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Monday, Jan 28, 2019

Day 1

Schedule Overview

8:30 AM – 5:30 PM Registration
9:15 AM – 5:00 PM HEDNA U 1.0 & 2.0
& Working Groups
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Evening Event

8:30 am - 5:30 pm


8:30 am - 9:00 pm

Arrival Drinks

9:15 am - 10:45 am

HEDNA U 101: Introduction to Distribution

Talk about the process/journey of a booking and how technology has played a crucial role in reshaping the touchpoints and various players in the field. Focus on the structural aspects of the journey and demonstrate how technology has had a major influence in developing a new and evolving distribution ecosystem. Talk to “connectivity” approaching this in terms of capacity, speed and highlight the choke points.

Natalie Kimball, DHISCO, a RateGain Company; John Niser, Purdue University Fort Wayne

HEDNA U 201: Engaging with the Guest: Dreaming and Planning

This session will pull information from the previous content and electronic advertising sessions. Emphasis will be on visuals and engaging with the potential guest early in the process. The use of social media in brand awareness (direct and through channels) will be discussed as will the notion of segmentation/personas. The session will focus on the time before an actual transaction begins.

Rachel Neal, Onyx CenterSource; TJ NobleDerbySoft

HEDNA U 206: Revenue Management

The session will focus on all aspects of Revenue Management. The session is in partnership with IDeaS.

Blake Madril, IDeaS

10:45 am - 11:15 am

Drinks Break

11:15 am - 12:45 pm

HEDNA U 102: Introduction to Distribution

Talk about the process/journey of a booking and how technology has played a crucial role in reshaping the touchpoints and various players in the field. Focus on the structural aspects of the journey and demonstrate how technology has had a major influence in developing a new and evolving distribution ecosystem. Talk to “connectivity” approaching this in terms of capacity, speed and highlight the choke points.

Natalie Kimball, DHISCO, a RateGain Company; John Niser, Purdue University Fort Wayne

HEDNA U 202: Engaging with the Guest: Management and Measurement

This session will focus on how to manage content and inventory in various channels. Lessons learned on optimizing content to third parties will be discussed as will the various models of advertising. Also, included in the course will be benchmarking and metrics to identify ROI associated with expenditures.

Chris Murdock, AccorHotels; Connie Marianacci, AccorHotels

HEDNA U 203: Engaging with the Guest: The Booking Process

This session will focus on the booking decision and processing. Some discussion of more immediate to sale marketing/advertising will be included. The primary focus of the course will be the information in the previous Transactions & Functionality session. The course will include connectivity to CRS/PMS functions as well as potentially the mobile app.

Kevin Furlong, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

12:45 pm - 1:45 pm

Networking Lunch

1:45 pm - 3:15 pm

HEDNA U 204: Engaging with the Guest: The Booking After

This session will focus on the check-in process as well as what transpires through guest connectivity throughout the stay. Discussion may include on-property upselling, ancillary revenues and in-room services. Finally, the session will address how to use social media/mobile apps to engage with guest after checkout through loyalty and customer reviews.

Kara Matson, Omni Hotels and Resorts

HEDNA U 205: Channel Management

The session will pull some information from the Emerging Trends course to show the various channel management options. The course will also pair with the RM SME to look at all costs associated with different channels as part of the overall assessment.

Steve Rubin

HEDNA U 207: Direct Booking

This session will be focus on how the direct booking channel operates within the framework of distribution.

Donnie Schumann, HotelTonight; Arvind BalaFour Seasons Hotels and Resorts

1:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Innovation Lab: Distribution (Invitation Only)

1:45 pm - 3:15 pm

Innovation Lab: Payments (Invitation Only)

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm

Drinks Break

3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Working Group Sessions


The Mobile Working Group explores mobile technology’s value and helps to solve barriers to mobile entry in the hospitality industry. The group evaluates mobile’s role in customer acquisition and forecasting as well as how mobile can lead to a better understanding of the guest.

Hotel Analytics

The Hotel Analytics Working Group raises awareness of the opportunities data analysis brings to optimize cost and conversion and thereby empower hoteliers to collect, store, analyze and action their data to make intelligent decisions about their distribution strategies.


The Content Working Group is taking on the challenges of content distribution, interoperability between hotel systems and distributors, and the lack of consistency of data used in search, shopping, and content transactions. The group is committed to identifying and improving the challenges in creating, managing, and distributing content across diverse channels.

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Future Leaders of HEDNA Reception

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Welcome Reception
@ Loews Hollywood Hotel

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019

Day 2

Schedule Overview

8:00 AM – 5:45 PM Registration
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Keynotes
& Breakout Sessions
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM Evening Event

8:00 am - 5:45 pm


8:00 am - 9:00 am


8:45 am - 9:15 am

Arrival Drinks

9:00 am - 9:15 am

President’s Welcome

Sarah Fults, MGM Resorts International

9:15 am - 10:00 am

Opening Keynote: State of the Industry with Jan Freitag

Jan Freitag from STR will share industry insights with us – what are the biggest trends and data points for hospitality in 2019?

10:00 am - 4:00 pm


10:10 am - 10:45 am

Breakout Sessions

Distribution Track

10:10 am – 10:45 am
Blended Distribution: How are companies staying in control of distribution amid rapid blending?

This panel will discuss key elements around aggregated distribution sources. With OTAs now distributing via GDS, and with a large amount of Corporate travel booking outside of policy, how are Revenue Managers staying in control? And what tools are available to help you?

Benjamin Mussler, Sabre; Nadine Pagel, Kimpton Hotels; Peggy Studer, RoomIT by CWT; Clive Wood, OTA Insight; Lew Harasymiw, IHG (moderator)

Payment Track

10:10 am – 10:45 am
Hot Topics in Payment Trends

We will discuss three topics which seem to be causing anxiety in hospitality payments. First, we will discuss the EU proposed regulation for Strong Customer Authentication and the impending nightmare for hoteliers. Then, we will hear some best practices to manage chargebacks and related hidden costs. Finally, we’ll look at the holistic view of payments from the guest booking all the way through the agency commission.

Pascal Burg, Edgar Dunn; Stefano Petrazzoli, Chargebacks911; Faith Marshall, NTT Data

10:45 am - 11:15 am

Networking Break

11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Breakout Sessions

Distribution Track

11:15 am – 11:40 am
AirBnB’s Hotels Program: What’s the Latest with Cammy Houser

AirBnB’s hotel program opens up a new distribution channel for hoteliers. We’ll chat with Cammy Houser about plans for the program and how hotels can maximize opportunities.

Sebastien Leitner, Cloudbeds; Cammy Houser, AirBnB

11:40 am – 12:00 pm
The Power of the Expedia Group Platform: a digital travel revolution?

Expedia Group plans to become the platform that powers the industry. This session will explore how the evolution will usher in a new era for the OTA.

Sebastien Leitner, Cloudbeds; Abhijit Pal, Expedia Group

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Working Group Reports and Updates

Hear from our Working Group co-chairs for Content, Analytics, Mobile and Meetings. What have the groups been working on, what are the plans for the future and how can you play a part in steering the group’s strategy and output.

Dee Thomas; Donnie Schumann; Matthew Goulden, Triometric; Josh Galun, Excella Consulting; Lew Harasymiw, IHG

Payment Track

11:15 am – 11:45 am
The GDS Perspective on the Future of Hospitality Payments

Do you ever think of a GDSs as a payment technology company? If you ask an airline, the resounding answer will be YES. The GDSs are investing heavily in the facilitation of payments in the hospitality industry. We’ll have perspectives on the future of hospitality payments from Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport.

Pascal Burg, Edgar Dunn; Damian Alonso, Amadeus; Ross Vinograd, Travelport; Jayme Porkolab, Sabre

11:45 am – 12:30 pm
The Ultimate Guide to Payment Business Cases

How many times have you heard “Yes. Changing how we do payments is important but what’s the ROI?” This session is designed to answer the questions about what value there is to an effective payment strategy.

Brad Burnett, Hilton Hotels; Mike Carlo, XanderPay; Michiel Kossen, Adyen

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Breakout Sessions

Distribution Track

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm
China: Act Now!

There are more millennials in China than there are people in the United States. What should we know about distribution to this digital-native demographic? And how can you adapt your strategy today to make a difference?

Anson Lau, Shiji Hospitality Distribution; Harry Chen, CTrip; Matt Grayson, DragonTrail; Will Shao, IHG

2:15 pm – 2:45 pm
Connected to Voice Experience: Amazon’s Alexa in the Vacation Rental World

Is voice the new wifi of our generation? When will be the time where guests expect an Alexa-style service? Hear the perception from one of the biggest vacation rental companies.

Miyaka Cochrane, RedAwning

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm
Transforming the Distribution Landscape through Technological Collaboration

A focus on exceptional experiences that only hotels can create will be the key differentiators to drive optimal profitability and compete against the sharing economy and third-party distribution. Open platforms, innovative technology and smart data analytics are enabling thoughtful and effective new capabilities. Our panel of experts will explore the options available to take the guest experience to the next level.

Jordan Hollander, HotelTechReport; Klaus Kohlmayr, IDeaS; Chinmai Sharma, DHISCO; Adam Harris, Cloudbeds; Karen Stephens, Revinate

Payment Track

1:30 pm – 1:45 pm
Working Group Co-Chair Chat

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Working Session: Guest Centric, Open Payment Alliance, Third Party Commissions

3:15 pm – 3:30 pm
Lesson Learned: Next Steps

3:30pm - 4:00 pm

Networking Break

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Closing Keynote: Fireside Chat

Todd Dunlap,

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

A Night In Hollywood
@ Pump

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019

Day 3

Schedule Overview

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Registration
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM Keynotes
& Panels
3:30 PM Conference Closes

8:00 am - 12:00 pm


8:00 am - 9:00 am


8:45 am - 9:15 am

Arrival Drinks

9:00 am - 9:10 am

Vice President’s Welcome

9:10 am - 10:00 am

Keynote: Cracking the Gen Z Consumer Code with Jason Dorsey

Gen Z Consumers are unlike any other generation of consumer. They communicate, shop, buy and pay very differently from other generations. Hear from Jason what works to inspire and get Gen Z to trust and buy from you.

10:00 am - 10:45 am

Industry Challenges Panel

Key industry figures talk us through what they see as the Distribution challenges coming our way.

Gregg Duff; Andrew Rubinacci, Omni Hotels; Monica Xuereb, Loews Hotels; Calvin Anderson, OYO Rooms Americas

10:00 am - 2:00 pm


10:45 am - 11:15 am

Networking Break

11:15 am - 12:40 pm


8 exciting new companies share insight into their new products and how they’re helping our industry innovate and grow.

12:40 pm - 1:40 pm


1:40 pm - 1:50 pm

Announce Winners of Innov8

1:50 pm - 2:45 pm

Keynote: Customers the Day after Tomorrow with Steven van Belleghem

Steven will share his insight into customer experience as it moves from mobile-first to AI-first. Get ready for hyper-personalization, faster than real-time customer service and even better user-friendly interfaces.

2:45 pm - 3:30 pm

Closing Keynote: Fireside Chat: Millennials, Mobile, Mergers

Sam Shank, HotelTonight; Adam Harris, Cloudbeds

3:30 pm

Conference Closes

 See conference highlights on our YouTube channel. 
And don't miss our 2019 European conference,
May 20-22 in Madrid!
For more on HEDNA or to become a member visit