This Week in Hospitality Marketing Live Show 260 July 31st 2020

This Week in Hospitality Marketing Live Show 260 July 31st 2020

This Week in Hospitality Marketing Live Show 260

CoHosts
Loren Gray
Edward StOnge
Dean Schmit
Jason Freed
Adele Gutman
Tim Peter
Tristan Heaword
Stuart Butler
Valyn Perini
Lily Mockerman
Show Notes
00:02 — Adeles share the discussion about HSMAI HR roundtable — https://americas.hsmai.org/insight/whats-on-the-minds-of-hospitality-hr-professionals/
00:16 — Your margin is my opportunity” — there is someone coming for you, all the time — Tim
00:25 — the noise to signal ratio is the worst it has been in a ling time in our industry — Stuart
00:50 — How do the brand efforts compare to the AirBnB effort —  (Requires an email or a subscription to read): https://www.theinformation.com/articles/airbnbs-new-strategy-living-without-google
01:31 — How will HITEC do as a virtual event this year https://my.hftp.org/s/lt-event?id=a1Y3i000000VFqY
02:15 — Show ends
Topics

Top Story

1. US hotels improved in June, but recovery could stall

Brands & Product

2. IHG may lose 103 hotels for alleged missed payments
3. Ballotti: Wyndham positioned to remain open, recover
4. Can big brands disrupt the disruptors?

Intermediaries & Distribution

5. Concur Study: Travelers, Managers Expect Major Post-Pandemic Changes
6. Ctrip invites funds to buy out China’s travel dip
7. Amadeus posts first loss in 10 years after COVID-19 hit travel industry

Marketing & Strategy

8. Google’s Top Search Result? Surprise! It’s Google
9. The world’s leading brands jump on the direct-selling bandwagon
10. Three Hawaiian islands could let tourists roam freely in ‘resort bubbles’ while they quarantine in paradise

Tech & Finance

11. Private Equity Investor Blackstone Downplays Its Pain From Battered Hotels
12. 3 Of The Most Important Investments CFOs Can Make In Loyalty
13. Is Caesars Making the Same Mistake It Made in 2007?

Boop!

14. The Most Beautifully Designed Bar in Each State in America

Ruh-Roh…

15. ‘Emus Have Been Banned’ For Bad Behavior, A Hotel In Australia’s Outback Says
Additional topics brought by the co-hosts
Also from our discussion last week we thought we would ask everyone to bring to a topic they wish to discuss on the show. which has produced the following;
i was intrigued by Sam Trotter’s take in HNN that big brands are best positioned to recover… it begs the question of whether independents should be hunting for a flag, and then which ones, and analyzing ROI, and that whole ball of wax.
Here are a few thoughts from the week:
In the executive roundtable on HR, I was expecting the challenge of trying to bring staff bac when they get more from unemployment, but this statement stunned me:
“We’re torn in terms of next steps to take,” another participant said. “It’s an issue especially in union hotels, because their union says they are allowed to turn down the job offer because of the unemployment pay. It’s been tough.”
That’ can’t be right, can it?
Regarding Sales & Marketing, there were comment about learning to more fully use their technology systems, and getting creative with strategies, and that they feel that will continue after the crisis.  “We are learning to do more with less, which has been a challenge, but our operational folks are happy that we haven’t had to spend as much money on training or celebrations.”
That statement really made me think, really? Shouldn’t we be creative and learning to do more with less all the time? If this is a problem, that people get so used to the day to day grind, and are never challenged to be scrappy and creative, what thought processes, or questions can the team suggest to help leaders challenge themselves on a regular basis to think differently?
  • Pretend you have to increase ADR by 10%, what you do?
  • Pretend you have to cut expenses by 10% what pricey service is not pulling its weight that you can renegotiate or find an alternative, or DIY it.
  • Pretend you couldn’t use a service to do xyz, have you learned enough to be able to do yourself if you had to?
  • What if you needed to take out 10% of your low priority, nice to do but low importance activities, in order to make more time for important activities that will truly make an impact, what could you eliminate, delegate or outsource?
  • Set aside time for creative thinking, strategizing, coaching, keeping up with new ideas/tech/trends, and brainstorming.
In this article also, these casinos have streamlined costs, (including marketing) and will not go back to the old rate of spending.
Don’t we need to re-evaluate spending every year? If not to lower costs, at least to have dry powder to try new tools and strategies that work better as times continually change?
Boyd Gaming Corp. hotel-casinos, President and CEO Keith Smith said the visitors who are coming are spending big, and the cost-cutting measures in place to weather the pandemic — like closing buffets — could be here to stay.
Keith said the company “will not simply return to the old way of doing business,” and many of the cost cuts will be permanent.
__________________________
On a very related topic, here’s my favorite travel story of the week (Requires an email or a subscription to read): https://www.theinformation.com/articles/airbnbs-new-strategy-living-without-google
Here’s the full text if you need it:
Employees who worked on Airbnb’s marketing team in recent years have sometimes pondered a tantalizing question: What would happen to the company’s growth if it stopped spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on ads that appear high up in Google search results?
The pandemic may have given Airbnb the opportunity to test that path. As the coronavirus brought travel to a near standstill in March, the company abruptly halted online advertising to cut costs. The effects so far have been mixed. Even with scant marketing spending, Airbnb has started to see a rebound in bookings and website traffic. But Airbnb also has recovered more slowly than smaller competitors, including Expedia-owned Vrbo, which has been spending more aggressively on ads in recent months.
THE TAKEAWAY
• Airbnb focuses on bypassing Google ads, driving direct traffic
• Analytics firm says Airbnb U.S. bookings for future stays fell 16% in June
• Rival Vrbo, which ramped up advertising, had 61% increase
In the U.S., the number of bookings for future stays on Vrbo soared 61% in June compared with the same month the prior year, according to SimilarWeb, an analytics firm. That contrasted with a 16% decline at Airbnb. Transparent, a vacation-rental data firm, also estimated that Vrbo’s global bookings were recovering faster from the initial pandemic slump than those of Airbnb, after analyzing the number of customer reviews for a sample of stays on each site.
Several factors might explain the different pace of recovery. Vrbo is smaller than Airbnb, and specializes in the kind of non-urban stays currently popular among city residents searching for nearby getaways. But Vrbo has been trumpeting this type of property in its Google ads, buying Google keyword phrases such as “vacation homes in Hilton Head,” said Alisha Kapur, a travel industry analyst for SimilarWeb.
“Airbnb is still the market leader, but we’re seeing competitors steal more share than we’ve ever seen,” said Kapur. SimilarWeb tracks bookings by analyzing websites’ URL patterns on desktop and mobile phones.
Longstanding Plan
While the advertising pullback was born of necessity, Airbnb executives insist it fits in with the company’s longstanding desire to rely less on search ads and more on building the brand through unpaid channels, such as email, the Airbnb app and website, Instagram and media coverage.
Two weeks ago, CEO Brian Chesky described the shift to employees. “We will become a brand that generates direct traffic,” Chesky said in a companywide email viewed by The Information. “And we’ll focus on launches to announce innovations, capture our customer’s imagination, and generate press and attention.” Chesky also said in the email that Airbnb was “resuming work” on going public. The company, which before the pandemic had planned to go public this year, hasn’t ruled out a listing before 2021.
By cutting costs, Chesky’s turn away from digital marketing may help Airbnb become profitable. But it marks a significant change in strategy from just a year ago, when Airbnb plowed money into Google and Facebook ads to try to spark growth ahead of the public market debut. Even after Airbnb increased marketing expenditures, including paid ads, by nearly half in 2019, revenue growth slowed from what it was the previous year. The company went from making a small profit to losing hundreds of millions of dollars in 2019, The Information has previously reported.
The pullback also has implications for Google, which reaps billions of dollars a year from travel ads. The search giant on Thursday reported its first year-over-year decline in quarterly revenue in its history.
Months into the pandemic, Airbnb’s business is starting to rebound. Customers booked more than 1 million nights’ worth of future stays on July 8, the first time Airbnb had passed that threshold since early March. However, the company acknowledged in its news release that “pent-up demand may be playing a role,” meaning the pace likely wasn’t sustainable.
One data point is giving Airbnb investors hope: Vacation rentals are outperforming hotels by a significant margin. In late June, about 60% of short-term rentals were occupied by travelers worldwide, while traditional hotels were at 39% occupancy rates, according to analytics firms STR and AirDNA.
The Google Factor
In the online travel industry, the road to customer growth has long gone through Google.
Expedia and Connecticut-based online travel conglomerate Booking Holdings are two of the largest spenders on Google search, each dedicating billions of dollars a year to digital ads, even as executives at both firms have said they are trying to reduce dependency on the search giant.
Airbnb executives have boasted that the wide awareness of their brand offers an advantage. While Booking Holdings’ and Expedia’s sites racked up more desktop visits than Airbnb’s last June, for instance, a significantly larger portion of Airbnb’s desktop traffic was direct, meaning visitors didn’t first search on Google and then go to the Airbnb site.
Airbnb has tried to gain an edge in part by promoting the notion that its listings are uniquely suited for millennial travelers interested in hip neighborhoods and funky accommodations in yurts or treehouses. The company’s branding campaigns included messages such as “live like a local” and “belong anywhere.”
Expedia, which reported earnings Thursday, doesn’t break out revenue or bookings from Vrbo, but CEO Peter Kern said Thursday that the Vrbo site was “the strongest part of our story.” The company reported an 82% revenue decline in the second quarter. Unlike Airbnb, Expedia has a large hotel and flight booking business, which has suffered more than vacation rentals. Kern acknowledged that the company started spending more on digital advertising in June, but said Vrbo was still generating a lot of direct traffic to its site.
Airbnb, meanwhile, has stayed the course even in the face of some internal debate. After it shut down all digital advertising in early March, employees started to see hints of business returning nonetheless the following month. People were starting to book homes outside cities, in what the company labels “Tier 2” markets like Lake Tahoe.
All of a sudden, Airbnb needed a fresh supply of listings to meet the demand in those places. In April, employees drew up plans to start advertising to prospective hosts again, using a mix of Google ads and direct mail, a person familiar with the matter said.
But executives believed people would list their homes on the site in search of extra money as a matter of course, without Airbnb needing to advertise to them. They nixed the idea.
There’s a lot to unpack here, but the basic takeaway is that it’s never a bad thing to have people search for your brand by name — or have them go there directly. Brands do this to some degree already. Boutiques can also do it on a much smaller scale. Can they do it enough is the real question.

This Week in Hospitality Marketing Live Show 260 Transcripts (English U.S.)

[00:00:17.300] – Loren

Hello, everyone, and welcome to This Week, In hospitality Marketing, live show number 260 As always I enjoy when we change over the numbers from a five to six one because it means I have to do twice as much work changing the numbers and all the links that we have to provide.

 

[00:00:29.150] – Loren

So we’re in the 60s now with me from what would be my left or right would be Dean Schmit with. It’s gonna take me a while to get all these right. These stretch first base camp, metasearch base camp and metasearch, metasearch, dotcom. Thank you. Once training and one is services. So get that, mister. And then down down to the lower left. Mr Jason with hospitality recovery Twenty, twenty. Right.

 

[00:01:03.260] – Loren

Hospitality, recovery and thank you. Recovery. That’s got to see. I’m really great as a host.

 

[00:01:09.260] – Loren

It works so good for me. It’s adele gutman who is with Aspire Reputation, formerly with library collection and she’ll telling us more about that as things begin to come out. And Mr. Tim, Peter with Tim, Peter and Associates, that one is an easy one for me. I’m good with that one. That one got that down.

 

[00:01:27.530] – Loren

But if you need your company, your name, make it easy. Oh, and come from the here. But yeah.

 

[00:01:36.590] – Loren

Tristan Hayward with three and six.

 

[00:01:40.640] – Loren

Hi guys. How is everybody. Trust interest.

 

[00:01:43.280] – Adele

Welcome by the way Lauren, I still work with Library Hotel. That’s true. Yes. It’s always my favorite client now on that.

 

[00:01:57.110] – Loren

So we’re doing something a little different today. I mean, I was just mentioning earlier before we started, I think it’s kind of a walking a beast where in times past I used to make the list for the shows. Tim knows way back and knows way back. And then Robert started adding more and more to it. Finally Arber just took it over and started doing this really great list that he’s been doing for years now. And then as time’s going on because I was so busy last week, we talked about on the show by saying, Hey guys, since we have such an amazing group of her co-hosts, while we all bring something to show and tell to the table and boy, be careful what you wish for can be really genuinely that.

 

[00:02:33.110] – Loren

Now, Robert was really nice. You still send us your list. So we have all those fun things which will always be in the show notes for us and for those who want to subscribe to it. You can always subscribe to his. It’s for free. He does it every week. It’s really an excellent list. You can subscribe to it a bit. Beitar a white forward slash Rakoczy to all lower case. With that in mind, Mr. Jason pumps out some awesome content as well.

 

[00:02:53.060]

I’m not out for coverage any single day. Every single day, every single day, 24/7. Rain or shine, snow or not.

 

[00:03:03.170]

The editing of the Internet I guess is what you can call me. That’s that’s where the thing is. I don’t know.

 

[00:03:08.490]

Which goes a little bit. What I had thrown is a bit of a some of the good stuff from last week’s show was a really cynical about how this white noise, general basic conversation never seems to get out of first gear with people.

 

[00:03:22.910]

We’re still talking about us as our show, but our industry is still seem to be stuck in first gear of generic white vanilla, repeating each other like magpie’s, basic stuff like you should be doing Pipsy. You should be. Oh, my gosh. If you’re thinking at that level right now, you are a cook.

 

[00:03:43.220]

And so I really wanted to kind of ask, which is where we get some great articles today in conversations as to the amping up the conversation being at that level that needs to be done at this point, not G if you haven’t got this figured out by now, you’re going to be behind. We know the people talking basically are behind. So that’s kind of the theme to all of this. Another one have people popping in later as time goes on.

 

[00:04:03.470]

I think I got a ping from Valan that should be coming in later. I don’t know. Stephanie’s going to be joining us later or not. I tried to actually grab her articles, my little show, and tell her to throw into our conversation today. But with all being said and done, where would we want to start? Which article? Out of all the ones that we threw into a pile, do you think we’d be the most interesting to paing first?

 

[00:04:23.630]

You know, can I just mention that based on what you just said, that we’re rehashing the same thing over and over again? I just found it interesting and funny that when I was reading about the hospitality sales marketing international, having a roundtable, you know, as to what they’re what what’s happening with human resources and how they’re deploying their their teams differently, and people are saying, wow, we’re really learning how to use our tools, you know, to their full extent, and we’re really having to be creative and do more with less.

 

[00:05:10.160]

And it was just that for me that we have to wait for. All right.

 

[00:05:16.830]

Think about how to be creative and how to solve problems differently and how to utilize the viability and, you know, taking the time to think about do we really want to be spending money on this? If I save money here tonight, perhaps then you’d better. And I think I think everybody really does not need a break.

 

[00:05:48.090]

Well, I mean, here’s the challenge with that is, as we’ve all seen throughout our careers, the travel industry has gone through some pretty long streaks of anyone can do well.

 

[00:06:02.520]

And it’s really just the the what feels like endless growth in tourism. And when you look at it, the only thing that really has disrupted that are major events, at least dating back to the late 90s. So that if you look at that and you understand that, then you kind of can get why our industry continually falls into complacency. Some of it is just the riches that just accidentally fall into people’s hands, the gravity of tourism to the major cities, the opposite effect that has to last, major tourism destinations.

 

[00:06:58.030]

So this city is just too crowded. I’m going to look elsewhere. The massive growth in our industry has led to this complacency. And you can’t overly fault people for it because name a major mistake during any of the good times that really financially hurt someone. And you really can’t think of too many because being present to win has been the primary driver of success for at least the entire time I’ve worked in the industry, which is now turning into a pretty substantial amount of time.

 

[00:07:36.870]

Well, I think you’re right. I mean, I you know, I learned my best lesson post 9/11. I worked I started in digital during the dotcom boom. And I got to tell you, during the dotcom boom, nobody in the world was better at digital than I mean, because it’s just amazing. Everything I did work clearly. I got the old down world and then 9/11 happened.

 

[00:08:05.220]

I was like, oh, wait, this is hard.

 

[00:08:09.600]

It wasn’t going very I very much was one of those folks where, you know, sometimes it takes a crisis before you recognize, oh, I’m I’m actually just sitting in a boat that’s going up with the tide. And if I’m going to outrun the other boats, maybe I need to do something very different. So, I mean, sometimes that’s a that’s a normal thing that’s going to happen in people’s experience. But until you get kicked in the teeth a time or two, you may not realize not all of your success was because of all of the things you were doing.

 

[00:08:39.990]

You know, I’d like to think I was doing a good job. Sure.

 

[00:08:42.660]

Yeah. But isn’t that a sign of leadership to have somebody with the vision that we can do better? I was just looking at a I was looking at an article. It came out last year, recognized Dalbavie. But last year an article came out saying, oh, you know, Marriott is still feeling fantastic in that fashion. And it was 80 percent for Hilton and Marriott and they were at the top of the game. And we target an Intercontinental Hotel with that.

 

[00:09:15.990]

And Windom about 70. Now, when I went to school, if I got 80, that would make be right.

 

[00:09:25.500]

And I, I you would think you have so much money on the line and so much potential revenue on the line that you think you deserve better than 80 percent. Don’t you think you could inspire your team? Think.

 

[00:09:40.110]

Right, but the cost the cost of doing that outweighs the benefit at that scale. The cost, Yasaka.

 

[00:09:47.850]

And it’s not always I think, to that point about the leadership that is I think what we’ve got to do is you’ve got to look back at what were the times we’re living in. And these times are tough to use, an overused word, unprecedented, not because of Kovik, not because of any of that look. And a much bigger view when going through the Internet age. We’re right at the very beginning of this. And the pace of which things are changing is so rapid.

 

[00:10:14.910]

You look at all of the people who. Let us know where they started out, the Internet probably didn’t exist because I remember the when didn’t exist and I’m sure pretty much everybody else and this is Kulka, remember, it didn’t exist, exist the same world than it was before the Internet.

 

[00:10:33.420]

I mean, there I was alive during the time that there was an Internet.

 

[00:10:39.480]

I was too young to say that.

 

[00:10:41.550]

I very much remember time before the story, actually, just the that I was making the joke.

 

[00:10:49.860]

And it is serious that. Yes, I and once again, that he’s the youngest. That’s the thing that I do. It’s just be quiet as well, I think.

 

[00:10:58.230]

Well, I think in the end it’s only a couple of years younger than me, so I don’t know.

 

[00:11:02.370]

I’ll think about it in a little bit. In the life that you were interacting with the world in a meaningful way, can you remember? Yeah.

 

[00:11:10.800]

I mean, I went to college. The Internet wasn’t anywhere close to what it looks like now.

 

[00:11:16.410]

I mean, I’m sure. But I said. Is the time before the Internet, I mean, so that’s that’s pre AOL, that’s fine.

 

[00:11:28.340]

Rub it in all you youngsters. But I think it’s more than the Internet. I think society and maybe the Internet’s part of the equation. But society has changed, right? We’re all woak now or a lot of us. And it’s expectations are different. The power has shifted from the corporation to the consumer that there’s a lot of nuance, things that have gone on to making the world the way it is today. And I think all of those just add to the challenges that hotels face.

 

[00:11:55.790]

And I think to Ed’s point, scale is one of the reasons that Hilton and Marriott cannot achieve that level of success that someone like Dell has achieved in her history. Right. And in a smaller scale.

 

[00:12:08.420]

And that’s an important point of when we try to talk about our industry, is it’s a industry of different realities.

 

[00:12:17.750]

You have these mega scale companies who care about completely different things than the small business aspect of travel.

 

[00:12:29.090]

Right. Marriott is not chasing the same dragon that a five hotel operator in a city or even across five cities is chasing.

 

[00:12:41.930]

Well, they have a different customer or not the owner who might be a customer of Marriott, or it might be the right sort of things along those lines. Right.

 

[00:12:50.510]

I mean, they’re more interested in the satisfaction of the person. The purchase or lease is a franchise from them than they are about the customer that walks into the door of that hotel.

 

[00:12:59.870]

Right. And they get their returns.

 

[00:13:02.330]

There’s a great feeling to think that there’s get their monthly fees as well.

 

[00:13:08.030]

But there’s a great model. And this is this is a model I use all the time with customers, depending on who I’m talking to. But this is this is a really useful model about thinking about who your customer is and thinking about Visa versus thinking about American Express. Right. American Express customer is the cardinal and they do everything that they can make. The customer experience of the experience for the cardholder better. Visa’s customer is the bank. Right, and they will do the things that are good for the cardholder so long as it benefits the bank.

 

[00:13:41.790]

Now, they always want to make both sides happy, the bank and the cardinal. But the reality is when push comes to shove, if there’s conflict, these is going to lean towards the bank and American Express is going to lean towards the cardinal. If you’re a boutique hotel, your American Express, if you’re Marriott, you are Visa. Yep. And it doesn’t mean that you don’t want to do what’s right by both sides of that equation. It’s that your purpose for being and who your customer is is a different person.

 

[00:14:11.270]

And that engenders a very different response because they’re actually doing what’s right for their customer.

 

[00:14:18.050]

And it’s and it’s the experience of the guest. And this isn’t the only industry that exists. And the other thing that exacerbates it for these large scale companies is their public companies.

 

[00:14:28.660]

So the bottom line is, you know, Wall Street ruins companies. It just does very few of your blanket statements.

 

[00:14:38.570]

Very few companies go public and stay good. And the ones that do become very famous, you can look at them. It’s Google, it’s Amazon, it’s Facebook. And why did these companies turn good?

 

[00:14:54.830]

They didn’t forget who they actually serve, but they actually strenuously push back on Facebook is good. Yes.

 

[00:15:03.490]

I got to tell you, listen, they stayed true to what their belief is even after going public. And so I believe I still think a vision is not inherently good.

 

[00:15:16.090]

And look at the congressional hearing this past week.

 

[00:15:19.100]

I mean, there well, major problems, national hearing has taught us anything is we should stop letting Congress be the ones asking the questions of billionaires because it’s not a good look for the capabilities of our government.

 

[00:15:33.900]

Yeah, I do think we need to come back to a balanced point, because I think the point is, you know, if you are a hotelier and we’ve had this discussion on the show a lot of times, but I think Adele is exactly right. And I think this is something we want to think about really carefully. If you are a hotelier, if you are a hotel marketer, be clear on which business you’re in. Are you in the business of serving a franchisee?

 

[00:15:57.410]

Are you in the business of being a franchisee or are you in the business of hospitality and serving the gas? And if you’re in the business of serving a guest and you’re getting 80 percent on your SAT score, you need to be doing a lot, lot, lot better. There is a slide I use constantly in presentation and it’s Jeff Bezos quote, and it’s something that I would I would paste to my wall if it went to the core that I want to have.

 

[00:16:20.500]

He was on the guitar on absolutely there is Jeff Bezos famously said, your margin is my opportunity. The reality is there is somebody coming for you all the time and you’ve got to be thinking about that. And it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your margin, because if you actually deliver great hospitality, people will pay more for that. If you actually give people a great experience, people will pay more for that and give them a truly differentiated experience.

 

[00:16:48.530]

People will pay more for that. So it’s just thinking about what business a man who is my customer, am I holding myself to the same standard that my customers would be expecting?

 

[00:17:00.010]

And also, don’t fall into the trap. I mean, 80 percent is pretty impressive when you think about the majority of the portfolio of those companies. We always fall into this trap. When we think Hilton and Marriott in our heads, we think of their flagship properties.

 

[00:17:15.730]

In reality, the majority of their offering is select service.

 

[00:17:21.370]

Well, well, but I would argue I mean, I’ve said this many times, I’m a Hilton fan, generally speaking. And I would argue right now, today, and there’s a lot of reasons for this, new prototypes, things along those lines. But at Scale, Hampton Inn is the best brand in the house, 100 percent agree.

 

[00:17:40.000]

And I think it’s and I don’t think it’s close in scale right now. Give them five years. In seven years, maybe the product will get more tired and yadda, yadda, yadda, and somebody else will step in.

 

[00:17:49.960]

But you can even see it in Hampton Inns progression in ADR. I mean, if you remember, it wasn’t that long ago, you wouldn’t see a Hampton Inn above 90 bucks a night.

 

[00:17:58.720]

Now, good luck finding one below one hundred and thirty a little bit of what it was saying into a little bit of point that you made earlier. And we’re creatures of habit in some ways. And first hand experience for me, for some clients is and as Tim pointed out, there are those that are running it as investments and those that are running as hoteliers, those that run to run it as investments or whatever, they have to first go through the process of what they used to do all the time, which is, oh, throw money at it, or silver bullet the answer or take that off the shelf and plug that back in and oh, surprised it didn’t work, you know, and then have to go through that.

 

[00:18:35.350]

Oh crap. You know. Now what it’s like we actually take care of the guests. Say what.

 

[00:18:41.950]

That get to the point that I’m saying the people who are genuinely in leadership don’t actually know all of the answers. But if you don’t foster an environment where people below you can actually give you the answer that you’re looking for a deal with specialists, then it’s always going to be the most senior person in the room who’s got the loudest voice. You’re always going about that.

 

[00:19:05.980]

When that happens, we always call it. And as you know, I am that a person’s opinion. Yeah, exactly.

 

[00:19:13.210]

I’m not an apologist at all for the big brands. But again, the biggest thing, really, anything.

 

[00:19:19.880]

That’s all right.

 

[00:19:21.500]

I will say the bottom line is a lot of what we focus on that they could do better. Quite honestly, the investment it would take versus the return it would create for them is not mathematically it doesn’t make sense. And part of the reason for that is, is you have to remember, first of all, if you look at the majority of the owners of these branded, you know, offerings, it’s their investment banks.

 

[00:19:48.720]

You know, you want to talk about one of the most difficult companies that I can’t imagine being a hospitality centric person. But, you know, there are certain massive Rietz in this world. One of them at one point owned a substantial amount of one of the brands we keep mentioning.

 

[00:20:05.680]

They don’t care. Yeah, they don’t care about hospitality.

 

[00:20:10.180]

This is real estate to them. And you can poo poo on it all you want. They’re the largest real estate owning read out there and have proven time and again that they make a crap ton of money by timing and by, you know, and yes.

 

[00:20:29.740]

Do they ruin the hospitality of the companies that they have? Yeah, absolutely. They’re nowhere near as good at hospitality, but that’s not their game. They’re playing a real estate game. And time and time again, they continue to become as wealthy as some countries.

 

[00:20:47.320]

GDP look like a real life mystery. I mean, that may be true, but you could. Increase your red bar by probably thirty five, forty percent, something like that, just by increasing the guest satisfaction by communication, communication only not changing the carpet, not changing the light bulb. Agreed. Changing anything. Most of the complaints are communication problems. One percent, by the way. I’m listening.

 

[00:21:29.760]

And that is why, again, there is opportunity in this industry.

 

[00:21:35.970]

That is why Stewart tomorrow, if he wanted to, could have a fair shake at owning and dominating, you know, owning a hotel and dominating a market with it because of that fact, that fact that the the big brands that are kind of the consumers initial entry point to this industry, you know, they thrive, but they also create opportunity, just like Amazon creates opportunity.

 

[00:22:08.040]

Amazon actually did something interesting. They put the hurt on Wal-Mart, which actually gave a resurgence to boutique businesses. Wal-Mart was killing boutique small business. Every town they went to the boutique, small businesses went out of business. Amazon started putting a hurt on Wal-Mart by playing a better version of the game at Wal-Mart was playing. And what was the weird effect of that? It actually allowed room for service and communications and all of that to be enough, again, to make a thriving boutique business.

 

[00:22:45.840]

And that is the interesting duality of our industry, is you could go into any market like Adele has said, and you could do things to to completely kill entire swaths of the inventory of that market that are actually not overly hard.

 

[00:23:04.050]

Adele has proven it time and time again with what she did with library.

 

[00:23:08.370]

You were an incredibly competitive markets with massive amounts of inventory and you weren’t big and yet you destroyed them all when it came to guest satisfaction and what that could do for that boutique business. That is the really cool opportunity. It works with Lauren. Lauren can go into any market and outmaneuver the inventory of that market in attracting guests. Why?

 

[00:23:33.630]

Because he knows the massive gaping holes left that you can go after and drive success.

 

[00:23:42.870]

That’s the cool thing about the industry.

 

[00:23:44.760]

I see commonalities between Adele and Lauren and all the other successful people that we’ve mentioned and how they’re passionate about what they do. And they give one hundred and ten percent to it and they understand their value and what they bring to the table. And the the I think that separates people. And a lot of people got complacent to everybody’s point on the call. And to go back to what we initially started this conversation about was Lauren saying, you know, how do we how do we step up, what we’re writing about, what we’re reading in the content that’s out there?

 

[00:24:19.200]

Why is it all the same message? And, you know, Adele mentioned I mean, I love HSN.

 

[00:24:24.690]

I think everybody’s everybody’s reading and consuming more content than ever before. They’re there at home, refreshing all day. And marketers know that. And they’re trying to get in front of them and they’re trying to shove out as much content as they can. And sometimes it it’s you know, it’s getting out there. It’s it’s trying to get your name out there rather than bringing the value, rather rather than providing something that’s useful for hoteliers or for guests. If you’re a hotelier, you know, understand the value that you bring and offers and best practices to help others rather than just trying to give your name and your message out there.

 

[00:25:08.760]

I agree.

 

[00:25:09.600]

Yeah. We’ve seen a shift right in in the purpose of content. And the noise to signal ratio, I’d argue, is worse now than it’s ever been in our industry, because because vendors instead they look at content as a as an advertising hook. It’s as part of their sales process now. And this whole content marketing strategy phenomenon started probably about ten years ago, has really grown tremendously is the cornerstone. And I mean, looking at fuel, it is, too.

 

[00:25:38.850]

But we try to discern we try to be discerning about the quality of the content. And I don’t think everyone does that. It just it’s volume for the sake of volume. And I think that’s problematic and why people like Lauren are getting frustrated. But the thing is, I think both of those problems we’re talking about with the. The flags having settled for a certain level of standard of reviews and the vendors in the market putting out crap content, it’s about doing things well, takes a certain skill set that is really hard to scale, because we just pointed out that Adele did a great job with Liberi, that Lauren does a great job.

 

[00:26:20.000]

These are exceptional people. I would argue that both within the top one percent in the industry easily, probably the top one percent of one percent. Right. You can’t scale people like that. You can’t be married and say, I’m going to go hire a thousand Adel’s to do what she did for all my portfolio. It just you can’t do it. The talent is not the caliber of people to do that, to focus that dedicated focus is not realistic.

 

[00:26:45.620]

So when you talk about economies of scale, there’s a flip side to that. And it’s the cost to scale, which is you can’t do things really, really well. And that’s why the article that was floated around the Hotel News Now article about how the flags are going to dominate independence was total garbage.

 

[00:27:04.580]

It was looking at it completely from the wrong lens, right in everything they said was was just I mean, well and heralded very myopic, heralding the brand’s technology stack.

 

[00:27:17.120]

I mean, I can piece together a technology stack that would run circles around that by using like ten different options at each touch point.

 

[00:27:29.960]

The difference is, you know, it’s it’s lazy. It’s lazy reporting. It’s it’s singing an easy message because it is obvious it’s obvious that actually this was a huge opportunity for the brands.

 

[00:27:44.360]

I’ve talked about this before and could have easily been could have been with them. Yeah. Yeah. It could have been like a pivotal moment in the big brands on actually taking back, you know, the primary position of ownership with the consumer.

 

[00:28:02.900]

But it’s not going to be because of, you know, because of the fact that they are all they’ve all decided to take a path of survival vs. taking the risk path of trying to dominate.

 

[00:28:19.790]

And it’s like it’s like when a hotel says I need to save money right now. So I’m going to reduce the thread, count on my sheets that as a consequence, it saves you money on your point out this week, but it cost you down the road because now your guest on having a good night’s sleep in that costs you write the brands are doing this. Exactly right now. They’re saying we’re going to pull back on our staffing, liaise with the individual properties, we’re going to limit what the properties can do at the exact worst time to do that.

 

[00:28:49.940]

The properties need autonomy right now more than ever to say here’s what’s going on in my specific situation. Here are our protocols. Here’s our local areas in in they’ve been cut off at the kneecaps. The individual properties have no control because the infinite wisdom of the flag said, hey, we need to save money. So let’s just shut all this crap down and it’s the worst time to do that.

 

[00:29:13.430]

There’s been expression for the loan why you want to share your money, you know, because they don’t take a percentage of the incremental value they add.

 

[00:29:28.910]

They pay a percentage of everything. You know, it’s simple.

 

[00:29:34.050]

But I mean, here’s the thing. If you want to own a hotel and you can’t do it with your own money, you’re kind of forced into a brand because the banks are not going to give you a loan without a flag. I mean, and this is the de facto survival. And, you know, kind of the base benefit that the brands have is there’s a good amount of owners that if they didn’t have that brands flag, they wouldn’t have the bank note that they currently have.

 

[00:30:05.270]

Well, and nobody has been trying to jump in. So one quick thing is that I’m going to immediately throw to the but, you know, I also think we have to think about the scale of this because a different skills, the brands can provide an enormous amount of value in the next Windom guy. So I’m going to show my stripes here. Wisdom has its places where it works really well. But I mean, you think the economy segment, you’re talking to 70 room property.

 

[00:30:29.000]

Seventy five room property of seventy five bucks a night, running at fifty percent occupancy. That’s a million dollar annual revenue business. The people who are buying into those businesses don’t yet know how to be hoteliers. And I’m not saying that as a mark. Those are brands with training wheels. Right. Entry into the market for a lot of folks. And so, you know, the expectations have to be a little different than guess the expectations have to be a little different.

 

[00:30:56.240]

You still need to. Do it well, and Adele is exactly right. That’s precisely where you have to do a good job with communication and service because you’re not going to differentiate in economy product on know thread count. Right. That’s just not how you can make a living doing that. So it’s also understanding what are the what are the brands bringing to the ownership and ownership groups of different things, skills. And once you get above economy things along those lines, that the question becomes a much bigger one of whether or not it makes sense to be brand or independent.

 

[00:31:29.510]

But you’ve been trying to say things, going to go jump in one too early to Ed’s earlier point. Is that part of the reason that these brands love these are the franchises love the brand is, as he was saying, that that is back. Yes. Could we build a better one? We’re all technology experts on this call here. We’ve all seen better technology out there. Is it easy? No. Right. That’s so hotel. You’re bringing me a package.

 

[00:31:55.670]

You put it on my plate saying, here you go, do all this for you and you look at what you bring up to us. The one exception to we talked about scaling back our marketing expense. There’s one exception out there. And you probably see there’s one brand that is running TV ads left, right and sideways. And I’d love to see their stats that result of the spring choice of hotels. And they’ve been really marketing the road trip, that and that type to that type of demographic.

 

[00:32:21.290]

So here they are, the only player out there advertising on television. Take a look at some of the digital marketing space that they’re in there owning their metasearch. So the cable. But by the way, I can speak for metasearch. It’s really cheap right now. I’m assuming the TVs are less expensive than usual. I don’t know about that. I think fairly safe assumption. And they’re the only ones in the space dominating. I would love to see the stats resulting from that as to how much gate they’ve seen as a result felt pretty.

 

[00:32:49.880]

Nor one from a brand standpoint which is unbranded is called start versus warm start from the reservations standpoint. Right. So if you go into a brand, you open up hotel. Are you reflag you’re you’ve got a pretty good funnel right from the beginning of observations come in on a bill to that market and you can tell that the ground well, and if if you’re going to operate an independent hotel, you really have to know how to hotel.

 

[00:33:21.190]

Whereas if you’re going to own a Fairfield, then you just know how to you just need to know how to run a business. And we know there’s a big difference there. Now, Dean, I will counter one thing. Well, I agree that choice has been spending really interestingly. I think Hilton got incredibly lucky timing wise that a Netflix series that basically is a Hilton commercial dropped at a time that they needed this the most. So have you guys seen Zac Efron series Down to Earth?

 

[00:33:55.970]

It’s blowing up on Netflix. It is literally a Hilton, TripAdvisor and Visa commercial. And and it’s insane what kind of exposure it’s been giving to those businesses. And it’s the best kind of exposure. It’s subliminal.

 

[00:34:15.590]

And there I’m not even with all to exactly what they want to hear out of the chat room.

 

[00:34:28.010]

She’s been kind of leaning into a lot. But Adele has been referring to when it comes to reviews and limitations of some softwares that are out there, obviously. But incorporating that process into the value proposition of the hotel, I think is kind of a quick recap of some of her points, that she’s a bit off to the side.

 

[00:34:44.720]

And one point that jump on that. And I mean, this is what Adele is getting to a lot. You know, even if you are in a chain, even if you carry a flag. Right. In many cases, your brand is only as good as your last trip advisor with you right here. So it doesn’t matter. The brand’s reputation is if you get too little bubbles on TripAdvisor, you get two little stars on Travelocity. This would be Expedia or booking Travelocity.

 

[00:35:11.780]

Remember, there’s Travelocity going right now. You know, you’re but you’re doing right or what the flag brings to you are not at that point. And I worked for one of the largest franchise orders in the world. We saw it all the time. People understood. I like insert brand name here. I like Windgate INDs, I like Super eight. And there are people who love Super eight. I don’t like this one and I don’t like that one over there, but most of them are great.

 

[00:35:41.150]

So yeah, really have to do a good job regardless of whether or not you have the flag because your reviews are going to kill you.

 

[00:35:46.490]

Well, I actually think Wyndham and best Western and players like that are those types of franchise systems are. Actually poised to potentially have some strong growth, they provide some of that financial stability for financing that these owners need. However, they don’t restrict the minutia of what a hotel can control.

 

[00:36:15.260]

Not nearly as much.

 

[00:36:16.820]

I mean, a full survey and again, I’m told and I agree completely. Well, best Western, absolutely. But I think Wyndham’s got some good flavor. I would agree based on our experience with London and the other big brands. Completely agree with that.

 

[00:36:29.940]

I don’t think so.

 

[00:36:30.830]

To bring it back to Europe. I don’t get a lot better, Tim. A lot year.

 

[00:36:42.640]

But the bringing it back to the point that about the whole 80 percent thing and two to one of Stuart’s comments that seems a little while ago now, but you’re saying that Lauren and Adele are in the top one percent, one percent. They can you can’t scale. We’re talking about opportunities for brands.

 

[00:37:00.380]

Surely, though, there is a way to scale higher than 80 percent. I mean, what and Adele and Lauren are going to bring this to one hundred. You’re going to bring your game. Can’t go any higher than that by by taking up practically anybody in this in this chat right now. If you were to take somebody on to do a piece of work in which they’re specialized and you’re going to get ninety eight. Ninety nine. One hundred, that’s what you’re going to get.

 

[00:37:23.450]

You’re going to get the top. If you’re settling lower down at lower than one hundred and eighty, there is so much room for opportunity that at that point this isn’t stuff that you have to put a lot of money into. In fact, you have to put no money into it. It is a mindset. It’s leadership from the top. It doesn’t even have to be leadership from the top. People who own a hotel, who are perhaps not involved in it, have a management company, don’t actually do a great deal when it comes to the hospitality stuff.

 

[00:37:55.880]

It’s your middle management.

 

[00:37:57.110]

It’s your decision makers, the boots on the ground, finding good talent that doesn’t have to be a hundred percent, but finding good talent, 90 percent, that’s doable, especially in this market. I’d be looking right now and we have been looking right now, there is some brilliant people who have just suddenly found them on the wrong side of covid, who just found out that all of that hard work that they’ve put in, all those visions and ideas that they have for a brand, for a technology company just got like that in the space of three or four months.

 

[00:38:28.790]

And now the next there is sort of respond to that because you responded to my response.

 

[00:38:35.300]

So I don’t think anyone saying that they shouldn’t strive for better.

 

[00:38:40.160]

I don’t think anyone saying that. No, no, no.

 

[00:38:42.260]

And I think at the property level, you’re 100 percent right. Every individual, Marriott or Hilton, whatever, should should be out there striving for 100 percent. And they’re capable of doing that if they care to. Right. The problem is a lot of them don’t get to because they’re looking at the spreadsheets, not the guests. And that’s what drives their decisions in. There’s almost no incentive at the corporate level, at the franchise level to put that level of investment they would need to into it to move the needle in a meaningful way.

 

[00:39:16.430]

There’s almost no incentive for that.

 

[00:39:21.260]

Sorry. Sorry said. Which is what I don’t get, because as you already mentioned it before, you know, the company sort of got a vision and then I think will dominate the market. Netflix is a classic one that their entire ethos and policy, that deck is available on the Internet, whether you agree with it all or not or whatever. Irrelevant, they have a company identity and an ethos. And by doing that, they’ve dominated the market.

 

[00:39:45.650]

They killed off Blockbuster way back. But remember that when we really showed our age now that killed off that to become the monster, the app Google again, you know, they’ve got a very set identity. Their identity is that the person who uses their search engine is that customer, not the people who have.

 

[00:40:03.860]

It’s not the companies outside it.

 

[00:40:06.890]

So we’ve seen so we see from that selling standpoint, which is a way to drive incremental revenue. Brands are no brands where we see hotels being really successful, our hotels with imagination that because it goes back to somebody’s point about being a business owner or tell where we see where we actually see properties able to generate that. And now sometimes the business people are like, no, we’re not going to do that. We’re going to do the brand tells us not to do a princess.

 

[00:40:48.140]

And then they’re at the mercy of the brand. And the brands are thinking, right. It’s not even a nonpolitical brands. We see real success and it just takes guts at the property level and some vision and courage.

 

[00:41:06.590]

And I going to be honest with you, let’s be happy. All of us in this room should be happy that none of these giant scaled brands care to chase that last remaining operation, because if they do, Adell, if Marriott tomorrow opted your policy, your everyone’s job will get infinitely more difficult, because if Marriott across their chain is at 99 percent happiness with their consumer, that it turns into a arms race on, OK, what do we have to do now?

 

[00:41:45.620]

Because they they’re big enough to raise enough of the consumer expectation that, like, it’s a it’s an it would become an endless chase on how ridiculously happy can we make the consumer.

 

[00:41:59.660]

And it would be a tragedy. And you say it that way.

 

[00:42:05.930]

But that actually would substantially crush the independent hotelier because it is how they’re different. They’re different because they can be specialized and better in ways that the brand isn’t. If the brand tomorrow became as good as Lauren Tim. Stuart Adell, Tristin Vallen, Lilly needin, we’d all be out of business because was never a lot of work for Marriott.

 

[00:42:36.980]

So the space that they left and it’s just like I said, with Amazon, Amazon left a space for boutique business to thrive again. While Wal-Mart wasn’t doing that, Wal-Mart was crushing small business. And it’s actually why government, local government started pushing back against allowing Wal-Mart to develop inside their city.

 

[00:42:59.360]

Amazon said while Wal-Mart’s crushing YOA strategy leaves opportunity for us to actually kill what they were really going after, which is there are certain things that people just want to be able to buy cheap, easily, quickly. And so Amazon went in and stole that. And what’s happened now? They stop chasing the crushing all the business in an area and now it gave rise again to boutique business.

 

[00:43:27.890]

If Marriott and Hilton tomorrow decided that where all their CEOs, we’d actually crush the small business aspect of hospitality by scaling out our ninja like look at this world. It’s it’s an interesting problem.

 

[00:43:48.200]

I want to send Richard are saying up on the side here, Richard, four people went on over four hours with us today. Richard has been with Marriott was with Marriott very high up for many, many years. I can remember all the pedigree titles that he had, but Richard had been with them for four generations of progress and he will eventually be on the show with us at some point because he has some amazing insights. But besides from that, with also we listen to reviews and so forth, we do have real life examples of what we’re talking about.

 

[00:44:13.640]

When we first started going through this massive issue for hotels, dividing what Tim pointed out of those that owned versus those that run as a hospitality person, I don’t want to.

 

[00:44:21.790]

I love the show. And he said we’re enforcing this on our guests as well.

 

[00:44:26.250]

And what’s that blue can talk about masks.

 

[00:44:31.760]

Yeah. Yes, right. For the hotel immediately. And they are requiring their guests to run McMath’s. I was like, that’s great. You’re running on the right side of the conversation. But then there was ownership’s that are like, we’ll do what our brand is telling us to do, but we don’t really we’re not going to go over and tell our guests to do the same thing. And it wasn’t because they just weren’t centric on the on the safety experience of everybody at that point.

 

[00:44:54.380]

They made a business decision they weren’t going to jeopardise, telling somebody that they didn’t want them to stay with them because they were having to enforce a guideline that they didn’t want to go over and jeopardize revenue for until all of a sudden brands start saying, oh, hey, no, we’re going to jump on the wagon that everyone else is jumping on, which is we’re going to be asking all of our guests to wear masks as well. So just like the retailers and so forth and so on, then all of a sudden they said, OK, we’re under the same thing, is we have somebody to hide behind all the brands making us do it, leadership and hospitality centric businesses.

 

[00:45:24.020]

We do the right thing for the right purpose for all the guests. And then we make that decision. And it’s in this you as a leader, you as the GM of that hotel telling a guest, I’m sorry, but unless you follow our guidelines, I can’t have you stay at our hotel. Not I can blame somebody or it’s a municipal rule or my brand tells me I’ve got to do it or hide behind somebody. It’s the leadership of saying, hey, we’ve made this decision that our hotel we want our guest follow the same guidelines.

 

[00:45:49.430]

We’ll make all of our staff follow, which is your protection, our protection mask, washing hands, clean stuff. So that’s the kind of difference we’re talking about when it comes to review scores and how the impact. Now, Richard, point out the fact that he knows all about that, though.

 

[00:46:06.290]

In a company like like Marriott, though, you’re spending a lot of money on advertising, you’re spending a lot of money on loyalty. And we don’t have to do that because our guests bring our other guests to us. You know, it’s cheaper and it’s easier and it’s a hell of a lot more fun. I’ve been in a restaurant of a certain chain hotel right across the street from my office, and the waitress was crying after an hour, not before the show, before the Broadway show.

 

[00:46:49.260]

And she said, there’s one person in the kitchen. We tell them every single day that this is our time or they have hundreds of people here and there’s no way we can ever get out. And she’s like literally crying. Nobody will. You know, case has to be able to go up. Let me just interject quickly before you move on from the brand versus independent topic that Sam Trotter, who wrote that piece, is one of us. He’s a he’s a good guy.

 

[00:47:25.810]

I’m trying to help out the industry. I’m sure friends with many of us on the show. That was and I may be the only one who knows the difference, but that was an opinion piece, which is different than a reporter going out writing a small Tuxworth piece I give him. I don’t know what’s the difference and encouraging the discussion. I think that I wrote back to him. We had a little conversation about it. I think he’s right.

 

[00:47:55.840]

I think when you’re talking about critical mass, more travelers will trust that. Like Tim said, Hilton, a Hampton Inn has got it right. They partnered with Clorox or whoever it may be. And you see that message everywhere. And you trust that they’ve got it right. I do think an independent can do a better job.

 

[00:48:16.930]

It’s just hard for me to figure it out. As an independent. You have to figure out how you’re going to present it. You have to think through, you know, all the aspects of it, whereas a Hilton hotel, you just have to do the thing they told you to do and Hilton take care of the rest.

 

[00:48:33.650]

That is that does make it easier, but it doesn’t mean that that’s going to own the heart of the leans a little bit towards Tim’s article that he shared.

 

[00:48:40.320]

And I didn’t put the texting up to him because you said it was behind a subscription wall. And I do want to share something they the for but the article and then you can speak to it directly about it. I agree with you completely, Jason. I thought going through this thing, this was the chance for brands to shine, like, OK, we got this. You’re going to look for a systematic clean cleaning programs and everything else. This I’m sorry, Airbnb is kicking our butt and they’re doing it with less money and they’re doing it with better messaging.

 

[00:49:06.250]

And I thought wasn’t going to happen.

 

[00:49:08.770]

I thought it was I mean, because you know what, Airbnb can say whatever they want to say and they don’t have a gigantic investment with a lot of but they don’t have that or they don’t have access to calling the CEO of Airbnb going, what the heck are you promising?

 

[00:49:30.790]

Have you lost your mind? You know who put you here? Right. And so, you know, Airbnb has a little bit easier of a time because they don’t have any concentration. There’s no voice for the arguing at all.

 

[00:49:43.690]

There’s no top of the funnel for them. It’s a big entity, that’s all. Multiheaded. Yes, Marriott could easily do that if they didn’t care about their hotel owners, they could say, hey, they didn’t care about Wall Street. Right.

 

[00:49:55.100]

However, however, it really does come back to marketing and messaging because one of the things that you don’t have to promise anything in this case, but one of the things that Airbnb has always done really well is that you feel like even though Airbnb is a corporation because of the use of hosts, you feel like you’re dealing with a person who you can form a relationship with, who you can reach out to directly. And they are able to accomplish this even on a big scale.

 

[00:50:28.480]

Whereas with the hotel industry, we still have a tendency to treat our hotels like you’re walking through Walmart, looking at products on the shelf and you take one off. There’s nobody you know, you might be able to stop somebody and ask a question somewhere. But we treat most hotels like a commodity and we’ve got to get back to how we can thank the otus for that.

 

[00:50:49.690]

That’s the trap everyone fell into.

 

[00:50:52.090]

The hotta is really hard. Everybody looks the same. Everybody’s offerings say that their hotel room comes with an ironing board and a hair dryer. Like, who cares? Tell me what makes you different. What makes you special. You know, at the end of that article, Sam, my friend Sam, is that, you know, if the brand can nail this guest experience thing as they are trying with the with the with the small with the smaller brands, and they have all this back and technology and everything, they can win the game.

 

[00:51:34.780]

But I say the reverse since they’re clearly not interact. In really nailing the get experience, then the boutique hotelier’s. Have an opportunity or maybe the technology people can put together a staff for us that is affordable and reasonable where we can, you know, be sharing and somehow that makes it easy to all kinds of different things that are not related without paying a price.

 

[00:52:10.700]

And you know what I mean, like a room for independence, which is Expedia can kind of go back to something Jason said to about, you know, it’s an opinion piece and I think anyone listening would pick up on that.

 

[00:52:27.570]

But it wasn’t presented that way at all. Right. It’s on the hotel news now, a news considered a news outlet. It didn’t define that. This was his opinion. It was stated as a fact. And I think that’s problematic because it didn’t it didn’t give a it is of an argument for what it’s worth when we got there.

 

[00:52:48.180]

It does save the opinions presented here. I write a quarterly column for hotel news. Now, it is listed as an opinion every time.

 

[00:52:55.230]

I mean, whether or not people how many more people we’re lucky people read beyond the headline, to be fair.

 

[00:53:02.740]

I mean, I think you’re sure, but what’s narrative of it is things that are tweeted where nobody ever read the article.

 

[00:53:10.620]

It’s like. Yeah, yeah. But my point is people will read the headline. And I think it’s a little misleading headline. I think there’s some truth in what he’s saying. And I don’t know the guy. I mean, I don’t have an opinion on his knowledge or his background or anything like that. It’s just I’ve read an article on I formulated my own opinion about it, and Lorang gives me a form to express that. But it read to me like, if if you’re a flag, you have a pretty safe opportunity to be OK in the long run.

 

[00:53:41.430]

And if you’re an independent, you don’t. And it really was more if you’re a bad independent, if you don’t run your operation well, then you’re going to struggle compared to the brands.

 

[00:53:50.430]

But but I think every one of those points for a bad experience hotel for sure.

 

[00:53:56.400]

Right. A bad run hotel is going to be worse off than a good one.

 

[00:53:59.830]

Well, I mean, if I’m going to get into this, I’m having a conversation with Richard in the in the comments and just just point out, I mean, there’s a funny part about this that we’re not giving the brands of credit from the other side. We’re not giving the franchisees in the hotels enough credit. On the other side, you know, when I left Wyndham, we had about seventy five hundred hotels. We had about five thousand owners.

 

[00:54:23.280]

We were a hundred percent franchised. So we were a big brand in a different way. Wyndham never got the same kudos because the room count was sort of small. But in terms of actual properties, we had more properties than anybody at the time that I was the challenge that we ran into. Interestingly enough, we’re review, but enormous rule was if the brand as a whole was getting terrible reviews, the good owners left. So it was enormous franchisee retention problem because we would have owners who would say, I don’t want to own X flag because 80 percent of the owners are dragging this flag through the toilet and we can see it every single day.

 

[00:55:03.090]

So there is a baseline level that the brands have to maintain minimum because they are customer who is the franchisee, not the guest are going to say, you know what, I don’t want to carry that flag. And that’s a huge problem from a different perspective.

 

[00:55:17.220]

So it does go away knowing he’s done, but it’s not going analysts.

 

[00:55:22.830]

I would guess that that bare bottom is like seventy eight percent and they’re all hovering at 80 minimum investment, as you might imagine when you talk to scale.

 

[00:55:36.000]

And I mean, Dean can speak to this a little more recently than I can. But I can tell you, like anything, you had 10 percent who are extraordinary.

 

[00:55:45.000]

You had 10 percent who were extraordinary at the other end of the scale, and 80 percent fell somewhere between those two bell curve, to their credit, ran 10 percent of the.

 

[00:56:00.120]

We launched something on digital when when I worked there, which one of my great horror stories we launched something on the websites across all the brands, and we pissed off 10 percent of the franchisee base. Right now you say 10 percent of the franchisee base. You got a break for 90 percent. Right? Except we had seven hundred and fifty angry franchisees. Seven hundred and fifty angry franchisees on that specific day by itself was probably the third or fourth largest hotel brand in the world.

 

[00:56:29.820]

Right? It was a lot of people were pissed off. So it’s one of those things of there’s a lot of folks there and you have to do a good job for them as well. You just let the good guys do push and push. That top 10 percent really do try to make a better. And and sometimes they succeed. Yeah, no, there’s exceptions to all of these things, but I hope nobody understands that. We’re saying that there’s this grim reality that exists.

 

[00:56:58.630]

There’s no exception to this. There are cellular brand product. There is still your cellular operations. There’s a high volume neurone. Right.

 

[00:57:07.980]

Like when you look at the whole numbers of the properties that are stellar that happen to also have a flag.

 

[00:57:13.440]

It’s a big number. It’s a big number just because. Right, right. Right. You know, it’s just when you look at it in aggregate, it doesn’t look so good.

 

[00:57:24.360]

I mean, and it’s like Tim said, because for every one of those stellar brand properties, there’s a book and on the other side that you can get by with a minimum, we have to do it right.

 

[00:57:35.430]

And and so this is this is the challenge and opportunity of commerce in general. When an industry is scaled, there is every single type of business operator in there just like, hey, listen, we are some of the better, you know, kind of other side of the industry vendor, if you will, out there. I think every single company here is a great company.

 

[00:57:59.520]

We know there’s some really crappy vendors in our space that are the bookends to this to this group. Let’s talk about what Jason does. I can name two or three bigger players then, Jason, that, you know, give news in our industry a really bad name because it’s news, you know.

 

[00:58:22.710]

So, you know, there is obviously a big gray area here. And for faster conversation, we’re focusing on kind of extremes.

 

[00:58:34.860]

But the bottom line is, is anyone who says any article that says someone is going to do better because of a very simple reason they’re oversimplifying, it’s going to make that article super easy to pick apart, just like all of us did in regards to this. It doesn’t mean he didn’t have good intentions. Is he wrong on the things about a brand that do give them benefit? Absolutely not. I mean, he is 100 percent correct that those things about brands do set them up.

 

[00:59:07.110]

To have success now, is he ignoring all the things that are hurting the brands right now? Absolutely. So, you know, like understanding that he’s not wrong, he’s just not you know, he’s he’s coming to a an extreme result off of a couple of things that do give them benefit, that doesn’t really support the extreme result. And that’s fine because he’s throwing an opinion piece out there, which also left room for us to talk about this for as long as we have to.

 

[00:59:42.490]

So he’s won that first inspired the hey, what do we bring for show and tell? They’ve brought together an article from The Atlantic I want to throw in because Dean said he had a little throw against it as well. And I wouldn’t want to miss that one. I don’t want to miss what Stewart threw out there, because I really do want to talk about what it’s gonna be like to be online so quickly.

 

[01:00:00.480]

I do have to. I do have to. But I can only be here for the first hour today.

 

[01:00:04.440]

We were just in and between unvalued between the backdrops, we need a jam session somewhere to come out of this nice five minutes, by the way.

 

[01:00:18.090]

So next time we’ll be reporting on your work or your associates. Where do they find you? What do they look for?

 

[01:00:24.060]

In a typical podcast, Tim and Peter, dot com is where you can find everything. Computer, dot com podcast, if you’d like to listen to the podcast. And I am teasing Peter on Twitter for some reason. Sort of Peter, which is where I am.

 

[01:00:36.690]

And, you know, I want to be connecting you with a gentleman named Ian. He has a dream panel that he is moderating people from Amazon, Google and the third one with just huge heavy hitters of Microsoft.

 

[01:00:51.270]

And this for Cornell University. And we who the best moderator in the world. I know.

 

[01:00:55.080]

And that’s you. So you’re the guy that told me to talk to about now.

 

[01:01:02.220]

Hey, Tim, if you have any openings next week for a quick catch up, can you shoot me a couple of options?

 

[01:01:07.200]

Yeah, I guess, sadly, I have some openings. Where can’t everybody have a good weekend?

 

[01:01:17.730]

I did. OK, so we have enough openings last week to slum it so far down the pole that he was on our podcast last week. So, wow, he really was. He raised the bar tremendously, that guy. So I thought he showed up on the show this week that he really was pretty much out of a gig.

 

[01:01:36.270]

He was homeless.

 

[01:01:41.160]

All I can say is normally when I come in 30 minutes late, I have to really do some wrangling to get everybody on topic. But you guys were all talking about, like, smart things when I arrived.

 

[01:01:53.880]

So I just kind of stepped in and kind of put the bumpers. I mean, and she’s like, no, no, back here.

 

[01:02:01.270]

So speaking of venturing off, because I’m one of those people who does that to us.

 

[01:02:06.630]

You know, your mentioning of Cornell reminded me of a fun fact I wanted to bring up for weeks now, which is Cornell is no longer the number one ranked hospitality school in the United States.

 

[01:02:19.380]

I did not know. You’re going to say Lucy Rosen, School of Hospitality Management just got ranked the number one hospitality school in North America and number two in the world after what was number one in the world somewhere in France.

 

[01:02:33.870]

I think it didn’t matter to me. I saw you see if I was like, oh, look, actually, there’s two things about that.

 

[01:02:41.070]

College football fan doesn’t care about anything, but it’s college and American doesn’t care about anything that’s not in America.

 

[01:02:47.280]

I’m hitting both stereotypes right here.

 

[01:02:50.310]

But yeah, what’s amazing about this, how young that school is, that school is only what is sixteen years old and it’s it’s risen to number one in North America.

 

[01:03:01.860]

That’s pretty cool.

 

[01:03:03.120]

They need better public relations. Man, that should be everywhere. I mean I haven’t read it.

 

[01:03:08.280]

I didn’t know that had opened up. Well they don’t care about any of us.

 

[01:03:11.040]

None of us are going to go, oh, you really think they blanket the industry with that? You know, depends who’s ranking them, right? Yes, I was at it.

 

[01:03:21.960]

He didn’t say it was a good study. Yes. An independent study independent from Edward State University. SERVALAN The cleaning article, the Scourge Hygene Theater and so forth. And I threw that up into the Jeffard by the may not have seen that through our email screen earlier. It was.

 

[01:03:39.630]

Can I can I just say before you talk about this article, that it was one of the strangest things that’s ever happened to me. Like, I’m pretty stubborn in my opinions. A lot of times it takes a lot to persuade me. And I started the first couple of paragraphs of this article, like staunchly in disagreement with the guy. Like I was I was I was thinking about all the ways I was going to pick it apart. And he gradually, gradually pulled me over to the other side to where I was completely agreeing with.

 

[01:04:06.830]

It is crazy, really well, it was a world with Nakul and also made some very good, really good points.

 

[01:04:13.700]

And yet on the surface I disagree.

 

[01:04:16.740]

But then by the time he dug into it, I’m like, huh? On the surface, you disagree.

 

[01:04:21.130]

Are you clever?

 

[01:04:23.930]

Because as we discussed before, the perception of cleanliness and health and wellness is really there. And for a lot of people, they’re not going to read the article. I hope we all hear that article, but probably not everybody is going to read that. And and remember also that there was a time that they said that masks weren’t so important and they changed. You know, I think people have gone back and forth about other things. What if five years from now they say, oh, we were wrong?

 

[01:04:57.740]

You know, the cleanup is more important.

 

[01:05:02.000]

The thing is, is the mask thing was for a different reason. It wasn’t because they didn’t know. It was because they needed us not to be buying masks because they needed them. You had companies that were sitting on stockpiles of a ninety five masks for other reasons, but they had massive stockpiles of them. And we’re happy that they had massive stockpiles when this whole thing kind of hit because they went, oh, great, we we have what we need to take care of our people.

 

[01:05:29.570]

And the government did not want a run on masks, so they lied to us.

 

[01:05:36.080]

And actually what’s interesting is they they solved the short term issue and created a massive long term issue by coming out straight up saying you don’t need masks. Backing off of that is impossible because you’re either admitting you were lying and manipulating back then. Which then are you lying or manipulating now?

 

[01:05:54.650]

Right. It’s it’s this whole problem that they created.

 

[01:05:58.520]

And it’s a small toward mask. They use the word. Yeah, yeah. Oh yeah, yeah.

 

[01:06:09.080]

Lying was always the wrong decision, as it always is. And they should have just shown us, like the surgeon general did. Here is how you take a bend and make yourself a mask. Easy peasy.

 

[01:06:23.000]

And I already told you about the back.

 

[01:06:29.090]

And we we may be giving the government a little too much credit, too, because the science has changed. The understanding of the virus has evolved. How it’s transmitted is better understood today than it was back in March. And there was a lot more concern back then that it was transmitted by a contact. And I think for the most part, most science suggests now that’s very unlikely that it is that way. And it is. But. Right. So I think you’re somewhat right.

 

[01:06:57.050]

I think that we were manipulated or misled, but I think the government did it. With good intentions and with the knowledge they had at the time, but it has changed and right now I’m arguing because I thought it was good for me. Hello. Well, I think one thing with this article is that it’s the idea of getting it right from the early days to wash down their restaurants. Right. Remember that your wife down your groceries and then but but then they figured out that really a virus, if it’s not living in a house environment, which is in your head somewhere or in your lungs.

 

[01:07:37.680]

Right. Exactly. Has a half life. And so it’s dying. It’s not where it should be. So we don’t work pretty well.

 

[01:07:46.140]

And the probability. Right, right. You know, even even a desktop that has a thousand droplets or microbes of the virus, the chances of you touching it and then getting it into your body are, you know, it’s these are pretty. So, I mean, it may still spread that way. The problem is, it’s it’s are you likely to get it that way is really the question. Right. So sure that it could be transferrable through surfaces, but you would need a surface dense enough and a likelihood of touching the surface and then within a reasonable amount of time, touching a part of your body that would allow the virus to enter your body.

 

[01:08:26.670]

Statistically, that’s just it’s not going to be enough of the virus into your right for your immune system to not be able to immediately knock it out so someone else do.

 

[01:08:38.160]

Right. So that in the early days, there was leaving rooms empty for twenty four hours. Right. So somebody would check out you wouldn’t check something and then you would wait a day or you and you would act as a hotel, you would invest in very, very thorough cleaning and pay a price for that. And is it do we, do they have to do that?

 

[01:08:58.170]

And that’s the I think that’s the big challenge for the town to remember when we had the professional cleaning company come on, one of the things they did talk about is you can look to restaurants for the answer. So restaurants deal with, you know, how do you keep surfaces at an acceptable amount of cleanliness to not cause problems? And and they have methodologies of testing, you know, what are the correct ways to spot test whether or not something needs to be sanitized versus just clean?

 

[01:09:30.990]

Because really, this is the difference we’re talking about here is standard cleaning or sanitized.

 

[01:09:37.580]

And the answer is like everything, not at the extremes. It’s not you don’t have to leave your room empty for a period at a time. And it’s not you. You have to bring in ultraviolet light and noxious chemicals to kill every living microbe. The answer, somewhere in between, where you just need to have a good testing procedure to sanity check, like is their viral load on the surfaces in this space. And if there appears to be, then you run a sanitisation when looking at it from one perspective.

 

[01:10:12.180]

Right. Which is the risk mitigation standpoint. But there’s two there’s two battles we’re facing. There’s two answers to the question like, should we close a room for twenty four hours for the next guests? Well, one, is it going to make the guests any safe, but the other is, is it going to make the guest feel safer? There’s a psychological component to it and we’re in the job of marketing and reassuring guests. So we need to make sure that we’re convincing the guests that it’s OK to say stay, that it is OK to stay.

 

[01:10:42.180]

But right.

 

[01:10:43.080]

But again, it’s not so much what you do, it’s how you communicate with it. So you could communicate that we are following sanitation protocols of kitchens.

 

[01:10:55.560]

That’s how the perception becomes the reality.

 

[01:10:58.830]

Right.

 

[01:11:00.170]

Jason, come on.

 

[01:11:03.060]

Come on, let’s go. I came across something earlier this week that I don’t want to name the company or the planet because I’m not trying to do this as a sales pitch. But every once in a while you see something that makes you go, holy crap, that’s it. Right. And so I saw this this program, this guy billed the users near field communication ships that you can basically plant all over the room so you can have ten of these in the room, one of them under the bathroom counter, one behind the bed, one behind nightstand, one under the chair or whatever.

 

[01:11:35.670]

And it mixes with a software program where the housekeeping has to have all of those touch points and it tracks them throughout the room. I just talk about two things. One, it’s a visualization to the consumer. I can show the consumer. Here’s exactly what was done to your room before you got there. And I can show how much time they spent on the bathroom, how much time they spent on your bed and so on, which is the biggest floor.

 

[01:12:03.610]

And stopping them from being able to sell to hotel owners, is that what so. And I was getting to that exact point, actually. So obviously, you don’t want to have somebody come to the room and see that the person just cleaned the bathroom and didn’t do anything else. Right. So the other side of this what happens on the front side, though, is it’s also an operational tool. So that housekeeper actually has to have all those touch points and they have to go through all those things or the system actually dings them and triggers them buzzers and whatever, notifies them, hey, you skipped a step.

 

[01:12:33.460]

You have to go back and do this and they can’t close out that room and move to the next one until they finish that process. So it’s actually an operational tool, but then also get the consumer facing side to it. And it’s something that is really cool.

 

[01:12:45.760]

And they have one of the ways to game it like, well, look around real quick and I’ll tell you, that’s part of the problem.

 

[01:12:52.000]

But what’s stopping them? What’s hurting them is they are really obsessed with the consumer facing side about I had someone affiliated with this business kind of ping me about, hey, they’re having a hard time here, very smart people behind this. The operational tool side of it is actually really interesting but problematic with unions and things like that.

 

[01:13:15.730]

But the consumer facing side of it, well, it’s a great idea.

 

[01:13:21.310]

And yes, certain consumers would look at this like, wow, this is cool that I can know that, like my clean guarantee, I don’t have to take their word for it. I can see the problem is, is no hotel owner in their right mind wants to go down to that level of detail unnecessarily because then you’re beholden to literally every single employee, every single day doing exactly what they’re supposed to do with no room for oops, you know, they’re having a bad day.

 

[01:13:54.160]

And they they went through 12 rooms and forgot to touch points. And now all of our guests think like twelve of our rooms are gross, corrected immediately.

 

[01:14:08.560]

No one is, is that and I like to compare this to the difference with the US that the Soviets did about riding in space where the US spent tens of thousands of dollars to make Japan the upside down. And so he’s just brought a pencil. Right. The idea is hotels are getting smarter about being able to create their own solutions, like opening the window to the room after somebody checks out and doing a little negative air flow. Just let that blow out.

 

[01:14:30.880]

And for the hotels that don’t have operable windows, they literally buy the floor is opening the doors to the hallways and putting those big carpet drying fans and just shooting the air out just to say we’re cleaning the air out so that when you come back into the room, it’s not the same or somebody just was there in or whatever, but also to it. And this goes to the core of this. I have a better example of perception versus reality, and that’s eggs.

 

[01:14:54.340]

Because eggs have come and gone back and forth and good or bad for us for decades, and it turns out to be an individual choice of do I listen to the hype or not listen to the hype?

 

[01:15:05.230]

Do I just like eggs? You know, whether they’re good for me or not? I still like eggs, whether I have them scrambled for it or whatever the idea is at the end of all this, the perception, I think, which is put to the article is the reality of our world right now. We know that the security of going to an airplane is about 80 percent bogus, and I’m just making that number up. We know that people, if they’re really hell bent on blowing a plane up, they’re going to find a way to get past that.

 

[01:15:28.090]

It’s a sad truth, but I think it’s a real reality that people, you know, they’re going to find a different thing, whether it’s the sneakers or whatever, you know, as they tried before. The idea of it is that we have a perception of that safety, the same to without coming through this, seeing people clean touch surfaces to your point of cleanliness versus sanitation, just the act of effort will be probably a calming effect to people about, hey, this hotel cares compared to the pick my nose, some paper handed to you, maybe not so much.

 

[01:15:57.670]

So we have to incorporate this into our future tense. No matter what the reality of its value is, we have to continue this process of the guest perception.

 

[01:16:08.290]

So, I mean, if I if I was one of the edgy small hotels or small hotel brands, I’d be putting out funny messaging like our rooms are cleaner than your house.

 

[01:16:19.210]

Our common spaces are cleaner than the gym. You go to our our kitchens are cleaner than the grocery store you shop at because we know it’s true.

 

[01:16:28.900]

Hotels are just like they’re just. No, you literally just say it like that. Why do you need to prove it? That’s not how perception works. By saying it and having the gall to say it gets the majority of the people receiving the message to go.

 

[01:16:44.770]

Yeah, they have no reason to say it if it’s not true. I mean, that’s just how consumer perception works.

 

[01:16:50.850]

In the same way that the article flipped me. Right. And I started the article the same mindset, which is the perception matters that that’s really what matters. It’s can we get people into this place? And they’d be safe. Right. But the primary thing is, can we get people into that? And so my my opinion going into it was this whole cleaning theater elaborate? You know, whatever is is a good thing for the industry.

 

[01:17:18.640]

It helps build confidence. It helps reassure guests. It helps get things back on track. But I think towards the end, the point they made, which I think is a very valid, valid one, is if potentially this is Temes, when you invent the ship, you invent the shipwreck analogy. This is an unintentional consequence of creating a false sense of security, which is if a guest comes that thinking that they’re going to be safe, they may not wear a mask, they may not socially dist.

 

[01:17:45.670]

, they may not wash their hands, which are things that they still need to do. So I think there’s a balancing act and this is where a flip is. OK, I was all in on the theater, but I don’t think it’s you do that in lieu of other stuff. I think you’ve still got to hammer home the reckless behavior cannot be accepted in. That’s really going to be the key.

 

[01:18:04.330]

And I got a plane, I got to be honest with you, too, like especially when you think about a large amount of our industry is leisure travel right now, like that’s really all the travel that’s happening. Leisure is generally families. Anyone who’s had children has a much lower sense of sanitation than anyone who hasn’t had children.

 

[01:18:23.950]

Because when you’ve had a sick child who, you know is sick, stick their hand in your mouth because kids just do that, you start to lose sensitivity to paying attention to how sanitized something or how sanitary something is.

 

[01:18:39.640]

Computer on MPRDA, it’s all over the place.

 

[01:18:43.460]

There’s a there’s a different level of what bothers you and and our industry is primarily serving that desensitized audience. So what about this and this goes to Stuart’s point is that I mean, the premise of the article and focus of the articles on cleaning, but no, I’m a traveler knowing that this thing is more easily transmitted by air than it is and contact versus contact, I’m actually more interested in knowing that people in the hotel employees get tested on a regular basis, that you actually have a process where he does test positive than this.

 

[01:19:28.660]

And this happens contact tracing within the hotel and the worst mask. And that’s certainly the personally I’m interested in that than I am in the cleaning now. Again, the article was on cleaning. I’d be super interested in understanding how to address that because you can talk about cleaning all day, but it’s not the primary way the disease is. And now that we know, Jason, you’re new to Jason, that’s why we’re not. Yeah, I think it’s.

 

[01:20:01.100]

Go ahead, go ahead. Oh, geez, I think it’s more about the experience than it is about what what kind of planning are you doing? It’s what’s my experience at your hotel going to be when I get there? Do I have to go to the front desk? Am I going to be handing my card to somebody in there handing it back? How is housekeeping? Well, how does if I want room service, are they going to come into my room?

 

[01:20:22.070]

I think it’s spelling all those things out. How long am I going to be there? What’s my experience going to look like exactly? I think that that is more helpful. I think it’s also really hard for us to sit here and say we’re experts on what you should do in a time like this when nobody has any idea what’s what.

 

[01:20:40.670]

I mean, if you don’t say this before we pretend to be experts, I am not a doctor, but I play one on the Express once.

 

[01:20:50.000]

So I think that it’s just really hard to know how long this thing is going to last and how, you know, what’s standard operating procedures we should be putting in. Listen, if it’s only going to be a month longer or three months longer and we’ve got a vaccine and that’s going away, then don’t leave. Maybe we maybe we can’t afford to leave our rooms open for twenty four hours just to make people feel safe. But if it’s going to be twenty, twenty and um twenty twenty one twenty four two before this goes away.

 

[01:21:19.460]

That is unsustainable. Right. A lot of the current operations and ownership and the extra expense we’re putting into cleaning is, is really unsustainable. So it’s, it’s kind of hard to make those decisions without knowing what’s right, which is I think what the article is talking about right now.

 

[01:21:35.570]

What’s the point to made that there’s danger coming from setting this false sense of security by doing things that really don’t make a difference? So using the example of having a room open for twenty four hours is not long term sustainable for the industry if we want to get back to profitability. But if we set an expectation now that it’s necessary to do that to keep you safe, then at some point in the future we’ve got to change that narrative and say, well, it’s just like the mosque thing all over again.

 

[01:22:02.660]

Well, that doesn’t really make a difference because the standard in the industry is on that standard for a very long time. As Lauren mentioned about the TSA example, some guy 15 years ago put a bomb in his shoe. And ever since then, we’ve all had to take our shoes off to go through security. Right. Nothing’s happened ever since then. Fifteen years. I should probably not say that. But here’s the reality that became the standard. And now that’s what we do back about that same time.

 

[01:22:29.330]

Gasoline prices were four and five dollars a gallon of the airlines added on a fuel surcharge tax every time you bought a ticket for a gallon anymore. But that surcharge is still on there. So once it’s standard, it’s hard to reel that back in.

 

[01:22:44.450]

I think also to this article does, I hope, point out something interesting, too, and that is this one upmanship that we’re all that that a lot of companies are trying to look what we’re doing. We’re doing this and that compared to what they’re doing and this and that, that isn’t a necessary thing, I think, to be the best film. When you said, what is it that’s going to make me feel safe, what what are you enforcing that is being done that we’re aware of?

 

[01:23:07.970]

That is I have to contribute to you’re contributing to we’re doing this beautifully together. I’m wearing a mask. You’re wearing a mask. You’re getting your team trained, tested and so forth, whatever. All that kind of process is what is more important than just saying I now have a UV zapping machine like a hospital that will sanitize the room. And then I got well, I got a bomb that blows up in the thing and sanitizes the surface area.

 

[01:23:28.790]

We burn our hotel every day, every time we go up. But, you know, it’s that kind of things like that isn’t sellable or sustainable. You’re right. We’re talking about from current circumstances. Look at perspective. This is how we as an industry are reacting on all the different flavors. But the reality is, is just like the medical profession has learned, you don’t slap an incubator on somebody or a respirator on somebody right away. You flip them on their stomach and you do all these other things that they learned from the process of the pain of people suffering, going through this infections and so forth.

 

[01:24:02.990]

That’s what said there’s no experts on this.

 

[01:24:06.470]

This is what we’re doing here is the person’s opinion. We’re all. Yes, yes.

 

[01:24:14.360]

But but here is here is actually and what we’re getting to is actually what’s caused so much of the strife among the masses is they’re not used to having conflicting right.

 

[01:24:27.500]

Things kind of fed to them as this is now the way this is now, the way things don’t generally go in flux like this.

 

[01:24:35.060]

And it’s causing a lot of people to to really have a hard time and stick with. This is the one I decided when I accepted that this is the way it is. And now you’re saying it’s not that nothing’s real when in reality everything is this way. Everything changes then in such a compressed timeline that commands eg example. Right. The eggs are good for you are. They’re not good for you, but those are sort of over five or ten year cycles.

 

[01:24:59.030]

Right. Not months. But they were always delicious, though, so I was hoping I was hoping the Lord was going to go nerdier on the egg example and talk about how certain countries we refrigerate eggs and others don’t. Right.

 

[01:25:14.150]

Right. Which is right. And that’s another new reality for the US, too, is the fact that we are now that people can’t travel. How’s that feel for us?

 

[01:25:22.180]

Thirty seven countries.

 

[01:25:24.670]

Great if you own a hotel in the U.S. because you’re getting domestic travel all the way. Really going to. Yeah. Yeah.

 

[01:25:32.020]

I mean, this is great. Yeah. Like Europeans are mourning the loss of international travel the same way that we are because they’re saying, you know, too many people can’t come to visit us. And so what are we going to do? We’re saying too many people can’t come to us. So what are we going to do in reality? It just means that we have to tell people on domestic travel.

 

[01:25:53.320]

But I think that over 17 million people fly more flight out of the country can fly into the country every year. So that’s a good thing for the US economy. Yep, very true.

 

[01:26:04.120]

But when we come into all of the cleaning and the one up thing and things like that, again, we’re treating it all as transactional. Let us tell you about the room, not about how you’re going to feel when you’re here, what your experience is going to be like. We need to get back to the corporate hospitality where I mean, when I was like 15 and had my first job at something essentially was KFC. It was a regional chain.

 

[01:26:31.600]

And I went into that job thinking, OK, as a cashier who’s dealing with the public, what can I do to take everybody’s day and make it a little bit better through their experience with me? And it’s not about what fried chicken they order like it has nothing to do with a particular somebody. But how can I look at this person and what to me about to have this experience and somehow change their life for the better, even if it’s by half a percent.

 

[01:27:03.430]

And that is 15 year old Lilly. Like what 15 year old thinks that way?

 

[01:27:11.650]

Of course.

 

[01:27:12.790]

So, you know, if I ever walked into the store, you’re asked if you were between me and fried chicken, you’re already my best friend, unless I really was the next great girl. Your new email address, companies, all that cool stuff. How do people find you?

 

[01:27:29.890]

You can find a dean at base camp, better dotcom or better search marketing dot com, and I’ll get better with the names. I’m sorry. I’m just it takes me about five years and I’m good after that.

 

[01:27:37.990]

So get there. All right. Bye, Mr. Dean. Hey, I won. Mean, for somebody to revive that old I think it’s Geico commercial where they had the fans on superhigh at home to keep the fire from people getting sick, whether they remember the commercial where they had the grease was so hot that the eaters couldn’t land all that other stuff. I’m just thinking that somebody would buy that commercial like want to stay healthy in the hotel. The whole lobby is super fan, so everything’s blowing past everybody.

 

[01:28:04.420]

OK, I’m just thinking they would probably be destroyed everything. But here’s the other thing, too, is.

 

[01:28:13.480]

So, Stewart, you happen to run a company that has a lot of data on the websites of a hotel. Have you at all looked at like how much traffic is seeking out this information that we say is important to communicate and stuff?

 

[01:28:27.910]

Yeah, I mean, it’s certainly not the majority of people, but it’s really important to a section of people, you know, and would you say it’s probably twenty six.

 

[01:28:36.520]

Twenty seven percent. It’s definitely not the majority. It’s probably a lot higher than that, but it’s definitely not over fifty per cent of people. So the majority of people are going about their business in their their needs are very, very rudimentary. If you give them a couple of reassurance, nudges, they’re good to go. They’re not they’re not as discerning. And think about it. This is going to change over time because I’ve said this before on the show, the people traveling right now, by definition, are the biggest risk takers.

 

[01:29:06.010]

There’s a spectrum of people, the early adopters and all the way to the to the late people. It’s the early adopters that are the ones that are willing to take a risk. So by nature, they’re not as bothered by things just because of the fact they’re booking right now. So I think you’ll see that that’s shifting and depending on the site dist at the time. And so there’s a lot of things.

 

[01:29:26.920]

So I will I will point out. But you shouldn’t push in front of everyone. You said you should not push it in front of everyone doing things right work.

 

[01:29:34.690]

Give you a perfect example, an area I’ve been watching very closely with lots of interest because it my local economy depends on it is how our theme parks doing at avoiding being the cause of massive spread. Not a single not a single thing has blipped on the radar about cases out breaking because of Disney Universe. Sea World Universal was rooting for it to happen, right? Mean the media wanted it so bad, they were saying how ridiculous Disney was for opening when they were, even though Universal had been open for two months and hadn’t had a single case had been running.

 

[01:30:15.250]

It has had some pretty picky days. You know, it’s it’s it’s quite interesting that that’s not being talked about, that, you know, we’re now a considerable amount of people have gone through those turnstiles and there hasn’t been a single meaningful. covid outbreak not meaningful enough to be reported by any party, and, you know, that’s good news because that does mean that you can do it and you can move masses of people in the right scenario through a space without causing them all to catch this.

 

[01:30:55.380]

Microphones were a little low today, which I think is why you’ve been hard, hard to get jumped in on sometimes. But you’re going to say something, I guess.

 

[01:31:01.120]

And before we started that particular angle, I was going to say before I go, I want to make sure that Stuart. Yeah. Cyber, high tech and others.

 

[01:31:12.100]

Yes, Stuart did talk to us about Sci-Tech Time.

 

[01:31:18.130]

Before I do that real quick, I do want to say one of the questions on the study that we’ve added this time, and I was just pulling up to see if we had enough data coming in. But we’re asking people about what we’ve just been talking about, which is what level of comfort with these things give you, or would they increase or decrease your likelihood to stay? And we ask things like keeping the room closed for 24 hours between guests and there was a variety there.

 

[01:31:41.230]

So stay tuned next week. So we’ll dig into that because I think it’s going to be interesting following up on this high tech. So for those of you don’t know, I mean, I think everyone in the industry knows what high tech is, but to us vendors and technology vendors, it’s really the Super Bowl of events in terms of what you showcase, your latest products, you get a lot of exposure. We generate a good amount of business, but we also foster a lot of relationships.

 

[01:32:07.930]

I mean, I’m on this show directly as a result of meeting Ed at a high tech event. It’s it’s great. It’s whereas like my digital strategy conference is grateful for hoteliers to network. This is the place where vendors really network. So it’s a big deal for us. And it gives tremendous attendance because it’s in conjunction with rock, typically histamines rock. So you get a lot of people, thousands of people through. So this year was originally in June.

 

[01:32:34.540]

It’s been it was pushed to October and then about a week or two ago, they announced they’re not going to do it. In October, they’re going virtual. So they’re going to do a virtual hi tech this year. And there’s two types of event. There’s a live event and then there’s an on demand event. And so we’re trying to as a vendor, we’re trying to look through this package, this package options now, trying to understand what the value proposition is.

 

[01:32:58.180]

And, you know, obviously it’s cheaper to do something like this for us because we don’t have travel and, you know, any other bouffe expenses, electricity, all that stuff that adds up. But they’re still charging a good leg for us to do was, quote unquote, virtual booths. I just I don’t have a feeling for what the appetite is for this at all. Like, I don’t know if it’s going to be attended as many vendors are going to participate.

 

[01:33:22.240]

And it’s just I wanted to have a discussion with you guys to get your opinion on, you know, I get guest guess they have to do this. They don’t have a choice. So they want to do something. They’ve got to generate revenue. But is I mean, are you guys going to be involved in in any way? Do you have high hopes for it? I don’t know.

 

[01:33:40.450]

I think for us very early then I think people would take the time to attend the meetings and, you know, especially if they’re not overwhelmed with busyness because of the situation.

 

[01:33:59.620]

So I think you’ll have a large amount of the furloughed or laid off workers interested in checking it out.

 

[01:34:07.090]

But I don’t think you’re going to see just think about your conversations with any of your customers right now. They’re all super time strapped because they’re on super thin teams. They are not taking on a lot of distraction.

 

[01:34:23.470]

Right, because they’re also super time strapped, super thin team and trying to change their business. So, I mean, I will say they are actually doing that.

 

[01:34:32.680]

I think that’s one problem. But I think the other problem is, is why is high tech good?

 

[01:34:37.330]

And why is a trade show like that good? Is it takes one or two things to attract someone, but then they end up roaming to check out other things and they don’t have anything else pulling them away because they had to go and they’re isolated, you know, and they can’t go back and say, I just spent all this money so I could go talk to Samsung. They actually want to come back and say, I checked out everything. It’s good.

 

[01:35:02.140]

The stakes are lower for the attendees. So the attendees are going to come. You may get them to check out one or two things beyond the scope of what they were interested in checking out. But I think ultimately a couple of things are going to keep that pretty short. The second they hit two bad ones in a row, there’s going to move on because they’re going to say it’s a waste of time. That doesn’t happen in a trade show.

 

[01:35:23.290]

Yeah, yeah.

 

[01:35:24.940]

So we took a look. So so I took a look because I got in on their mailing list, of course. And we have not exhibited in several years. Preferring to move our money over to me, I just because that’s where our buyers are. But I always attend, I always buy a floor pass because part of my partnerships get No. One, is that I need to talk to potential partners and see what else is see what’s out there and also check out competitors that might be exhibiting.

 

[01:35:52.570]

So so I always walk the floor and I have all sorts of serendipitous conversations on the floor. I’ll run into, you know, I went and found Stuart because I hadn’t met him before, like last year, the year before. And and then I run into people I’ll run into many of you and we’ll chat and catch up and maybe have a cup of coffee or a cocktail. And it’s great for relationships, but also sussing out how well our business fits into sort of the overall strategic technology and then also revenue management strategies and the overall industry.

 

[01:36:26.590]

I have a hard time thinking that I’m going to be able to recreate that. I just can’t see how that will work. I will try it. I’ll go ahead. I mean, I think I’m not a member of HFT, but I think it’s one hundred and fifty bucks, so whatever. So I’ll do that. But we are not going to exhibit it. I’ll go see obviously what’s there.

 

[01:36:48.970]

But I, I don’t, I can’t, I just can’t, I can’t see that it’s going to work. What I did want to do and I haven’t done yet is go look at the partner that he is using HFT high tech is using to create these virtual stands.

 

[01:37:04.840]

Do you know who the partners name is? It’s no, I don’t remember, but it’s in the press release. It’s incredible.

 

[01:37:10.830]

I think that’s incredibly important and that’s what I’m interested in looking at, to go into high tech for eleven, twelve years now. I think you Stuart, you have an interesting question. I mean, there’s two parts to it, right? It’s the educational sessions and it’s the suppliers trying to get in front of the hotel here. I think the educational sessions will be as good as ever, if not better. So if you’re going looking for best practices and tips and tricks and takeaways, I think it’s going to be there, I think, for a supplier and whether the value that is there in sponsoring or partnering comes down to exactly that.

 

[01:37:47.320]

It comes down to how the the platform is able to make it make a virtual event as good as an in-person event. And I think they’re all from what I’ve been I’ve been paying a lot of attention to this and they’re all getting extremely better quickly. So it’ll be interesting to see how it comes to play between now and then. I used to plan to be on the hotel data conference planning board and Lauren was on there with me for a year or two.

 

[01:38:14.380]

And planning a conferences is incredibly difficult. And they’re coming up with ways now where you can do the virtual booth space. I mean, you can message attendees like, well, the while the panel is happening, hey, if you want more information about this, reach out to us. They’re coming up with new ways to connect suppliers and attendees. So it’ll be interesting. I guess my my takeaway is it’ll be interesting to see how it all comes together or what.

 

[01:38:43.780]

Yeah. Look at those prices.

 

[01:38:45.190]

Oh, my gosh. They have lost their mind. So that’s where the pricing is, where it really comes down to it.

 

[01:38:53.710]

And the same thing I think came out of play with their what they were wanting people to pay for sponsorships because that thing for eighteen hundred dollars, which is the basic exhibitor package, let alone the twenty three hundred and twenty eight hundred dollar level for eighteen hundred dollars in marketing spend, you could put together a high quality marketing piece and pay to get it in the hands of probably a substantially larger audience.

 

[01:39:23.560]

There is this, is this this for me, for me opportunity wise is like oh seriously, are you kidding me? I can fishbowl everybody right now because I’ve said I’ve everybody put it together, offered to somebody who was interested.

 

[01:39:39.010]

They should have done it. They should have done this at like five hundred bucks. Yeah. Because they’re five hundred bucks. The amount of vendors that would have been like. Yep. All right.

 

[01:39:48.640]

Well I’m very much about the drug addict marketing model, which is give it away for free, get them hooked and then charging for it.

 

[01:39:54.690]

Not they can’t do that because they don’t have deep pockets, they don’t have that stuff. But I think if you revenue I think if you priced it at five hundred dollars, you would have gotten a large amount of exhibitors to it, probably people who’ve never exhibited before, which means your total revenue probably would be higher than it’s going to definitely be a reason for people to actually pay attention.

 

[01:40:18.730]

Right, right.

 

[01:40:19.660]

But you just said it. There’s a lot we’ve said about their economies like this through these kind of economies. Some great opportunities, great companies come out of these times in our in our history. If you gave a amines. For those shoestring, I’m putting my last shekel in, will you call, what, the ten thousand row, the one on the far right hand side that could barely afford the eight footer? OK, those are the people you love talking to because this is it.

 

[01:40:44.730]

And this is their last dime store. And they got the one brainchild idea. And you’re happy. That’s where I’m happy. And I thought happy was brilliant. Yeah. First year there. Know, they were they were lovely.

 

[01:40:58.370]

That’s you know, that’s not all good ideas on that.

 

[01:41:03.200]

Ten thousand but five, they they made a mistake here, which is they priced it to probably what it’s worth next year. Right.

 

[01:41:15.170]

That’s exactly. And they shouldn’t have done that because that has people like Stuart who Stuart, if it was 500 bucks, would you question.

 

[01:41:22.540]

No question.

 

[01:41:23.360]

And actually, if it was 500 bucks, would you probably also buy one of the five or six hundred dollar sponsorship packages?

 

[01:41:30.410]

Yeah, absolutely right. And I’m spending as much. So at eighteen hundred bucks, you’re only going to do the eighteen hundred bucks. At five hundred bucks you probably would do eighteen hundred bucks.

 

[01:41:41.780]

But is this because they announced the conference and then had to move it. I mean they probably had a bunch of original sponsors locked up and they can’t go back to them so we can set a change in it.

 

[01:41:54.260]

So we were original sponsor. We were going to have a 20 by 30 this 20 by 20 this year with the biggest we have had. And then when this started to happen and we ended up shrinking it down. And if you looked about a month ago at the map, it had been decimated. I’d say two thirds of the vendors had pulled out. It was just because everyone shrunk their marketing budgets. And so they had to punt on this. But they’ve been really flexible with us.

 

[01:42:19.520]

They’re coming to us and saying we’re trying to do we’re trying to figure it out. I’ve been in good contact. Communication has been really good. The one kind of caveat which we haven’t got clarity on, and I don’t know if everyone knows that they do this, but they they have this kind of seniority system that goes on a high tech where the longer you’ve been, the more points you earn and the more points you earn, the earlier you get to pick your spot for the next event.

 

[01:42:43.610]

And so they open it up to certain groups of people based on their seniority. I don’t know how this is going to affect that. Like if they say if you’re not in this year, we wait you to zero, that could cause a lot of problems and it could be an incentive for some people to stay in. I haven’t heard they’re doing that.

 

[01:43:01.250]

We haven’t decided it’s a good idea. They could have priced this correctly, gotten the same of everyone from everyone that they’re hoping to get.

 

[01:43:11.060]

I mean, it’s all psychology, right? Five hundred bucks. Then you start committing your time to prepping for it. And you know what? Let’s because we’ve put so much time into this, let’s let’s buy one of the sponsorship packages to get more exposure to that.

 

[01:43:26.510]

This doesn’t translate well for a lot of presentation. A lot of these companies they bought, they’re full of banners and they’re back screens and their table stretches and they’re tchotchkes. And that’s their marketing knowledge. They’re their product is supreme. That’s the. But that that’s their marketing knowledge. And all of a sudden you go scratch all that. You’ve got to come up with interactive video, interactive, online stuff. You have to have all that stuff in a new format that you’ve never had.

 

[01:43:52.410]

And as you said, thirteen let go. The only the one guy that knew how to be the girl, how to do that.

 

[01:43:57.440]

Now it does it does sound like the platform they’ve they’ve chosen, I don’t know the name of it has a lot of that baked in. And they did say they will create a lot of that stuff for you to send them photos of your booths and things like that. They will create a lot of that for you. So be trying their best.

 

[01:44:12.630]

I think that’s going to look well. I mean, we know there’ll be a lot of cookie cutter looking for the more generic. It’s got a lot of its graphical templates that they’re basically you can you can choose from A, B or C stand configuration.

 

[01:44:28.010]

Right.

 

[01:44:28.340]

So it’s like and some of this stuff, too, like Samsung. Right.

 

[01:44:34.160]

You know, the Samsung booth draws you in, gets you to get tactile with the screens, by the way, they can spend as much money as they do because it doesn’t just benefit them in the hospitality world. Every attendee, tech attendee, every attendee gets exposed to Samsung televisions.

 

[01:44:49.310]

So how do you show and get that through the screen of my ACIS monitor?

 

[01:44:58.250]

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So there’s problems. But I think they created the problem by not thinking through pricing strategy. You know, the base price up sell model would have probably had all of us going, yeah, you know, for five hundred bucks I’ll do it. And then you’re separating. You know, I wish there’s a company in our industry that really focused on that psychology of separating the transactions. It was. Oh, nor one.

 

[01:45:26.130]

Right.

 

[01:45:28.620]

And we’re we’re all about base pricing in upselling. Right. I mean, if. I’m curious, Stuart Bowen, what what would you ideally see what what would you want to see? What would be the best way to get the message in front of the attendees? Because I’m curious about this virtual events and how we’re going to make it work, because I think it’s long term, even after covid.

 

[01:45:49.140]

I think it’s going to be I mean, I’ll tell you the first thing as well. But let’s before we get into, like, the important stuff, let’s talk about the basics. I want to see a lot of vendors doing it. Why? Because each one of those individual vendors is going to promote to their customer base that they’re doing this and encouraging that customer base. And then the crossover of that seeing nor one seeing fuel you’re talking about, this actually will build more interest in the attendees coming.

 

[01:46:22.470]

But if you only end up with 20 booths, actually, I’ll be honest with you, if you only end up with 50 booths and digital high tech, there’s not going to be attendance.

 

[01:46:33.690]

And none of the other stuff you want to do matters if you don’t have four hundred vendors, two hundred vendors, one hundred vendors, some number of scale where they’re going to go to their customer base and push this.

 

[01:46:49.740]

It’s it’s an industry.

 

[01:46:51.990]

Vendors are going to be the vendors that can afford it. Right. Right. And and it’s not going to be the happiest when the ten thousand dollar is going to be the articles.

 

[01:47:01.740]

And that’s right. But for me, is it just me as a smaller vendor in the space or. One of my challenges is always awareness. And we want to get connected with people that are potentially an audience for my products. So one of the value points of high tech is getting connected to people that I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. They get to learn about my product. So it is 100 percent right without the vendors driving the train and being on board, which we have until August.

 

[01:47:29.400]

Twenty seven to sign up, I think is the day. If we if we don’t have a critical mass of vendors, we’re not going to have the attendees without the attendees. It’s a waste of my time. I don’t care about the format. I don’t care about the platform. I just care that qualified people are going to show an interest in my products and then just turn it over to me to educate them and close the deal. That’s all I want from this.

 

[01:47:51.300]

I’m fearful that it’s not going to happen because they’re not going to be enough people.

 

[01:47:55.100]

You know, I’m curious to kind of not necessarily on the mass of people, but on why you’re there. Right. And helping people obviously go to high tech to find technology solutions. Right. That’s one of the main drivers of why people attended. So could they almost use this digital forum to make that more likely? Because I know attending high tech last year, I couldn’t even get to more than I would say. Twenty five percent of what was on the floor because it was so could they with filters, for example, like what solutions are you what are you trying to sell?

 

[01:48:31.750]

I would love for them to do.

 

[01:48:33.900]

What VITAC has always done right by tech is a different type of event because it’s always it’s almost like speed dating for vendors and and hoteliers. And so beforehand you say here are the things I offer. And then the attendees say, here are the things I’m looking for. And you get connected before. And I go into it knowing who I’m going to be meeting, I that would be that would be really valuable to me as a vendor, being able to do the research ahead of time, come to those individuals knowing they’re interested, but knowing that I can help solve their problems because I’ve already done the research.

 

[01:49:07.830]

That would be phenomenal.

 

[01:49:08.910]

And we’ve always exhibited ITV Berlin because we have a sizable market share in Europe. And that ITV is I mean, it’s both trade and public. So it’s a little different than high tech and it’s multi it’s multi industry travel and it’s huge. Twenty five thousand people or something. But they have lots of different components to support their exhibitors, which is one of the reasons we keep going back, because they do. It’s sort of the speed dating and they do actually group group exhibitors by area.

 

[01:49:39.240]

So it’s at the it’s at the Messiah in Berlin. So it’s like Javitz Times twelve. Right. So it’s this massive convention center with thirty halls. And what they what they do is they group all the like, they group all the technology vendors from intel technology in two or three halls and then they group, I don’t know all the Direct Marketing Association for, for Germany in another hall. So you don’t actually to the point you don’t have to go through the entire place.

 

[01:50:04.950]

You can go, you can pick it tells you exactly where I am and where Ed would be and if that ever showed up or Stuart or any of those. So anybody who’s like us, we’re always like we’re always in the same hall with great game and Oracle and Sabre Hospitality and Amadeus and that kind of stuff. So everybody just knows they can come to that hall and spend two hours and talk to everyone they want to without having to traipse across, you know, forty eight football fields worth of stuff.

 

[01:50:32.220]

And I. High tech could do better in the way they do that, but this point system that Stuart was talking about keeps them from doing that because they don’t group those those.

 

[01:50:43.080]

So you end up with fuel talking about marketing stack technology next to safe lock safes and you have happy next to a wi fi provider. And then you’ve got like in refrigerators. It’s all smattered and mix mash, you know. Now I will say it makes it harder to do, but since it’s a single purpose trade show, it also does force you to at least do one full pipe and down every road trip and serendipity that happens.

 

[01:51:12.900]

Yeah.

 

[01:51:14.190]

So that word from me, he did he did it just for me.

 

[01:51:17.730]

I have to run. Sorry, Stuart. I got a suggestion for you if you decide to do it, and that is don’t pay the bill.

 

[01:51:24.870]

So what is it?

 

[01:51:27.180]

First off, I think that a lot of you have a lot of stuff, a way to entice people to get engaged with them. I think they’re going to give away drugs, become a give away, give a free date with Lauren.

 

[01:51:37.210]

That’s what I don’t think is gonna drive your business. But the other is do the 360, do a scheduled 360 where they can put the goggles on or whatever it is like this, and actually sit in a room with your team and do the person because so many people have going on their phones.

 

[01:51:58.530]

I think it’s going to have a great weekend, I guess.

 

[01:52:03.650]

Well, yeah, we’re doing an extra 160 today on the latest changes in Google’s making from your perspective. But if you go back and listen to last week’s computer was on it and it was really full of his pearls of wisdom, boiled down into an hour and it was really, really good. So people travel all. Com podcast is a place to check that out. Thanks to everyone.

 

[01:52:25.320]

But so I did want to say, while Stewart was still here, but we ran out of time.

 

[01:52:30.840]

I attended to Oracle Hospitality, had an innovation week last month all online. And the point of it was a little different. It wasn’t really a trade show, but it was to jump start. So Oracle’s trying to kind of keep up with the new RPM’s providers that are building open APIs, so where it’s much easier to connect with them. And Oracle’s not or hospitality’s not historically been known for that.

 

[01:52:56.790]

So they did this Innovation Week where you could sign up. You had to be a registered, you have to be a certified partner or you had to be you had to sign up for the certified partner path, but they built a slack channel. So just slack workspace just for this. And then they had a zoom workspace and they were they had integrated the way those two apps can work together. And they had their staff to this channel ran twenty four hours a day, five days a week, Monday to Friday that week.

 

[01:53:28.890]

And they it was fully manned so that no matter where in the world you were building an integration with an Oracle product. So as both opera and symphony, there was so it was both products. And so they you could and there were tons of startups, tons of startups there and a lot of a lot of other sort of companies that were there as well. But it was fantastic that they had something like six hundred users in the workspace. And then what they would do is they and they have these ask the expert sessions where you could just log in to a live zoom and you could throw questions at them.

 

[01:54:05.670]

There was always one for opera and one for symphony. So there were. So then mix them up and then you could be you could be a vendor coding away at the integration. If you got caught in that week, you could go on slack and ask a question and somebody Oracle was brilliant. Which are you in real time? And if they couldn’t answer you guys chat, they would throw a link at you and say, here, log in and let’s that.

 

[01:54:30.270]

And I have never so I lurked all week because we’re already certified partner. We’ve got our own Occy, but I didn’t really understand what it was. And I managed the Oracle relationship us, so I just logged in. I registered in London and it was fascinating, absolutely fascinating. And I will say at the end of the week, everyone raved about and people were raving about Oracle hospitality support from the vendor side. I mean, not even from the outside.

 

[01:54:55.980]

There were hoteliers there who were building like their own integration. Right. They were doing something homegrown and integrating to opera or symphony. But I’ve never been in anything like it. So it’s so there weren’t educational sessions and there weren’t like vendor there weren’t vendor exhibits. But I you know, I had side conversations with vendors.

 

[01:55:14.400]

I didn’t know people were asking each other questions. It was really great.

 

[01:55:19.710]

So it had the elements of kind of that hackathon unmeasurable benefit of of attending an event, right? That’s right. You were able to have those side conversations to be introduced to the. It also had another interesting effect to it, which you just said, which was the vendor community that it was involved in, it was raving about the support Oracle gave, which is, you know, counter how most in this industry, let alone just the vendors, feel about Oracle.

 

[01:55:51.640]

That’s brilliant. Really smart.

 

[01:55:53.680]

It was really great. I mean, I hadn’t seen anything in the press about it. Like nobody review the Oracle didn’t I mean, they made a big deal about it. I mean, lots of people got invitations, but it wasn’t clear what it was. Right now, they have monthly expert, live expert sessions. That’s really right.

 

[01:56:12.400]

I would think from working from for a software provider before and working closely with the development team and the product team that opens you up for a lot of why aren’t you doing this? Or, you know, this works for for my hotel, which may not work for every other hotel. I want you to focus your energy on this.

 

[01:56:31.180]

Did you get a lot of that in or there wasn’t because they were very clear about what the purpose was. They were super clear. If you got an integration and you’re working on it and it doesn’t matter. So it could be you could be building anoxia, you could be building us using Oracle Web services or the Occy technology or Symfony. And there were very clear the purpose of this is to support an integration from your product to opera or symphony period.

 

[01:56:57.220]

This is not about functionality of opera. This is not about, you know, whatever. This is strictly about integration. So they kept it super focused and like it.

 

[01:57:08.650]

There was not there was not a salesperson inside. The CEO, Alex Alz did a welcome for like ten minutes. And then and then all the Oracle people were support people, support people, developers, integration. Great. Yeah. It was the people that you had to talk to to get an integration. And it was so interesting because they just used Slack and zoom. Right. They didn’t. They didn’t. It couldn’t have cost them that much. I mean, just time.

 

[01:57:34.590]

Just time.

 

[01:57:35.320]

That’s a different way back. Goes back really, really far. But Google used to do this with before some ex there was another Selvam started. It was summer or whatever. Actually I met Binnu back in the day going to these conferences out in Palo Alto. And Google used to have what we call Google Dance, where you actually went to the Google campus and all the engineers for all the departments were there and you could go anywhere and Google and go and talk to the engineers.

 

[01:58:05.680]

And it was the most amazingly cool thing to sit and listen to what they’re doing with the maps and ask questions like, well, how do we do this? It was just so easy to point. That’s it. That was brewing for Oracle to do that, because as you walked away going, oh, man, Google’s got some great stuff going on.

 

[01:58:20.890]

You felt like you on the inside of, like, I got some stuff. So I actually got things done and just being exposed to stuff.

 

[01:58:26.590]

So and I mean, to be fair to Oracle, they have a bad rap for connectivity, but they actually compared to a lot of the big RPM’s architectures, the only problem with Oracle was the price tag.

 

[01:58:38.560]

You could connect, you could get any connection you want, but it’s like twenty plus grand a certified tool, which that that’s been kind of the gripe with, with Oracle.

 

[01:58:49.150]

But when you compare it to some of the others where even if they wanted to connect to you, they just didn’t have middleware that could handle any form of API call, like at least Oracle had something. But yes, these modern open API premises, you know, they’re there. They’ve created this kind of pressure on the on the bigger players. And you think about it like, what the heck’s Majelis that we’re going to do to answer that as four hundred is incredibly difficult to connect Web services to and have function because as four hundred by nature is meant to not communicate with the outside world.

 

[01:59:26.760]

That’s why it’s used by financial institutions.

 

[01:59:29.440]

You know, it’s fast and it’s it’s super, super fast because there’s no input into it. Right. Just spending alone. Yes. It’s cool that they did that. I think I think they put themselves in a great position. It’s so interesting, this whole conversation about APIs and open APIs, because, you know, you can have an open API. But if it’s crap, right?

 

[01:59:51.460]

Well, it a question you should always ask a company with an open API is, does your application consume these APIs?

 

[01:59:59.290]

Do you use them yourself?

 

[02:00:01.360]

And if the answer is no, then you know that that API garbage, because sure, it may have worked the day they released it. It will be broken the next patch.

 

[02:00:12.970]

That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. They’ll also interested. I just I’m sorry. I’m so curious.

 

[02:00:19.720]

Your take on the hotel text that’s coming from library and being sort of my guess is building a lot of this stuff on your own rather than being with a brand who’s providing a single platform or thing. You have to use this. You have to use this. How? How is your experience with what exactly what Valin and Ed are talking about, open APIs and Integration’s and getting all these systems to talk to each other, it seems so complicated.

 

[02:00:42.300]

It’s it’s excruciating. And for example, at the with the dialysis, every time we say that we want to integrate something that feels like I’m totally all in. I, I met somebody at the wrong meeting and I am ready to go. And by the time I actually got that done was more than a year later because of the negotiating with the Jewesses for all the hotels. And then they and the other company would say, we really need to talk to it.

 

[02:01:24.120]

You just to go in and pull whatever. And you have to do that and we won’t guarantee your security. So if anything goes wrong, it must be your fault. And so it really puts you in the perplexing thing. It just it took a while. We finally got we wanted it every single time that we need something, even if we want to just customize our. Confirmation email or something, if we wanted to do it. From the PM’s, because they’re at the front desk and they don’t want to sign into the Express.

 

[02:02:05.830]

You know, 10000 out before I drink, before I jump a quick plug for me, I’m working on a special report exactly about this this topic. I would love input from any of you guys if we want to connect afterward on this. You know, it seems to me that building a modern hotel tech stack was in reimagining the guest journey, using this technology as the framework to gather analytics and present the right offers to the right guests throughout the whole journey was critically important, something we talked about ad nauseum until it hit.

 

[02:02:41.140]

And then everybody was like, well, I can’t go to the market with that message. It’s going to fall on deaf ears. How can I talk about recovery two or three months later? I think that topic is more relevant than ever because not only are you trying to figure out this new guest experience across all touch points, but now you have to do it in a contactless manner where moving to digital is more important than ever. So thank you for sharing that.

 

[02:03:10.930]

And Adelfa for sharing the challenges. I know I’m really trying to help the industry shift to a better place with this integration thing. It’s the fact that tickets go unresolved for weeks and systems are down and they’re not talking to each other. It only doesn’t serve the guest in the right. Right still would be a good resource for that.

 

[02:03:31.120]

He’s struggled through this many, many times and many, many flavors. And do you know Lewis from Happy? I don’t, but I need that connection. Yeah, because he would be really good, because, I mean, what kind of inspired him to do Happy was connecting all the work he had to do to connect hot sauce to everything that it needed to connect to.

 

[02:03:53.200]

And realizing how desperate the data silos are across all these organizations and even the ones that, like, do a rudimentary connection, you know, data handling is the next big issue that our industry hasn’t talked about yet because most aren’t there yet. But, you know, everyone’s disparate kind of willy nilly way that they do data is is insane, like object names and all of that. It’s different in every single database, which means, you know, you’re not just talking about, oh, we need a connection.

 

[02:04:31.660]

It’s no, you need a connection that works. And in order for it to work, you need a middleware that’s going to convert this way of treating the object to the way that the database that you’re connecting to handle. And that’s that’s kind of the UN talked about issue in connectivity is going for us.

 

[02:04:49.240]

It was always room type to room connections. You had to map them between the various systems in its room.

 

[02:04:54.700]

Mapping was the number one thing.

 

[02:04:56.710]

We talked about it easy all the time because that was the huge, you know, kind of time consuming device was pointing to a balance point on an oracle.

 

[02:05:10.780]

Getting better was the Oracle. Yeah, that’s the most important. Is that component to it, right? The being able to get somebody on the phone and move to the system, I need to figure out how to integrate and how to make it work properly and show me all the functionality that I need to know.

 

[02:05:29.440]

I think Alex was a great hire for them. Like, I think he can really change them. I really liked what he did when he was at Sabre. I thought he did a great job there, improved their integration to the industry on all fronts. So, you know, I had said that to Laura when I first saw the announcement.

 

[02:05:48.310]

I was like, this was a great hire for the challenges for him, just like probably the head of any business unit inside a massive oracle is working within that that that work. Right.

 

[02:06:01.600]

I make the change the not as.

 

[02:06:04.330]

But see, that’s the funny thing. Outside of their hospitality division, they’re not as broken like Oracle is actually fairly easy to work with for their standard tech. Right. Has really good support. It’s fairly open.

 

[02:06:18.640]

I think they adopted the methodology of the industry, which was that that primal self-preservation sandbox.

 

[02:06:23.830]

They bought a company that was the epitome of the garden and have been just slowly trying to figure out how to make that function as a true vertical software.

 

[02:06:36.490]

Guys, I hate to interrupt, but I got to jump. I got a job to be. We’re well past our normal two hours of happiness and joy, which has been awesome. And thank you for all the contributions of the content and everything. Literally, we didn’t hit Robert’s list. And Robert, this is no reference to your list. It will be included in the show notes. It’s got great content to it always. And I was watching yours as well.

 

[02:07:03.810]

If you would like to sign up for Robert’s list, go to Liberty that all by force you to all lower case. It is a great weekly, well curated list. And of course, Jason, with hotel recovery. Twenty, twenty daily content on that for all these things.

 

[02:07:17.410]

And so January I’m sorry, are you going to call it in January?

 

[02:07:21.670]

That’s a great question. I haven’t figured out that I kind of go one day at a time, let alone one week at a time. I like it. I like it. But it makes you want to do what the Olympics did.

 

[02:07:34.090]

You know, hotel recovery. Twenty, twenty and one and one initially emoted.

 

[02:07:41.650]

I thought the recovery was going to be done by twenty twenty.

 

[02:07:44.200]

I thought we were going to be fully recovered by prepared to support that for the new year. That’s going to be the case. Yeah. So one one to ask. I do have is like one major milestones like that benefit the industry happened. Can you change the name of it for a couple of days to just like woohoo.

 

[02:08:01.450]

Yeah. It’s just a celebration. Milestone. Milestone, Meems.

 

[02:08:07.690]

Yeah, well meanings and gifts will be good. Yeah. Just on those days.

 

[02:08:12.370]

So for people to know about your podcast and what you do for TCM services and things up, where can they find you. Sure.

 

[02:08:18.040]

You can find us at TKIs Care Services dot com for all things day to day revenue management, including boosting your results. If your current provider may not be achieving what you need them to right now in revenue, management could come up with no recognition.

 

[02:08:32.950]

Either that or we can run alongside them about the.

 

[02:08:37.630]

In all the right areas, I think of enterprises, dot com is where we do a lot of our consulting and thought leadership, including the podcast and episode, I believe it’s sportiness up right now with the VP of Revenue for Sandpiper Hospitality, where they’re talking about really how to win when you’re working with a primarily limited service, extended stay portfolio. So if that’s you, check it out. Thanks, everybody. Thanks, Adele.

 

[02:09:04.150]

If people know more about what you’re transitioning into and doing currently, where you can if you want to significantly increase your guest satisfaction scores, and I tell you, it does have a great impact on your revenue that you can reach me at a down at Aspire reputation dot com or visit my new website. Still a work in progress, but you will get the idea. W w w diked aspire reputation marketing and when you nice stuff, sometimes we get to spend together.

 

[02:09:44.050]

We had some things that you thought I could help with. So we’ve got to get together still on that. Got no I forgotten.

 

[02:09:51.340]

It’s just thank you so much today. This was a crazy week. Yeah. It’s been an interesting bellin for those who want to know more about you and your one short.

 

[02:09:59.800]

So your one dotcom. I’m the one that Perini just about everywhere. And all I have to say is our data shows that guests still want up sales and will pay for them. So don’t do free upgrades. There you go.

 

[02:10:13.180]

Perfect. Jason, it has been a pleasure to have you pop back in again. As always. Hopefully we drag you back into the near future as well. But if what you want, no more hotel recovery time, honey. And what it is that you’re producing work in the function.

 

[02:10:25.480]

Yeah. First two places. Click contact dotcom. And you have if you’re an innovative hotelier or a supplier and then looking for somebody to tell your story and generate some leads. A subset of that is I like hotel recovery 20 20 in April just to help people get back on their feet. I’m going to try to raise some money for some hoteliers who have been terminated and furloughed in phase two. But phase one is providing the data and the resources for hoteliers to get back on track.

 

[02:10:52.900]

So check it out. And lastly, I really appreciate you having me on law and meeting everybody and connecting with everybody again. So great.

 

[02:11:01.790]

That’s awesome. Have you, Mr Ed, you flip to Union and the number one school in the fall that’s in Orlando.

 

[02:11:10.670]

You go to Flip Dotto, you can find me on social media, Edward St. Onge and Mr Lauren Grey.

 

[02:11:18.820]

If people want to spend the next three weeks watching twenty four hours a day, two months watching twenty four hours a day of our chattering heads confidently spewing our opinion, where could they go?

 

[02:11:38.380]

They can go to hospitality, digital marketing, dot com forward slash live. There you see this and all previous 209 episodes, six years in the running. Actually we’re coming up on our anniversary next couple of weeks, clicking over another year of happiness and joy. And also, too, we have a podcast, marketing podcasts, which I produced in the afternoons after this, which says, A quick recap.

 

[02:11:57.610]

The podcast is only twenty minutes long. The show is two and a half hours, but twenty minutes long. But we do tools, tricks, techniques and so forth on that podcast. And to Lilly’s point, she does want for revenue management and to call out to Holly Zober. She does our sales podcast as well. Adele, I’m going to start twisting your arm in the near future to start seeing if you want to translate what you’re doing into a podcast, because I think it would be incredibly bad to have you have some sort of perpetual insights that you would like to share and that you’re wonderful at that.

 

[02:12:26.980]

So with that in mind, thank you, everyone.

 

[02:12:29.890]

For those who have been on all the different platforms that we simulcast on and for you all for spending all the time that you did on the show until next show, which will be with a guest host, thanks to Adele. Who are we having next week, Adele?

 

[02:12:43.810]

David Mullally from A. Hospitality, the newly minted back. Listen down voice activated rooms.

 

[02:12:56.230]

I think it’s fascinating that we a lot of fun and I have to get the connection going for make sure he’s all comfortable with the format of the technology, whatever. But we’ll go through that. They’ll be our guest host next week, Friday, eleven thirty PM Eastern US Time.

 

[02:13:08.080]

And of course, this will be simulcast it back. Eleven thirty Wednesday morning, Sydney, Australia time at eleven thirty a.m. London time on Wednesday. And we are transcribed now in ten languages. And if you is another language we want to be transcribed into, please let me know because I keep adding them as I keep seeing the visitors come through different countries I just thought their language into. So we just had a Japanese Korean we already the Filipino hinda in there.

 

[02:13:33.010]

So we’re doing pretty good so far.

 

[02:13:37.540]

And is that transcribing for people to read or is that we read into a space and where do you post the transcriptions to?

 

[02:13:46.330]

That’s on that’s on YouTube? It actually will be if you pull up the closed captioning on the rebroadcast of this, you’ll have all your language options to choose from.

 

[02:13:55.930]

Awesome. Great enough. So, yeah, multi-language happinesses. So thank you, everyone. Everyone. Next Friday, 11, 30 people.

Founder / CEO of Hospitality Digital Marketing

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