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. 


We are finalising the agenda for 2019, so make sure to check back regularly for our latest updates, or sign up to a newsletter to be the first to know about speaker announcements and topic updates!

 

  • 08:00am - 08:50am
    Registration and welcome coffee

    Pick up your lanyard and name tag at the registration desk and enjoy a coffee while networking with other conference delegates.


  • 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. 

    08:50am - 09:00am
    Welcome to Maximum Occupancy 2019

    Adrian Caruso, Conference Organiser
    Maximum Occupancy

    A welcome introduction to Maximum Occupancy 2019 by the conference MC and organiser, Adrian Caruso.

  • 09:00am - 09:25am
    State of the Nation

    Stephen Hamilton, Director
    Horwath HTL

    Big changes are taking place in the accommodation sector, with the next few years presenting new challenges for hoteliers. In this session Stephen Hamilton, one of New Zealand's leading accommodation industry consultants shares the 'State of the Industry' in New Zealand and APAC. Listen to important insights including the investment forecast for the industry, shared economy rooms entering the market, increased Asian guest arrivals and the opportunities in this market, and issues with regional dispersal.


  • View bio

    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).

    09:25am - 09:50am
    What opportunities await thriving NZ?

    Paul Hammond, Business Development Manager, Pacific
    STR

    Paul from STR will provide you an update on current performance for the New Zealand accommodation market and its sustained growth. Key topics covered include continued rate of growth even with no big events, supply’s slow build as well as other tangible actions the data shows.


  • View bio

    Stuart Davidson's biography

    Territory Sales Manager
    Kentico Software

    Stuart Davidson is a Territory Sales Manager for Kentico Software, a fully integrated all-in-one ASP.NET CMS, E-commerce and Digital Experience platform. Kentico prides itself on enabling its customers to create cutting-edge and highly personalised digital experiences across web and other digital channels. Kentico is trusted by some of the most recognisable brands in Australia and across the world, including LJ Hooker, Twining’s, ME Bank and Red Cross.

    Stuart has a background in Financial Services and has over 6 years experience in the digital space. He has a Bachelor of International Business from LaTrobe University and Master of Diplomacy and Trade from Monash University.

    09:50am - 10:20am
    Understanding travel’s personalization revolution

    Stuart Davidson, Territory Sales Manager
    Kentico Software

    Today, travel executives realize, building more relevant and personalized customer experiences is critical because it helps differentiate their brands in an increasingly competitive market. However many hotel brands still struggle to meet the personalization demands of consumers. Listen to how to better understand personalisation to drive more direct bookings

  • 10:20am - 10:50am
    Metasearch & Distribution in 2019

    In this panel session listen to both Metasearch companies and hoteliers discuss how traditional metas are responding to Google's growth (and what it means for hotels). Listen to how to come out on top on OTAs and how much of your budget should be spending on this channel

    Panellists

    • Hazel Rigler's biography

      Director of Marketing & eCommerce - Australia & New Zealand
      Grand Chancellor Hotels

      Hazel Rigler has established a strong career within the Hotel industry, specifically in the complex field of Marketing, Sales and e-Commerce. She has been employed for the past ten years at the Wellington based Head Office for Grand Chancellor Hotels, Australia and New Zealand; a role which she has brought a wealth of international experience and expertise to from her management positions in Dublin and London. Her drive and tenacity has seen her go above and beyond for the company, and her ability to keep the Group ahead of change secured her status as a finalist for the Senior Executive category in the prestigious New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards in 2018.

      Hazel Rigler, Director of Marketing & eCommerce - Australia & New Zealand
      Grand Chancellor Hotels

    Facilitator

    • 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. 

      Adrian Caruso, Founder, Managing Director
      Fastrack Group

  • 10:50am - 11:20am
    Morning Tea

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


  • View bio

    Haley Purdon's biography

    Director of Market Management - New Zealand & Pacific Islands
    Expedia

    Haley Purdon leads Expedia Lodging Partner Services in New Zealand and Pacific Islands, responsible for developing the strategies for the Group’s lodging supply business in the region.

    With more than 12 years’ experience with Expedia Group, she leads the team to establish and develop strong partner relationships with hotel partners, helping to maximise their exposure to the Group’s 200+ travel booking websites. 

    Prior to her role as Director of Market Management, Haley held various roles at the company. She started out as a Senior Market Manager for Orbitz Worldwide, where she was responsible for building a team on the ground, developing the brand awareness and expanding its presence to New Zealand and Pacific Islands region.

    Haley brings valued knowledge of the online travel landscape to her role. Her passion for leading and developing people is instrumental to the rapid expansion of the NZPI team over the past four years.

     

    11:20am - 11:40am
    Beyond bookings: engaging travellers thoughout their journey

    Haley Purdon, Director of Market Management - New Zealand & Pacific Islands
    Expedia

    Listen to Expedia's Hayley Purdon as she shares Expedia's key insights on how consumers research, shop and book and then importantly, bridge each insight with how hoteliers can influence them at every step of their travellers journey. Have a deeper understanding of the activities and decisions travellers participate in throughout the journey, and utilize the tools to help you provide a better guest experience, attract more guests, and be more competitive. A not to be missed presentation!

  • 11:40am - 12:00pm
    Influencing the Traveller Path to Purchase

    In an increasingly competitive marketplace, hotels are looking for new ways to engage with travellers, differentiate their brands and increase conversions. In this session, you'll hear insights from the 2019 "Path to Purchase" study conducted by comScore analysing activity on more than 325 transactional sites globally, and get exclusive data-driven insights about traveller behaviour and purchase patterns.

  • 12:00pm - 12:40pm
    CEO Viewpoints

    In this session, listen to APAC hotel leaders and CEOs discuss the latest trends, issues and opportunities facing the accommodation industry in Australia. This panel session will be facilitated by one of APAC's leading accommodation news editors, Matthew Stephens from eHotelier.

    Panellists

    • Les Morgan's biography

      Chief Operating Officer
      Sudima Hotels/ Hind Management

      Les Morgan is the Chief Operating Officer of Sudima Hotels and Hind Management. The Group has an annual turnover in excess of $50m and employs over 450 people. Sudima Hotels is currently is undergoing a significant expansion phase with numerous new Hotels under development, and is contracted to have 1,600+ rooms under management by 2021.

      Les recognises that whilst commercial success is a primary function of any business; strong organisational values and community empathy are vital ingredients to a healthy prosperous company. 

      Les is a previous recipient of a Westpac Excellence in Leadership Award, was the 2018 Winner of NZ Hotel - Industry Senior Hotel Executive Award and recently received the Tourism Industry Aotearoa, Tourism Industry Champion Award.

      Originally from Rotorua, he now resides in Auckland. He holds a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a Sommelier by trade. His background includes experience in 3 to 5 Star Hotels from boutique to substantial in both the UK and New Zealand with several of the World’s leading Hotel Brands.

       

      Les Morgan, Chief Operating Officer
      Sudima Hotels/ Hind Management

    • David Ovendale , CEO
      TOP 10 Holiday Parks

    • 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


  • 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. 

    12:40pm - 01:10pm
    Winning The direct Booking Battle in 2019

    Adrian Caruso, Founder, Managing Director
    Fastrack Group

    Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and hotels still seem to be in an never ending battle for direct bookings acording to many hoteliers. OTAs generally still call the shots with their billion dollar d 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.

  • 01:10pm - 02:10pm
    Lunch

    Network with other attendees over a delicious buffet lunch.

  • 02:10pm - 02:50pm
    How can independent hotels compete against large chains?

    Join us for this interactive panel session with some of the industry's leading independent hoteliers and how they are winning against the large hotel brands and chains.


  • View bio

    Claire Thomson's biography

    Account Manager - New Zealand
    Google

    Claire has worked with Google for over seven years, in their Sydney, Toronto and Auckland offices, returning home a few years ago to raise a family in rural Auckland (yes that does still exist). Claire is passionate about sharing how technology can future proof and grow businesses, and especially keen to increase New Zealand's digital literacy.

    02:50pm - 03:20pm
    The Future of Customer Experience

    Claire Thomson, Account Manager - New Zealand
    Google

    Consumer expectations have never been higher than they are today. Technology and innovation are accelerating the pace of change, and consumers now expect a fast, seamless experience and greater assistance from the brands they interact with.

    In this presentation, Google's Claire Thomson will share insights and best practices when it comes to winning today's travel consumer and what should remain top of mind when thinking about the future.

  • 03:20pm - 03:50pm
    Afternoon Tea

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

  • 03:50pm - 04:20pm
    Coming soon to your hotel: The integrated revenue generation team

    With many hoteliers facing a downward trend in net room revenue, one main reason can be attributed to the lack of integration, coordination and singular focus and purpose among the core revenue management teams being the Revenue Management (S&M), Marketing Team (MT) and CRM teams. Quite often, these teams function in a rather disjointed fashion, leading to missed revenue opportunities, over dependency on the OTAs, alienated loyalty programs and worsened profitability. Listen to some of the country's top RMs and Marketing Managers on how they have started to work as one team.

    Panellists

    • More Speakers to be Announced,

    Facilitator

    • Rodney Williams's biography

      Commercial Director
      ARMA

      With over 30 years involvement in commercial aviation, working for both major carriers in Australia - Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia – Rodney has held a number of management roles covering areas such as Loyalty (Frequent Flyer), Alliances, Network Development, Revenue Management (Pricing & Inventory), Corporate Planning, Revenue Planning, Network Planning & Analysis, Route Economics, Resource Planning and Finance and spent three years in the USA as Manager Market Planning The Americas.

      Rodney Williams, Commercial Director
      ARMA

  • 04:20pm - 04:50pm
    Blockchain, AI, Voice, Data: Which rabbit hole should you run down?

    AI, Blockchain, Bots, Self check-in, automated personal service are all buzz-words being thrown around in the industry currently. But what do they mean to you and your future guest. This panel will discuss what is in now and out, and what we can learn from other industries who have used these detect and diagnose guest problems and provide an even greater level of personalised service.

  • 04:50pm - 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

    Panellists

    • Timo Nieuwoudt's biography

      Senior Account Manager
      Booking.com

      Timo joined the Booking.com Oceania team in 2015 after a decade of working across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  He holds a Bachelor of Tourism Management degree, and his experience includes hotels, airlines and online distribution. Timo has a particular interest in how technology is shaping the guest booking experience. 

      Timo Nieuwoudt, Senior Account Manager
      Booking.com

    • More Speakers to be Announced,

    Facilitator

    • Fabian Bartnick's biography

      Vice President of Asia Pacific & Commercials
      LodgIQ

      Fabian is the Vice President of Asia Pacific & Commercials overlooking all aspects and operations within the region as well as the commercial part of LodgIQ. Fabian’s career covers all sides within hospitality including property, regional and corporate level roles as well as consulting and technology vendor roles across 4 continents and 25 countries. Fabian has helped built and apply price optimization, visual analytics and total revenue management tools across the globe and 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 Asa and currently sits on the HSMAI Advisory Board.

      Fabian Bartnick, Vice President of Asia Pacific & Commercials
      LodgIQ

  • 05:30pm - 07:30pm
    Networking Drinks

    Join us for drinks and canapes while you network with other delegates in a professional yet relaxed setting.

  • 08:00am - 08:45am
    Registration and welcome coffee

    Enjoy coffee and tea while networking with other conference delegates before the workshops commence.


  • 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
    Book Direct Blueprint 2019

    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 digital marketing. Adrian will touch on all major digital channels and data practices and go in depth on how they should be applied to stay on top of the game in 2019 and beyond.


  • View bio

    Mauro Risch's biography

    Hotel & Resort Photographer
    The Hotel Photographer

    Over the last decade, Mauro Risch has become known simply as The Hotel Photographer. With 50 000 followers on Instagram, Mauro Risch enjoys a highly engaged following and one of the most popular hotel and resort photographers on social media. He is trusted by PR and marketing teams, hotel managers and executive brand teams right across the Asia Pacific region. Mauro is the preferred photographer for some of the top operators across the industry, including IHG, Accor, Wyndham, Radisson, Meriton and TFE.

    09:30am - 10:15am
    The Art of Great Hotel Photography

    Mauro Risch, Hotel & Resort Photographer
    The Hotel Photographer

    Listen and learn from Mauro on what makes a great image and how to ensure your images are working for you by increasing leads and sales. With 50 000 followers on Instagram, Mauro Risch enjoys a highly engaged following and one of the most popular hotel and resort photographers on social media. Mauro is the preferred photographer for some of the top operators across the industry, including IHG, Accor, Wyndham, Radisson, Meriton and TFE. A workshop not to be missed!

  • 10:15am - 10:45am
    Morning Tea

    Grab a bite, take a break and unwind with our complimentary morning tea.


  • View bio

    Claire Thomson's biography

    Account Manager - New Zealand
    Google

    Claire has worked with Google for over seven years, in their Sydney, Toronto and Auckland offices, returning home a few years ago to raise a family in rural Auckland (yes that does still exist). Claire is passionate about sharing how technology can future proof and grow businesses, and especially keen to increase New Zealand's digital literacy.

    10:45am - 11:30am
    Google Search - Inside the Algorithm

    Claire Thomson, Account Manager - New Zealand
    Google

    Learn the magic behind how the Google Search auction works, and how your business can be present in the moments that matter. Understand the consumer trends Google is focussed on to develop stronger digital connections with consumers.


  • View bio

    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.

    11:30am - 12:15pm
    Conversion Optimisation, Analytics and eCommerce Tracking 101

    Essen Tsou, Digital Marketing Manager
    Fastrack Group

    A wise man once said 'If you can't measure, you can't manage or control the outcome’. In this session you will learn how to create the optimal eCommerce tracking set-up to track where your bookings are coming from, conversion goals and booking funnel visualisation (this is a must-have). You will also learn some conversion optimisation quick wins that you can implement on your own website straight away!

  • 12:15pm - 01:00pm
    The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing Automation for Hotels

    Details TBA

  • 01:00pm - 02:00pm
    Lunch

    Network with other attendees over a delicious buffet lunch.

  • 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    Ask Anything Round Tables

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

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