The HospitalityCamp in Lucerne took place for the 9th time since its inception in 2011 and is one of THE places for hoteliers to go, to learn about developments and shifts of the market. This year was the first time that also RateBoard participated in the event as a sponsor.
Not only Schools and Universities across Europe started up this week. At the Hospitality Camp in Lucerne in Switzerland we shared the same motto: Back to School! This great event brought its participants to Lucerne's university, the HSLU, where one could participate in many different and fascinating sessions. Veterans and newbies alike gathered here to discuss topics such as Digital Upselling, Recruiting or Influencer Marketing. The camp's „lectors“ granted the participants deep insights into these and other challenges, many hotels and hoteliers face on a daily basis. Everyone was open to questions of any kind, and this way a lot of interesting discussions took place.
When thinking about university, buzz words like cramming, monotonous lectures, or even boredom might be the first things coming to mind. Those words can definitely not be used for the Hospitality camp in Lucerne. In an amicable and open way everybody could talk about everything you could think of concerning the current topic. In this kind of way the experts were mainly there to act as moderators, who gave the participants relevant and interesting inputs, and open more than just one set of eyes in the process to new ideas. In the end every single one of us – even the experts, who were participants in the other sessions – could learn a lot and were able to take something with us from this day. And all of that without cramming!
As can be expected, the day could be started off with a „Good-Morning-Coffee“just on time at 08.15 a.m. – punctual as a Swiss clockwork. After thirty minutes, when everyone had arrived and could get their fix of coffee, we could start with the official greeting, in which the day's schedule was announced as well. There was one change in how everything works compared to last year: Some themed sessions with a certain topic had been planned ahead. After the first to themed sessions, the so-called Breakouts were next. What's special about them: the topic of those sessions were not planned ahead and the topics were worked out only at the greeting in collaboration with the participants.
The first highlight for a Revenue Management enthusiast took place in the first themed session: How do I increase my conversion rate on my own website and with my booking engine. Questions like this can also be part of a complete Revenue Management strategy and can help a hotel to increase their revenue by getting guests to book through their own website, rather than through OTAs like Booking.com or Expedia. Christian Seifert from our partners over at Hotelnetsolutions gave some advice on how to increase a hotel website's conversion quite easily, without spending a lot of time or money. One example: place your direct booking button in the upper part of your website. Studies show that a blog or newspaper's reader first scans the header and only slightly glances at the rest – the same is the case for a website's reader. Through this simple change, the button can not be missed and the guest can easily make a booking on your website.
After the morning sessions were over, we could finally have our lunch in the HSLU's lunch room, where we could also enter the terrace. To our luck the weather couldn't have been any better, so we could enjoy the view over the city of Lucerne under blue skies. But as we weren't only there for lunch and enjoying the sun, the afternoon continued just as we had left off before lunch: with interesting sessions. In the breakout sessions we could discuss the topics we had chosen earlier. Some of those topics were OTAs, PSD2 and last but not least: Revenue Management. You could immediately feel that those are topics that move the hoteliers and the hotel business alike. It was great fun being able to discuss those topics and hear the others' opinions and experiences.
There is just one thing left to say about the HospitalityCamp in Lucerne: It was a huge success, and I am certain that everyone participating could learn one thing or two, and that everyone who was part of it could profit in some kind of way. We from RateBoard were able to learn some new things as well in every one of those sessions, and we are happy that we had the chance to participate in this event.
We are looking forward to our next event in Switzerland.
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