Four takeaways from NAVIGATE Miami 2024 — Source: Revinate, Inc.

Revinate’s annual hospitality conference, which focused on industry updates, growth plans, and new product launches, has concluded for the year — and we are still buzzing with excitement!

This year’s conference brought in 250+ customers (50% first-timers and 50% repeat NAVIGATE attendees) and 15 sponsoring companies. The rooms were packed with CMOs, GMs, Reservation Sales Managers, Revenue Managers, owners, commercial leaders, and more.

With over 300 people on site, more than ten informative and thought-provoking sessions and panels, and a lively keynote led by Jim Lawless, there is so much to unpack, but we’ll focus on the top four takeaways from the entire event.

Fuel revenue growth with data-driven strategies

Revinate CEO, Bryson Koehler, kicked off NAVIGATE Miami 2024 with the exciting news of our latest innovation, Revinate CDP. Bryson then took us through the ideas, pain points, and breakthroughs that led us to where we are today. The launch of Revinate CDP is truly just the beginning.

“When we talk about launching CDP, keep in mind that there’s almost a thousand other enhancements rolled up into this release, rolled up into this upgrade…What we’ve launched is a data-driven, outcome-focused suite of capabilities that drive more profitable bookings to your property.” – Bryson Koehler, Revinate CEO

He introduced key team members, Jason, our CTO, and Leura, our VP of Product. Together, these two shared the why behind the CDP and the importance of capturing guest data.

In her session, “Unlocking your hotel’s full revenue potential: Strategies for success,” Caryl Helsel, Founder & CEO of Dragonfly Strategists, shared success stories and underscored the importance of leveraging technology to drive revenue and enhance operational efficiency.

She discussed successful collaborations with clients and showcased tangible results achieved by those clients, emphasizing the role of technology in driving business growth and performance.

Together, these sessions explored the idea of leveraging data and technology to power direct revenue channels and maximize NOI.

Embrace the shift in travel trends and their effect on projections

You may have noticed that demand was a little lower in Q1. Hotel performance has been softening, particularly in the first quarter of the year, and demand has been down for four consecutive quarters. Challenges such as negative inflation-adjusted RevPAR and declining profitability due to rising expenses have been named as some causes by Emmy Hise, Sr. Dir. of Hospitality Analytics, from CoStar Group in her session, “CoStar Group market outlook and trends.”

Nevertheless, CoStar is projecting a 4.1% RevPar increase for the year. On the inbound side, they are projecting international travel to surpass pre-pandemic levels by three percent this year. Potential growth drivers include the recovery of corporate travel, inbound international travel, and continued domestic leisure travel.

Maggie Rauch, Research Leader from Deloitte, highlighted some of these growth drivers in her session “Trends shaping the future of the travel industry presented by Deloitte.” Maggie discussed a significant shift in consumer behavior regarding travel. Despite economic uncertainties and high inflation, travel spending remains resilient and continues to outperform other discretionary spending categories.

Based on Deloitte Consumer Signals, travel is behaving more like a need than a want. Maggie also brought up the rise of remote work as a forerunner in reshaping travel patterns. This new group, termed “laptop luggers,” are taking shorter, more frequent trips and extending their stays to combine work and leisure.

Deloitte also touched on the importance of using AI to enhance the travel experience for both the guest and the hotelier. Revinate CDP, as discussed above, is an ideal tool to start implementing today and brighten that outlook for tomorrow.

The digital landscape is transforming; so should you

Speaking of AI, Revinate’s Dominic Donatoni had a fireside chat with Benchmark Hospitality’s Evan Crawford and Jesse Thompson, during which they explored “the strategic role of technology partners in successful mergers, acquisitions, and new openings.”

The group emphasized the importance of conducting a thorough audit of your property’s tech stack (and every property acquired). They warned against tech waste, i.e., redundancies and underutilized platforms. They also pointed out the need for adaptability on all sides during any period of change and growth. From there, Evan and Jesse shared their excitement for the new Revinate CDP, stressing its capabilities to operationalize data, allowing them to integrate it into various marketing and operations aspects to create holistic customer journeys and ensure effective communication.

Greg Land, Global Segment Leader with AWS, also touched on adaptability and resilience in his session, “Empower innovation through resilience, culture, and technology.” He reciprocated the need for businesses to evolve and adapt to survive, particularly in the face of technological advancements. There is a growing trend towards leveraging data for personalization and innovation despite the gap between recognizing the potential of AI/machine learning and actually implementing these technologies.

As more hoteliers recognize the benefits and necessity of investing in technological enhancements for both their guests and their employees, Greg warns that they must also consider the need for consistent technology across all guest touchpoints. That need for consistency is exactly what Evan and Jesse were promoting when they discussed the prevalence of tech waste.

It seems the hospitality industry’s digital transformation is underway, and it’s time to get on board or be left behind.

Optimize your revenue with commercial strategy

Revinate’s CMO, Karen Stephens, took to the stage to facilitate a panel discussion, “Unlocking the potential of commercial strategy.” The panel focused on the importance of comprehensive revenue tracking to provide a more holistic understanding of financial performance. This approach helps identify areas of improvement more easily and considers things like guest-paid revenue and hotel-collected revenue. By shifting from traditional metrics like RevPAR to a more holistic view and including considerations of net operating income (NOI) and asset value, hotels can optimize their business mix and increase profitability.

The panel also dove more into the idea of commercial strategy, where decisions are data-driven by collaborative efforts across different departments, including sales, digital, finance, and operations.

Patrick Norton, VP of Marketing & Sales and Managing Partner of Brittain Resorts & Hotels, also praised data-driven decisions, emphasizing the importance of effectively collecting and leveraging customer data to improve conversion rates by personalizing marketing efforts. His session, “Mastering conversions: Crafting an omnichannel booking journey with Revinate,” suggested taking customer data and running it back to the basics. He stressed the significance of marketing fundamentals such as analytics tracking, e-blasts, and PPC rather than chasing after flashy trends.

A longtime Revinate enthusiast, Patrick advocates for investing in direct marketing efforts and prioritizing customer retention strategies. He discussed the benefits of remarketing to existing customers, converting OTA customers into direct bookers, and implementing initiatives like member pricing and OTA win-back campaigns to foster long-term guest relationships.

These sessions delivered a great deal of discussion on strategies for optimizing commercial performance and maximizing revenue through effective marketing and sales approaches.

Learn from the experts

NAVIGATE Miami 2024 brought plenty to consider, take home, and apply. A recap is excellent, but it is nothing compared to being there and feeling the energy in the room.

Hoteliers took that energy and ran with it as the conference drew close. With a renewed excitement about the industry, new tools to drive direct bookings and develop their businesses, and invaluable networking opportunities, this year’s NAVIGATE Miami was one of the best yet.

We are already looking forward to next year’s events!

About Revinate

Revinate empowers hoteliers to directly connect with their guests.

Our Guest Data Platform and communication solutions unlock revenue for hoteliers and put them in control of the full guest experience — initial research, booking, check-in, throughout the stay, and even after check out — all via the communication channels that guests prefer, whether it's voice, text, email, or web.

More than 12,000 hotels globally bank on Revinate to drive direct revenue and deliver delightful guest experiences.

Ask us how we do it. Visit our website to get a demo.

Sanjana Chappalli
VP of Brand Marketing and Communications
Revinate, Inc.

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