Industry Update
Opinion Article25 April 2019

Introducing the Hospitality Net World Panel initiative

By Henri Roelings, Founder & CEO at HospitalityNet

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Hospitality Net is launching a new initiative: an online forum that will provide thought-provoking expert insights and will stimulate debate within the hospitality industry.


The World Panel Thought-Leadership Platform will be a series of forums, each bringing together groups of experts to share their views on topics of relevance to the global hospitality industry.

The idea is this: Champions - we refer to them simply as 'Champs' - get the ball rolling on a specific subject or theme with their personal viewpoint. They then invite our stable of experts from industry, hospitality-related associations, and academia to share their opinions.

The champs will moderate and lead the discussions. The experts' comments will be grouped together and easily digestible. The various experts will also be encouraged to share their views via their own social media pages on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Let's take the inaugural panel on digital marketing in hospitality as an example of how this works in practice. In an item called 'Is Airbnb Hotelier's Friend or Foe?', Max Starkov, an adjunct professor at NYU Tisch's Center for Hospitality and founder of HEBS Digital, examines the role of Airbnb in the hotel distribution mix following the acquisition of HotelTonight. Experts from LogIQ, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Reknown, Kalibri Labs and others then provide their takes on the topic.

Hospitality Net is well known as a news publisher and aggregator of content. This initiative, which has been in development for several months, will represent a shift in direction as we will, in effect, be creating platforms where we will bring together different opinions on specific topics.

The potential for this initiative is enormous. We will we exploring broad areas such as digital marketing or sustainability, but we can also quickly set up 'Sprint' panels on time-sensitive issues. Take for example, a major data security breach at a hotel group such as the one experienced by Starwood and the Marriott group not so long ago. We could quickly create a panel to discuss the topic to provide some industry context to the news reports.

Consequently, we believe this initiative will be truly new and innovative as we begin to generate authentic content.

Consequently, this initiative is truly new and innovative and will generate authentic, industry-specific content.

Given the flexibility of the panel structure, we will be able to create panels to support particular events. For instance, one of our partners may be running a forum on human resources. We could create a panel to explore HR issues in line with the event, perhaps highlighting some of the speakers who will be taking part in the forum itself.

Panels could be private or shared with particular target audiences. The partner organization would also be able to embed the panel content on its own website via an application programming interface or API.

We can also envisage panels on specific areas of the hotel industry, whether it be housekeeping or F&B. There could be a panel exclusively for hotel GMs or a tech panel for hotel IT directors and CIOs. The possibilities are endless.

As this initiative evolves, we would appreciate your feedback and suggestions. On our side, we anticipate the panels will be supported through advertising and sponsorships. Our partners who are members of Hsyndicate would be welcome to submit their views as well.

So, stay tuned for further developments. We believe this is an exciting initiative which could bring all sorts of benefits for the hospitality sector as we explore topics of interest to the industry.

During April 2019 we softlaunched the panel with these viewpoints:

Are brands becoming relevant again?

Is Airbnb Hotelier’s Friend or Foe?

Any questions about HospitalityNet World Panel can be sent to [email protected].

Henri Roelings

Henri Roelings is Founder & CEO at Netherlands-based HospitalityNet. Recognized as a thought leader in global hospitality, Henri is a frequent guest speaker at industry events and conferences. Under Henri’s leadership, HospitalityNet has pioneered online B2B publishing in the hospitality industry since 1994, launching brands such as HospitalityNet, WIWIH, pineapplesearch and the HOTEL Yearbook.

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