I will be attending Eye for Travel’s Social Media Strategies for Travel conference on March 10-11, 2009 at the sleek Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. This is my first Eye for Travel sponsored conference.
The conference is intended to deliver “best practices from innovative travel companies that have cracked the social media nut and have real case studies, best practices and analytics to discuss.” They make a convincing argument to attend the conference by promising we can learn how to measure and monetize social media.
After reviewing the conference schedule, I am most interested in four of the twelve featured sessions (and yes, the networking drinks receptions are 5th on my list):
1. Case Studies on Social Media: How to Measure and Monetize Your Campaigns
Like most conference attendees, I like case studies and the nuts and bolts of how to do something new. Invariably, I discover a nugget of an idea I can take back to my desk to build an idea or augment a marketing campaign. I am interested in hearing how Intercontinental Hotels Group successfully (or not) incorporated social media into their marketing efforts.
2. Combine Search and Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Site
This will be presented by Scott McNeely of Viator, Inc. and I hope he will discuss the positive and negative effects on their site from the multiple social media changes they made last year including the addition of reviews and ratings, a blog and wish lists. I want to know what worked, what did not work and how they plan to improve the results.
3. Of course, I will listen to the Spotlight on Semantic Web: How and When will your Business be Affected? This is being presented by Yen Lee, president of UpTake and Ken Leeder, CEO of RealTravel. I know our perspective, but I am curious about RealTravel’s take on the semantic web and how they will continue to use it to build their business.
4. The third session is Social Media Marketing: Why A Holistic Approach Pays Dividends with speakers from Marriott International, Southwest Airlines, Parker Hospitality Group and TravelMuse. I hope they focus on how to determine the right combination of tools, UGC and blogging. I am interested in finding right social media mix for the right effort and for the right investment. I hope one day the ROI on social media will be as straightforward as the old traditional media buy (this much will get you X). But I don’t see that in the social media marketing future yet.
I will be blogging about the conference. Please let me know what aspects of social media and travel you are interested in learning about. I can be your voice on the conference floor.