Convergence Is in the Air – Dispatch from Minneapolis

By , Chief Evangelist & Development Officer


Can you feel it?

At IDeaS, we are still recovering from last week’s confluence of events and flurry of activities which took place in our hometown Minneapolis: HITEC—the hotel industry’s largest technology tradeshow, HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC), and most importantly, IDeaS’ 30th anniversary.

While each of those events alone would typically mean a very busy schedule, having all three at the same time in our backyard meant an extra level of opportunities throughout the week to network and extend my dialogue with the industry.

My Monday was dedicated to start-ups in travel tech. The day kicked off with a speed-mentoring session for nine travel technology start-ups competing for the Entrepreneur 20X competition. I had the good fortune to listen to very passionate 10-minute pitches and provide guidance to some innovative new ideas.

TraknProtect, which helps protect hotel staff, won the jury price, and SABA, a multi-language guest-engagement solution, won the audience award.

Shortly afterward it was off to my now traditional tech start-up networking happy hour. About 35 founders, CEOs and tech entrepreneurs joined me for a few hours of stimulating conversations about the state of innovation in travel and the future of the industry.

Spending the day listening to and interacting with some of the most prolific entrepreneurs in travel proves to me innovation is very much alive and kicking in the industry. Good luck to all of them!

Tuesday was dedicated to celebrating IDeaS’ 30th anniversary. I always tell my children they won’t really figure out what they want in life until they are thirty. Well, it didn’t take IDeaS 30 years to figure out how to become and remain the leader in revenue management for the industry.

I first used IDeaS RMS 20 years ago as a hotel revenue manager and have known the company and its leadership since then. It’s no secret IDeaS has gone from strength to strength, continuing to innovate and push the boundaries of revenue science since 1989—it is its unique combination of passion, unparalleled science and its unrelenting quest for “simple yet sophisticated” which have proven to be a very strong recipe for success. Speaking of recipe, check out the beautiful 30th birthday cake (being cut here by IDeaS’ founders Sanjay Nagalia and Dr. Ravi Mehrotra).

IDeaS Birthday Cake

The big 3-0 media interest was strong, and I spent most of my Tuesday together with the IDeaS team speaking about the IDeaS story with travel industry and technology publications (I’m pictured here with Ravi on camera for Hotel Business magazine).

Klaus Ravi

People tend to really hit their stride and do great things in their 30s, and IDeaS is no different. We believe we’ve reached a tipping point where it is no longer a question of why revenue management is required. The question is now how to best automate the millions of decisions required to optimize profits across all revenue streams. I believe IDeaS is perfectly positioned to produce decisions hotels can trust to transform their revenues.

The day wrapped up with a 30-year look back to 1989 at an IDeaS networking event. Over 150 industry friends and partners joined us to celebrate in true ’80s style.

IDeaS 1980s Party

Check out these articles from Hotel Tech Report and Hospitality Technology for additional recaps on HITEC happenings.

An Exciting Time to Be in Revenue Management

Wednesday was the largest revenue management conference in the world—ROC by HSMAI. This year over 650 revenue experts gathered for a day of passionate conversations about the current state and future. Dave Roberts, former SVP at Marriott and now professor at Virginia Tech expertly led the attendees throughout the day and provided insights into not just his thoughts on the future of revenue management but also the importance of building a personal brand to accelerate career progression.

It was impressive to see so many tracks and conversations around the three themes of leading revenue and pricing optimization, data & analytics and business acumen for revenue leaders. Especially notable was the relative absence of discussions around the threat of OTAs.

One of my favorite moments at ROC is the Revenue Professional of the Year awards— this year going to Sarah Kalin Churchill, CRME, CHDM, director of revenue strategy, Pasea Hotel & Spa and Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort and Nicole Young, senior corporate director of global revenue management for the Rosewood Hotel Group. Two outstanding individuals showing the deep depth of talent which has started to emerge.

I had the opportunity to interview last year’s winner Derek Brewster for a new “Road to Revenue” video series I shot exclusively for ROC and which was released at the conference. Derek is a great guy and very smart. We had an amazing time navigating the traffic in NYC while talking about revenue management.

After a quick 45-minute panel moderation about the convergence of marketing, revenue management and loyalty together with IDeaS’ technology partners, the evening finished off with the traditional HSMAI chief revenue officer dinner where I was able to get in-depth views and thoughts on the state of revenue management from some of the key revenue and commercial decision-makers in the industry.

The last days of this hectic week were spent in follow-up meetings and deep dives with key technology and industry partners discussing future innovation initiatives. It is always fascinating to sit in a room full of passionate industry executives to discuss “the possible.”

We all know the industry is not standing still. New technologies are emerging all the time. Our clients expect and demand we help lead them on their journey to better business productivity and performance—and at IDeaS, we definitely expect to continue to lead the industry for the next 30 years and beyond, transforming revenue through revenue science.

Klaus Kohlmayr
Chief Evangelist & Development Officer

Klaus began his experience in the hotel industry while studying at the Hotel Management and Catering School in Austria. He also studied business at Henley Management College, real estate investment and asset management at Cornell, and finance and strategy at the Singapore Management University. Klaus participates in various advisory boards, including HSMAI in the Asia Pacific and the Americas and the Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management in Singapore.

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