Larman attended this year’s Digital Summit where the focus was to explore the
technology and visionary thinking that could improve the guest experience and
drive business growth in the hospitality sector.
The one-day conference addressed how to thrive in the digital age and examined
how data, content, conversion strategy, revenue tools and marketing insight
affects business' bottom line. A panel of industry experts gave insight on
topics that really matter to hospitality and guests' experience. A diverse
agenda covered a range of topics led by speakers from YFood, Mandarin Oriental,
Noetic, Hand Picked Hotels, the Calcot Collection, PizzaExpress, Bernstein,
Delaware North, The Doyle Collection, and 80 Days.
Highlights of the
event included insights from Russell Danks from the Future Factory London who
gave greater meaning to the millennial generation and their behaviour
(depending on whether you are a pre-1986 or post-1986 baby) and how this is
now shaping patterns of consumer behaviour and also the brands within the
Athena Simpson, Partner and CMO of YFood, spoke about
the innovative marketing tactics that are disrupting the market and how these
unconventional methods have achieved success for challenger brands that are
growing quickly and getting noticed. Such tactics included the story behind
how “The Shed” became London's No.1 restaurant on TripAdvisor without ever
serving a meal but was one man's mission from a backyard complete with Wendy
house and chickens and some clever photography of Iceland ready meals.
“Such tactics included the story behind how “The Shed”
became London's No.1 restaurant on TripAdvisor without ever serving a
GDPR was of course a hot topic. James Stagg,
Deputy Editor of The Caterer, chaired a discussion around the steps hoteliers
have taken to ensure their business is compliant. Stephanie Timsit, Director of
Finance at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group summed it up quite concisely,
“customers' personal data simply does not belong to companies”.
presentation from Timothy Love, Senior Marketing Manager of PizzaExpress, gave
insight into how this casual dining brand is leading the way when it comes to
customer experience, engagement and technology developments. The subject was
continued with Sam Weston (80 Days), Fergal Byrne (Head of Online - The Doyle
Collection) and Steve Lowy (Chairman, Hotel Marketing Association) on
delivering the online guest experience and how hotels can embrace their
relationships with OTAs.
Caterer Digital Summit was an insightful and engaging event and I
look forward to next year.
Rod Larman is
Principal Consultant at PSD, his focus is on sales and marketing appointments
within the hospitality, travel and leisure industry; international and
national brands as well as independently owned properties across all asset
classes from luxury to budget.