Amidst a sense of industry wide optimism - hundreds of RMprofessionals, distribution specialists and hotel industry senior executivesgathered in Los Angeles to mark what has become a watershed conference forrevenue professionals each year.
HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) tags togetherwith HFTP’s annual HITEC event, and draws some of the most forward thinkingcontent on revenue optimization from across the industry.
The 2014 event was no exception.
Bob Gilbert, HSMAI’s President & CEO, noted that “Ourannual [conference] attracted a record crowd of over 550 people withrepresentation from the corporate offices of 105 different hotel brands,management companies and ownership groups.” He added, “These companiesrepresent over 35,000 hotels globally.”
A New Day and a NewDiscipline: Revenue Strategy
This year, there was new a buzzword – in fact, a newdescriptor for an entirely reimagined field of Revenue Management –rapidlybecoming known as Revenue Strategy.
The difference may seem merely semantic, but it’s not.
Speakers on several panels noted that the old days of“silo’ed” Revenue Management practices, with professionals operating inisolation from sales and marketing are long past. Cindy Estis Green, Co-founder and CEO ofKalibri Labs spoke of customer acquisition costs that are growing exponentiallyagainst the backdrop of an increasingly complex distribution landscape. To besuccessful today, she noted, revenue generators, including Revenue Management,Sales, Marketing and Distribution functions must share intelligence and worktogether in furtherance of unified objectives.
That is what is meant by Revenue Strategy.
According to Jason Bryant, the CEO of upgrade solutions company Nor1, whohosted one of the Chief Executive Roundtables at ROC, “Real time decisionintelligence” is key to helping revenue professionals do their jobs better andstay ahead of the distribution curve to yield maximum dollars.
Timely data delivering actionable insights remains animportant theme. Bernard Ellis, VP ofIndustry Strategy with Infor said, “Guest behavior should be what drivesdecisions” as opposed to budgets.
Adopting Revenue Strategy and leveraging new intelligenceoften means stepping in to unfamiliar territory - this movement revolves arounda cultural shift as much as it does on implementing new processes.
How far and fast the field of Revenue Strategy will growremains to be seen, but the movement now viewed as an inevitable changenecessary in order to ensure the continued health of this industry.
At the conference, the groundswell was evident – changes canbe seen in how revenue directors are looking at business strategies, confrontingnew challenges, and even thinking about their own jobs and career paths.
In opening ROC 2014, Lalia Rach, Associate Dean &Director at UW-Stout School of Hospitality Leadership, advised attendees to“buckle their seatbelts” – not just for a busy conference, but for the winds ofchange ahead for revenue professionals.
Buckle up, indeed.