Breakout sessions dive into detail about specific topics that are top-of-mind for Forum attendees.

These highly regarded and anticipated breakouts include a wide variety of content and feature excellent presenters from some of the leading companies in the travel industry.

2018 Presenting sponsor: 

 
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Sharpen Your Sales Edge with Improvisation Skills

This interactive, experiential, PowerPoint-free session focuses on improving mental agility, creativity and on-the fly decision making, all based on finely-tuned observation and collaborative communication, i.e. the cornerstones of improvisation. Session participants will learn how to a) quickly adapt to changing sales situations; b) confidently articulate the value of their company’s brand; c) creatively explore collaboration options with customers; d) leverage improvisation’s “Yes, And…” mindset to boost sales revenue. This is one double-length (105-minute) session with no break, but participants will be having so much fun that they won’t mind!
Presented by:
Bob Doll, Co-founder, Senior VP, Lead Trainer, Advantage Improv
Lee Godden, Co-founder, President, Lead Trainer, Advantage Improv

Leadership for innovation

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Mergers and acquisitions have been an ongoing trend in our industry over the past several years. As companies continue growing and innovating, how do modern leaders keep up? Today’s leadership requires understanding how to successfully navigate change and how to continue innovating for growth. Vail Resorts will share how they use leadership development to successfully integrate new resorts and new leaders into their company. They will take us through a real leadership development experience to show us how they re-imagine their business for the future. They will challenge you to take ownership of your leadership and offer some important questions for you to reflect upon in your journey to becoming a stronger leader.
Presented by:
Tina Sampson, Vice President of Sales, Vail Resorts

From Gen Z to Boomers: Traveler Habits, Attitudes and Preferences by Generation

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While Gen Z and Millennials are inspired by selfies, emojis and Instagram-worthy images, Boomer and Gen X travelers are looking for informative content and helpful reviews as they plan and book a trip. This session explores the preferences, attitudes and booking habits of each generation, as well as which advertising techniques and digital platforms will resonate with each age group.
Presented by:
Wendy Olson Killion, Global Vice President, Expedia Media Solutions 

Selling the World to Americans

This workshop is designed for international suppliers (Destination marketing organizations, lift companies, lodging providers, etc.) to learn about strategies and tactics to target North American skiers and snowboarders. This interactive session is guided by ADARA, the World's Travel Data Co-Op; a leading U.S. based tour operator and an experienced tourism professional from Switzerland who has been marketing to Americans for almost a decade.
Presented by:
John Frasca, Vice President, International, Ski.com
Virginie Baeriswyl Koulibaly, Director of Sales and Marketing, North America, VALAIS Matterhorn Region
David Morrow, Vice President, Global Marketing, ADARA

Airbnb Aims High: What's Next for Airbnb in Mountain Destinations?

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Airbnb continues to invest in building out its platform to better support property managers and hoteliers, enabling operators of all shapes and sizes to reach a unique and growing global audience of travelers. This year, we will unveil new features and tools designed specifically with professional hosts, resorts, and hotels in mind as well as share updates on new programs and initiatives that enable operators and destinations to better promote their business on Airbnb.
Presented by:
Andrew Baker, Senior Market Manager, Airbnb
Ryan Ginja, Regional Market Manager, Airbnb

Sharpen Your Sales Edge with Improvisation Skills

Please note: This is a DOUBLE SESSION. If you wish to attend, we encourage you to enter the room at 1:30pm when Round I begins. 
This interactive, experiential, PowerPoint-free session focuses on improving mental agility, creativity and on-the fly decision making, all based on finely-tuned observation and collaborative communication, i.e. the cornerstones of improvisation. Session participants will learn how to a) quickly adapt to changing sales situations; b) confidently articulate the value of their company’s brand; c) creatively explore collaboration options with customers; d) leverage improvisation’s “Yes, And…” mindset to boost sales revenue. This is one double-length (105-minute) session with no break, but participants will be having so much fun that they won’t mind!
Presented by:
Bob Doll, Co-founder, Senior VP, Lead Trainer, Advantage Improv
Lee Godden, Co-founder, President, Lead Trainer, Advantage Improv

traveler social media preferences and habits

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To keep up and reach consumers where they are, all travel brands are moving more budget dollars to social media marketing. However, there are still many questions around what content best performs on which platform and influences decisions. During this talk, Chute's VP of Marketing Jody Farrar will share the latest data from the new 2018 Social Media Traveler Preferences Report. This annual report looks at what matters most for today's travelers to better understand their preferences and opinions on travel brands' social presences and to also to get a better understanding of their personal sharing habits. Attendees will leave the talk with data to back up their digital strategies and tactics to implement post-event to reach digitally savvy travelers.
Presented by:
Jody Farrar, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Chute

Expanding Your Engagement in Google: How Mountain Businesses can Enhance their Presence across Google's Platforms

Learn how you can enhance your presence across Google’s platforms by attending this practical, interactive workshop. This workshop is aimed at mountain destinations and tourism businesses – Ski areas, accommodation and activity providers, tour companies & more. It provides simple, actionable tips for businesses to review and enhance your presence across Google’s platforms including Google Search, Google Maps, Google Street View, Google My Business Listings, Google Trips and more. We will cover a range of simple things that any business can do at no cost – plus the more advanced steps you can consider. All participants will leave with a check list of action items and resources for more information and support.
Presented by:
Chris Adams, Head of Research & Insights, GM - South Pacific, Miles Partnership
Scott Bacon, Vice President, Business Development, Miles Partnership

C.A. Clark, VP Technology, Miles Partnership
Sven Tresp, Global Program Manager, Street View Special Collections, Google

Learn How Choosing the Right Partners Can Improve Your Business

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Join an interactive town hall session discussing the value of having strong distribution partners around the world. Come to this session prepared to be part of the conversation. Whether you are a tour operator, wholesaler, online travel agent, hotel, vacation rental property manager or resort, you have your point of view. This will be a no holds barred discussion looking at how great partners who can leverage their market and local knowledge to help us all do more business.
Presented by:
Eduardo Gaz, CEO, SKI Brasil and SKI USA
Bruce Rosard, Forum Producer, MTS

Camera, Action, Inspire, Engagement 

Producing inspiring video content, per the status quo, is expensive and time consuming. It does not need to be. During this hands-on Outdoor Clinic (we will be outside) participants will have a few hours for preproduction, shooting, editing and distribution. The content generated will be not only be meaningful and inspiring, but will also be produced from start to finish on just a smartphone and some other simplified production tools. We will spend the first 30 minutes with some simple exercises to define the target audiences. Each group will develop their story boards and shot lists. At that point, groups will head outside to a venue of their choice to develop their content and tell their stories. Due to the hands-on nature of this workshop it is limited to 25 participants. Participants should be prepared for a wide variety of outdoor activities. As weather and current conditions on the hill will affect the production options we will communicate suggested activities and options to the workshop participants as the event gets nearer.
Presented by:
Martin Stoll, CEO, Sparkloft Media
Jaymo, Kristian Jamieson, Director of Business Development, EVO Gimbals

building a successful sales and marketing model for you and your company

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Tap into the power of an entrepreneurial mindset by using the business model canvas to develop new ideas, approaches and tactics for sales, marketing and customer service. Focus on your target audience, identify your value proposition, validate your idea and bring it to life. This is a double session starting in the conference center and then heading up the Gondola. Interact with customers on chairlifts and the slopes and work with your team to develop a real-world plan to help boost sales and deliver results. This session provides new skills for you to take back to the office. Space is extremely limited and available only with confirmed RSVP. 
Presented by:
Amy Kemp, Founder, Mountaintop Media, Founder, ELEVATE, Co-Founder, Camp 9600

Hotel Industry Overview: Demand, Development, Decisions

Despite shrinking growth rates, the hotel industry remains at peak operating levels. New hotel development is challenging some markets, as demand struggles to keep pace. This session will review the past winter season, with a focus on US and Canadian resort markets, and look forward to the summer season and remainder of 2018.
Presented by:
Alison Hoyt, Senior Director, Consulting and Analytics, STR

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The future of vacation rentals: your guide to channel partners, marketing, and merchandising

Join VRMA's (Vacation Rental Management Association) Executive Director Mike Copps and Treasurer Toby Babich and Phocuswright's Senior VP, Research, Douglas Quinby in a session focused on vacation rentals. Gain strategic advantage by hearing best practices regarding how to merchandise and market vacation rentals, especially compared to hotels. Then dig deep into the current state of channel partnerships including OTAs, Airbnb and other technology players.
Presented by:
Toby Babich, President & CEO, Breckenridge Resort Managers and Treasurer, Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA)
Mike Copps, Executive Director, Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA)
Douglas Quinby, Senior Vice President, Research, Phocuswright

Camera, Action, Inspire, Engagement 

Producing inspiring video content, per the status quo, is expensive and time consuming. It does not need to be. During this hands-on Outdoor Clinic (we will be outside) participants will have a few hours for preproduction, shooting, editing and distribution. The content generated will be not only be meaningful and inspiring,but will also be produced from start to finish on just a smartphone and some other simplified production tools. We will spend the first 30 minutes with some simple exercises to define the target audiences. Each group will develop their story boards and shot lists. At that point, groups will head outside to a venue of their choice to develop their content and tell their stories. Due to the hands-on nature of this workshop it is limited to 25 participants. Participants should be prepared for a wide variety of outdoor activities. As weather and current conditions on the hill will affect the production options we will communicate suggested activities and options to the workshop participants as the event gets nearer.
Presented by:
Martin Stoll, CEO, Sparkloft Media
Jaymo, Kristian Jamieson, Director of Business Development, EVO Gimbals

building a successful sales and marketing model for you and your company

ski.com.png

Tap into the power of an entrepreneurial mindset by using the business model canvas to develop new ideas, approaches and tactics for sales, marketing and customer service. Focus on your target audience, identify your value proposition, validate your idea and bring it to life. This is a double session starting in the conference center and then heading up the Gondola. Interact with customers on chairlifts and the slopes and work with your team to develop a real-world plan to help boost sales and deliver results. This session provides new skills for you to take back to the office. Space is extremely limited and available only with confirmed RSVP. 
Presented by:
Amy Kemp, Founder, MountainTop Media, Founder, Elevate, Co-Founder, Camp 9600

smart tricks to more direct bookings

  • Why direct bookings are more important in 2018
  • OTA conversation secrets revealed
  • Quick wins to instantly increase direct bookings

Presented by: 
Charlie Osmond, Chief Tease, Triptease

The Nuts and Bolts of Turning Data into Revenue

We hear this phrase often - "turn data into revenue" - but how does it happen? What should you be looking for in your data? What should you do with it once you find it? What do you need in terms of tools or staff to connect the dots and turn insights about your guests into campaigns and products that drive a measurable impact on your bottom line? This workshop will break down the process into clear steps and share live examples of marketing and guest service from resorts across the country.

Presented by:
Gregg Blanchard, VP of Marketing, Inntopia