJ has over 10 years’ experience in the travel industry which he capitalises with his passion for data and business analysis. AJ has previously worked for Agoda.com and Frasers Hospitality leading account management and e-commerce performance.

    11:00am - 11:25am
    Direct Booking Tips and Ideas Unleashed

    AJ Shantiratnam, Principal Client Partner
    Tripadvisor

    Join TripAdvisor and hear the experts, you the audience share their top tips to help you maximise your direct bookings. Get tips on how to get in front of the right audience, build confidence in your property and make booking direct easy and appealing.

    PLUS, Announced: the winning idea of how to drive direct bookings, as submitted by you.

  • 11:25am - 11:55am
    Creative Optimisation: How to survive the unknown

    Technology constantly unlocks new choice models for our customers and we have entered an era where the predictable product is being challenged by a desire for unique, authentic and less stuffy experiences. How do revenue managers continue to optimise and exploit opportunities in the market, whilst managing the impact of unknown supply.

    Facilitator

    • Melissa Kalan's biography

      Founder
      ARMA

      Melissa Kalan is the Founder of the Australian Revenue Management Association (ARMA), providing revenue management education via the ARMA Academy to the accommodation industry.

      Her life philosophy is centred on the principle of “always learning”, and with this she empowers organisations to lead a revenue management culture from the top down that influences both profits and staff retention.

      Melissa wrote the first Australian nationally accredited VET short course in revenue management and the Graduate Certificate of Revenue Management – an online globally recognised qualification, the first of its kind, in partnership with Torrens University Australia. Melissa co-facilitates the university program with Torrens University Australia and also founded the annual APAC Revenue Management Summit.

      Melissa Kalan, Founder
      ARMA

  • 11:55am - 12:25pm
    Do Food & Beverage offerings drive hotel bookings?

    In this panel session, listen to some of New Zealand's leading hotel and restaurant innovators on on why many hoteliers have missed the mark when it comes to their food and beverage offering and the huge opportunities there are. Learn how to make your restaurant and other food and beverage outlets a local destination and guest must-visit and eat at.

    Facilitator

    • Facilitator to be Announced,

  • 12:25pm - 01:00pm
    CEO Viewpoints

    In this session, listen to some of New Zealand's and APAC hotel leaders and CEOs discuss the latest trends, issues and opportunities facing the accommodation industry in new Zealand and abroad. This panel session will be facilitated by one of New Zealand's leading accommodation stalwarts, Sally Attfield from the TIANZ.

    Panellists

    • More Panellists to be Announced,

    • Gavin Faull's biography

      Chairman and President
      Swiss-Belhotel International

      Gavin has over 35 years experience in hotel management and operations under his belt. He started his career as an accountant for The Peninsula Group, Hong Kong. In 1983, he was made chief executive of Kingsgate International Corporate Limited, a publicly listed company that owned several hotels in Australia and New Zealand.

      He worked for a start-up hotel management company Swiss-Belhotel group in 1990, before taking over the ownership of the company in 1999. Apart from his illustrious career in the hospitality industry, he also runs a number of agricultural companies in his native New Zealand. Gavin holds hold a Bachelor Degree in Accounting from Victoria University of Wellington.

      Gavin Faull, Chairman and President
      Swiss-Belhotel International

    • Graham Perry's biography

      Managing Director, Australasia
      Best Western Hotels & Resorts

      Graham is a seasoned executive leader with experience working across the global travel, tourism, media and hospitality sectors.  The thread that flows through his career is his passion for marketing and the ever-evolving travel distribution and technology landscape.

      From 2016 Graham has worked with a number of successful travel start-ups including eRoam who are applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to transform travel distribution. He was appointed Managing Director, Australasia for Best Western Hotels & Resorts in May 2018.

      Graham Perry, Managing Director, Australasia
      Best Western Hotels & Resorts

    Facilitator

    • Sally Attfield, Hotel Sector Manager
      TIANZ

  • 01:00pm - 02:00pm
    Lunch

    Network with other attendees over a delicious buffet lunch.

  • 02:00pm - 02:30pm
    The Indian and Chinese Tourism Boom

    Daniel Xu, General Manager
    Digital Crew

    With tourists spending more than $40 billion dollars in New Zealand in the last year, some of the biggest spenders are not just from China, but also India now showing the strongest growth. In this session listen to experts on how to capitalise on this boom including hoteliers and how to attract them, challenges dealing with these tourists (payments, price), FIT and how important is parity to them, and what they want.

  • 02:30pm - 03:10pm
    WTF is the deal with influencer marketing?

    With Instagram models and other social media influencers driving hotels crazy, join in a panel session with some of the industry's leading social media influencers, hoteliers and social media and marketing agencies to discuss the pros and cons of working with social media influencers.....or not.

    Facilitator

    • Facilitator to be Announced,

  • 03:10pm - 03:40pm
    How to use your OTA channels to improve your hotels performance

    Learn how can you improve your results by working WITH your OTA channels, what type of data, reports, competitor information you can get and how to use that data to improve your performance, both through the OTA channel and your direct channels.

    Facilitator

    • Facilitator to be Announced,

  • 03:40pm - 04:05pm
    Afternoon Tea

    Sample the delicious array of cakes, biscuits and beverages on offer while networking with conference delegates.

  • 04:05pm - 04:35pm
    Branded vs. Non-brand vs. Soft brands vs. Boutique

    A hard-hitting debate with some of New Zealand and APAC’s leading hotel brands, chains and non-brands to discuss the value of being part of a brand vs. being an independent. Listen to why there is increasing consolidation in the market and how the business models of the biggest hotel brands are changing to adapt to the evolution of the non-branded boutique hotels.

    Panellists

    • More Panellists to be Announced,

    • Andrew Belsham's biography

      Regional Manager For New Zealand & Pacific
      Best Western Hotels & Resorts

      A skilled tourism and hospitality specialist, Andrew Belsham heads up Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ New Zealand and Pacific Islands presence. With over 16 years’ tourism industry experience including senior management and director roles with the Flight Centre Group UK, Ten Lifestyle Management UK and Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Andrew’s real passion is the people behind the business and partnering with them for a mutually successful future. He has broad of international accommodation and tourism sector knowledge, gained through visiting and consulting with over 250 properties worldwide ranging from the top end luxurious to mid-scale accommodation. 

      Andrew Belsham, Regional Manager For New Zealand & Pacific
      Best Western Hotels & Resorts

    • Scott Rees's biography

      Marketing Manager
      Heritage Hotel Management

      Scott Rees is the Marketing Manager for Heritage Hotel Management looking after the marketing of the overall brand and 17 properties throughout New Zealand. Scott has considerable experience in services marketing having held positions including marketing portfolio manager for State Insurance at IAG New Zealand, marketing manager for Massey University and marketing manager and product manager for BTI New Zealand, now known as HRG New Zealand. Scott holds a postgraduate diploma in business and administration (marketing) and a bachelor of business studies (marketing) from Massey University. Scott also has a certificate of direct marketing from the Direct Marketing Association.

      Scott Rees, Marketing Manager
      Heritage Hotel Management

    Facilitator

    • Facilitator to be Announced,


  • View bio

    Adrian Caruso's biography

    Conference Organiser
    Maximum Occupancy

    Adrian is founder and CEO of Australasia's leading travel, tourism and hospitality full-service marketing and communications firm, Fastrack Group.

    Adrian is a highly experienced and respected travel, tourism and hospitality digital marketing, media and communications expert with over 25 years in the industry. He is also a management consultant and strategist. 

    04:35pm - 05:00pm
    Winning the Direct Booking Battle in 2020

    Adrian Caruso, Conference Organiser
    Maximum Occupancy

    Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and hotels still seem to be in a never-ending battle for direct bookings according to many hoteliers. OTAs generally still call the shots with their billion-dollar ad budgets, take the rewards, and leave hoteliers shaking with little power to win. Join direct booking expert, Adrian Caruso and listen to what you need to do to instantly regain market share from OTAs and win more clients via direct channels.

  • 05:00pm - 05:30pm
    The Great Debate - Is Direct Business Really Profitable?

    As a hotelier, how often do you talk about whether all the funds you spend on getting direct bookings are worth it? Are direct bookings really profitable? Or are you spending more on getting them than you would on OTA commissions? There are polar opposite views on this in the hospitality industry, and that’s without thinking about who ‘owns’ the guest and the long term value of a loyal guest. Join us for this highly interactive, highly heated debate with some of the industry's leading hoteliers, OTA's and experts.

    Panellists

    • Todd Lacey, Country Manager - New Zealand
      Booking.com

    • More Panellists to be Announced,

    • Scott Rees's biography

      Marketing Manager
      Heritage Hotel Management

      Scott Rees is the Marketing Manager for Heritage Hotel Management looking after the marketing of the overall brand and 17 properties throughout New Zealand. Scott has considerable experience in services marketing having held positions including marketing portfolio manager for State Insurance at IAG New Zealand, marketing manager for Massey University and marketing manager and product manager for BTI New Zealand, now known as HRG New Zealand. Scott holds a postgraduate diploma in business and administration (marketing) and a bachelor of business studies (marketing) from Massey University. Scott also has a certificate of direct marketing from the Direct Marketing Association.

      Scott Rees, Marketing Manager
      Heritage Hotel Management

    Facilitator

    • Fabian Bartnick's biography

      Founder
      Infinito

      Fabian is the Founder of Infinito, a technology company dedicated to improving the work-life balance of hotel managers through IVI, a personal revenue management assistant. He previously was the Vice President of Asia Pacific & International business at LodgIQ overlooking all aspects and operations within the region and as the Director of Global Revenue Generation at Tune Hotels Group encompassing Sales, Distribution, Business Analytics, Revenue Management and the Central Reservations Office. Having lived and worked across 4 continents, Fabian has a rich history in hospitality and a thorough understanding of the global revenue optimization landscape as a user, builder and seller of technology. Fabian has successfully turned around revenue performance in many companies by providing strategic consulting services as well developing powerful revenue analytics solutions that empower the business to maximize its revenue potential. Fabian has been on the Board of Directors for HSMAI South East Asia and currently sits on the HSMAI Advisory Board.  

      Fabian Bartnick, Founder
      Infinito

  • 05:30pm - 07:00pm
    Networking Drinks & Tradeshow Sponsored by Fastrack Group

    Join us for a drink and canapes sponsored by Fastrack Group while you network with other attendees and exhibitors.

  • 08:00am - 08:40am
    Registration and Welcome Coffee

    Workshops day is full of one-on-one style learning sessions, so grab a coffee and get ready for lots of learning from the experts.


  • View bio

    Adrian Caruso's biography

    Founder, Managing Director
    Fastrack Group

    Adrian is founder and CEO of Australasia's leading travel, tourism and hospitality full-service marketing and communications firm, Fastrack Group.

    Adrian is a highly experienced and respected travel, tourism and hospitality digital marketing, media and communications expert with over 25 years in the industry. He is also a management consultant and strategist. 

    08:45am - 09:30am
    2020 Book Direct Blueprint

    Adrian Caruso, Founder, Managing Director
    Fastrack Group

    In this highly interactive workshop, you will learn how to formulate or improve your hotel's 'Direct Booking Strategy' through proven techniques and strategies. Adrian Caruso, one of the industry's leading Direct Booking strategists will touch on all major digital channels and data practices and look at how they should be applied as we head into 2020. A not to be missed hands-on workshop. Walk away with a blueprint to drive more direct booking in 2020.

  • 09:30am - 10:00am
    The Impact Of Photography On Your Bookings

    Speaker to be Announced,

    “One great photo is worth a thousand bookings”

    Listen and learn from Mauro on how to produce the best visual content to help you increase your bookings. What to look for and what to avoid. He will show you the way to get what you need out of your photoshoot. A workshop not to be missed!

  • 10:00am - 10:30am
    Morning Tea

    Grab a tea or coffee and discuss the morning sessions with your colleagues.

  • 10:30am - 11:00am
    Using CRM To Lift Revenue And Build Loyalty

    Speaker to be Announced,

    CRM is often a buzz word loosely used by hotel and accommodation marketers. Yet using CRM is by far one of the most cost-effective ways to boost direct bookings and create loyalty - with an 800-1000% ROI. Listen to one of the industry's leaders show you how to easily use CRM to connect with your clients before, during and after their stay to generate loads more direct bookings than ever before and get guests to become loyal to you.

  • 11:00am - 11:30am
    Riding the Wellness Wave: How Hotels Are Embracing The Fitness And Wellness Trends

    Speaker to be Announced,

    Hotels are realizing that having a Spa is not enough. To compete (and keep up with their savvy clientele) they are needing to expand their offering to include more elements of wellness such spa, fitness, healthy food, mind-body therapies, physio and other holistic therapies. Learn from one of the industry’s best how to expand their programming to integrate more elements of wellness to increase occupancy in traditionally lower times, increase length of stay and spend per guest, create a great story for marketing and promotion and attract a new clientele.

  • 11:30am - 12:00pm
    Grow your value ladder so you can serve more customers and make more money

    Speaker to be Announced,

    This workshop will explore the concept of value and your value ladder. Strategies include value-based pricing, customer lifetime value, key properties of value and "value drivers" plus learn important communication strategies that will make you a copywriting genius in no time.

  • 11:30am - 11:50am
    TripAdvisor reveals the Top Travellers Truths and an Inside look at Transparency Around Reviews

    Speaker to be Announced,

    Deep dive into fluid traveller journey and hear actionable insights to influence the fluidity. Understand the role of mobile and technology advances in Marketing.
    Learn more about the role of most trusted channels for reviews & opinions and the inspiration for reading TripAdvisor Reviews.

  • 12:30pm - 01:15pm
    Lunch

    Network with other attendees over a delicious buffet lunch.

  • 01:15pm - 01:45pm
    Powerful Marketing & Sales Strategies to Boost Function Bookings at Your Hotel

    You could have the best venue in the world, but if no one knows about it or can find it, then you’ll have a hard time filling your venue. The competition between event venues is fierce! And getting more competitive all the time.

    How can you differentiate your venue from your competitors and get your message in front of your target customer audience?

    This session will cover various aspects of how you can better market your venue and maximise your conversion opportunities. You may already be doing some of it, but you can always learn new ways to improve your business

    Panellists

    • More Panellists to be Announced,


  • View bio

    Henry Leung's biography

    SEO Specialist
    Fastrack Group

    Henry is Fastrack Group's SEO Specialist. He is responsible for delivering effective and best-in-class SEO strategies from start to finish. With a proven record of success in developing and executing creative organic growth strategies for stakeholders, Henry brings his broad industry knowledge having worked with reputable brands, such as Sofitel, Mercedes Benz and Allianz, among others, to achieve their goals in organic ranking and traffic.

    01:45pm - 02:15pm
    Effective Ways to Improve your Website SEO Ranking

    Henry Leung, SEO Specialist
    Fastrack Group

    In this workshop, one of the hotel industry’s leading SEO Specialists, Henry Leung will cover the essential and simple to implement SEO tactics and guide you how to rank better on Google to receive more organic traffic and direct bookings.


  • View bio

    Gerard Smith's biography

    Business Development Manager
    Fastrack Group

    A business development and relationship specialist, Gerard has held senior management roles in some of New Zealand’s leading digital agencies, before returning to Brisbane after 12+ years. More recently Gerard has held senior management roles with some of Australasia's leading digital agencies, where he focussed on building successful commercial partnerships with leading tourism organisations, including Tourism New Zealand, Real Journeys, Skyline Enterprises and Hobbiton, to name a few.

    02:15pm - 02:45pm
    Creating the perfect Digital Marketing and Website Proposal that gets you the best ROI

    Gerard Smith, Business Development Manager
    Fastrack Group

    In this workshop, the hotel and travel industry’s leading digital marketing and website Business Development and Account Manager, Gerard Smith will show you a step by step way to create the perfect Request for Proposal (RFP) to send to your digital marketing or website development agency to get you the best ROI. Having worked over the last 10 + years on digital transformation projects for some of Australasia’s largest tourism and accommodation brands….Gerard knows exactly what information you need before starting to create the RFP, what it needs to contain, and what to look for when choosing the right digital partner.

  • 02:45pm - 03:15pm
    Afternoon Tea

    Take a break and grab something to eat before our final session of the day.

  • 03:15pm - 05:00pm
    Ask anything round tables

    Delegates often say this is the best session of the entire conference. This is your opportunity to sit down with the experts and gain answers and insights for your hotel in a consultation style format.

    Panellists

    • Adrian Caruso's biography

      Conference Organiser
      Maximum Occupancy

      Adrian is founder and CEO of Australasia's leading travel, tourism and hospitality full-service marketing and communications firm, Fastrack Group.

      Adrian is a highly experienced and respected travel, tourism and hospitality digital marketing, media and communications expert with over 25 years in the industry. He is also a management consultant and strategist. 

      Adrian Caruso, Conference Organiser
      Maximum Occupancy

    • Melissa Kalan's biography

      Founder
      ARMA

      Melissa Kalan is the Founder of the Australian Revenue Management Association (ARMA), providing revenue management education via the ARMA Academy to the accommodation industry.

      Her life philosophy is centred on the principle of “always learning”, and with this she empowers organisations to lead a revenue management culture from the top down that influences both profits and staff retention.

      Melissa wrote the first Australian nationally accredited VET short course in revenue management and the Graduate Certificate of Revenue Management – an online globally recognised qualification, the first of its kind, in partnership with Torrens University Australia. Melissa co-facilitates the university program with Torrens University Australia and also founded the annual APAC Revenue Management Summit.

      Melissa Kalan, Founder
      ARMA

    • AJ Shantiratnam's biography

      Principal Client Partner
      Tripadvisor

      AJ Shantiratnam is Principal Client Partner for TripAdvisor in Australia. AJ manages click-based advertising business for hotel chains and OTAs in Australia.With a blend of experience working for large OTA and hotel chains, AJ has over 10 years’ experience in the travel industry which he capitalises with his passion for data and business analysis. AJ has previously worked for Agoda.com and Frasers Hospitality leading account management and e-commerce performance.

      AJ Shantiratnam, Principal Client Partner
      Tripadvisor

    • Essen Tsou's biography

      Digital Marketing Manager
      Fastrack Group

      Essen has a wealth of knowledge in digital marketing for the hotel and travel industry. Essen has over 5 years digital marketing experience in the hotel/travel industry, previously working within the Global Marketing Team at Expedia. Essen brings in her expertise across online acquisition channels, including paid media, remarketing and social direct response.

      Essen Tsou, Digital Marketing Manager
      Fastrack Group

    • Henry Leung's biography

      SEO Specialist
      Fastrack Group

      Henry is Fastrack Group's SEO Specialist. He is responsible for delivering effective and best-in-class SEO strategies from start to finish. With a proven record of success in developing and executing creative organic growth strategies for stakeholders, Henry brings his broad industry knowledge having worked with reputable brands, such as Sofitel, Mercedes Benz and Allianz, among others, to achieve their goals in organic ranking and traffic.

      Henry Leung, SEO Specialist
      Fastrack Group

    • More Speakers to be Announced,

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