PhoCusWright Day 1 Travel Innovation Summit
This will be a “live blog” style post from day 1 of the PhoCusWright conference – which is the Travel Innovation Summit. So without further ado, here goes!
Updates are somewhat delayed due to wifi issues, but we’re on (after I finally got my phone paired too):
Users don’t just want to fly to a hotel room and then stay there – they want to do all sorts of various activities…ability to aggregate trip planning amongst friends. Pulls activity info from a variety of APIs. Allows brands to integrate into their system, seems a bit like a white label opportunity.
Provides semantic analysis of reviews (text) via copy/paste.
Seems like another social review mashup, but w/semantic capabilities. Search/Structure/Analyze. Want to be an infrastructure provider for what appears like hospitality sites to social. Social semantic search. Lots of international integration.
For hospitality industry…100% specialized for hotel space. Monitor and guide hotels in how to take action. Good move in that many brands just don’t have expertise, time, etc to learn this sort of thing. Property level reports and corporate level.
Integration solution for travel management companies. Get control of data problems. What are the data problems? Very corp travel centric.
Mobile site…BlueMountain (sorry, lost a chunk of notes due to lack of connectivity).
Focused on how inntopia allows for bundling in realtime on results page, ie whistler solution.
Silverrail Technologies –
Rail booking engine, sorry, not a lot of interest in this at this time, taking a quick break, back in a moment!
11:00am View from the “side stage”!
1:00pm back from lunch and catching up!
From procurement industry…
Pulling together small brands to gain incremental revenues via franchise model.
Focused on small business – coming from a government perspective want to be the go-to place for online travel procurement.
Saw this at the Search Insider Summit in Park City last year. Interested to see where it’s at now. Organizes local info and tags it – photos/reviews/etc. Not just bookmarks, but “information rich cards” that are shareable. Pulls info from friends on FB – don’t have to learn a new behavior! Their mobile integration is trying to “be there with people in that moment of decision.” Seems like w worthy goal to me! Had another good pt about checkins being too late as they are after a travelers decision has already been made.
AFAR media –
Making sense of reviews – finding relevant information for the person planning online travel. Based upon location and travel profile – then matches with a local expert that shares similar interests. Offers badges as a user helps others…seems a bit out of context as it seems to me that the process of helping others is probably why someone would want to use this site. Leveraging off their magazine subscriber base – interesting off/online marketing plan.
“Will forever change the way we search for travel.” Wow, pretty strong stuff for an intro…consolidates and pulls together pricing and reviews, nice, but not a game changer IMO. No mobile yet, still a young company.
1:50pm next batch – btw, I’m debating heading to a PhoCusWright research session in an hour or so and may skip the last batch of innovators…I’ll be sure to blog about things either way!
Using Miles –
Creating a tool to solve the issue of how to track various loyalty accounts and not lose anything from their expiring accounts.
Haystack product, ”the world of one” is not where people want to be, want to be in the “world of freedom” – this is a world in which there are multiple ways of doing business. “We search you sell. We are an enabler”
E-Channel Search –
Interesting approach to SEM for travel – dynamic ads served to Google, Microsoft etc. Example of a client that simply served up better and more targeted ads with much better ROI. Seems much like what any dedicated SEM agency should do.
Meta search rewards recommendation engine, similar to Flymuch in terms of loyalty programs, but operates on it’s own site. Is a pay to play model, wonder how consumers will accept, needs to show a lot of value to be successful.
Off and away –
Kind of groupon concept for travel, but over a variety of time frames. Bidding works similarly to ??? can’t recall which retail site, but one w/extended time for each bid. Consumers do get to keep bid dollars that don’t win for later use. Very affluent consumers on this site so far…
“Booking a cruise online is too difficult.” Isn’t that true of pretty much any online vacation?
A way to add ancillary revenues to hotels and attractions. Open Table equivalent of ground transportation booking.
Mobile software development company. Single application dev platform with all dev ported out to different mobile platforms. Begs the question of why not just develop a rich media mobile site?
Seems like another take on aggregation of pricing/review content, for hotels using Kosmix-like mouseovers. Interesting, but does require publisher to install the software. Perhaps a plugin with this sort of information and options would be good?
Ah yes, the key stat, 50% of all travelers struggle with planning. Another take on travel planning/collaboration – purely b-c at this point in time.
5:25pm Hmmm, thinking I must be wearing down, here’s my latest batch of updates:
Sonata Sofware –
Pricing strategy for the travel industry. Not quite what I am interested in from the ski resort perspective, more slanted towards hotels/transportation.
Sorry, but yet another company that just really isn’t in my area of interest.
Flight search and find – air ticket distribution platform.
Provide the right video for the right destination at the right time…using local videographers’ 90% unused video. Looking to provide on-demand content across a variety of distribution networks. Want to associate video content to brands…not so focused on new/fresh.
Stash Hotel Rewards –
A way for independent hotels to still reward travelers with rewards currency. Interesting concep to allow small boutique type properties to compete w/larger chains.
Harvests pricing info for pricing intelligence. Cool data extraction program, allows someone to visually browse through a competitor’s site to scrape pricing. Also uses crowdsourced labor to grab updates, because other sites are so variable/changeable.
6:30pm phew – last presenters are done and now we can all sit back and ruminate on all the innovations that have been presented. Don’t know that I’ll do a wrap up other than posting the last batch of summaries:
Vacation Relation –
Who cares about your vacation? Not your friends, but the other people on the trip.
Shared moments is what traveling with your friends is all about. This is a Facebook app that allows a group to consolidate their travel planning via FB. Simple integration and some nifty tools to help w/group planning and splitting of costs.
Flight metasearch site, sort by “agony” is an awesome, although somewhat gimmicky sort option. Very interesting to see that they are a Y Combinator company – see http://ycombinator.com/ for some info on this very innovative startup incubator.
When planning a vacation, people want advice from friends. Streamlines recs from FB friends and Twitter followers. Seems to have a leg up w/investments from people like Eric Schmidt from Google.
Visual presention of topics w/social tie-in.