etravel conference took place on thursday, october the 16th and i was there.

i was caught up with work in the meantime so i’m only posting now. but there is an advantage to posting late: some of the speakers posted their speeches online, i linked to them so you can get the full picture!

etravel conference

for the first session of the day, all the participants were in the same room.
first to take the floor was alin burcea, president of paralela 45.
– early booking is a big trend for 2013
– the nov 2013 tourism fair is all about the 2014 summer
– online sales (company site and eurosite)
– paralela 45 app and mini sites (each w/ its own separate team)

– he expects the bloggers to find new approaches that sell. this was a fire starter comment!

razvan antoni, amadeus.
– 1 billion transactions/year
– the data gathered allows the foresight of trends and problems
– the younger the customers, the more they book directly
– customers are divided into 5 groups: digital natives, young adults, family travelers, empty nesters and golden oldies (info that describes the world, not romania).
– life expectancy, health and wealth increased
– the digital natives are the future travelers. they don’t trust regular marketing.
– the future client will want fast, accurate and relevant information

kasper hove, international marketing manager momondo
– momondo is an independent meta search travel site that includes between 700-1000 sites
– in short, it is a travel hunting tool
– successful mobile strategy: opportunities, challenges, solution and effect + results
– keep on investing in improving your product
– “simple, fast solutions lead to good results”

bogdan stanciu, bit soft.
– 76% business travelers plan their trips online
– searches grew: desktop by 0%, mobile by 68% and tablet by 180%!
– mobile penetration: romania 27%, european union 63%
– online content (for instance, a video presentation of the hotel increases by 18% the chances of booking)
– 82% of brand hotels are on instagram
– people want rewards: 68% business clients are part of a loyalty program. but 50% of the members of such loyalty programs feel like they don’t belong

remus visan, paravion.
– the figures for online flight tickets purchase have been frozen for the past 2 years
– a paravion research says that 22% of the customers purchase online (no human assistance), 77% offline
– mobile use: 65% non-communication tasks
– mobile traffic – 13%
– 2013 – 28% smartphones
– what do people search on their phones? 55% products, 34% jobs, 35% trips and 33% restaurants, bars, etc
– 55% buy via their smartphone
– paravion has the only flight ticket purchase app in romania
– during its first month: 1,000 bookings worth a total 365,000 euro
– vodafone partnership

ioana manoiu, gmp pr
1. crisis communication
united breaks guitars
2. crisis team
3. issue mapping
4. direct communication channel with the customer service team
5. permanent monitoring
6. rapid reaction and continuous update
– during the time of crisis, it is important to show availability, warmth and sincerity
7. creativity
– order of priorities: people, environment, property and money
8. evaluating damages
remember! perception is reality.
9. reconstruction of reputation
remember! don’t erase negative comments on social media. you should rather use the scrutiny to try and turn the whole thing into an opportunity.
– example: the gandul campaign. subsequently, beside the international reach, tarom took the opportunity and launched promotions for london-bucharest flights. the otopeni airport allowed gandul free display space for their campaign.
– crises will be more and more frequent so learn how to deal with them.
remember! don’t waste a good crisis!
i was surprised that prevention was never mentioned even if i find it to be the most logical step in dealing with a crisis.

after lunch, the hall was divided in 3 smaller rooms. i went to the online communication how-to section. the other two were digital marketing optimization and hotel distribution & customer loyalty.

during this second part of the day, the speeches were more specific and the questions more frequent.

andrada crangus, independent tourism marketing and communication consultant. click here for full presentation!
click here for razvan pascu‘s presentation.
cezar dumitru aka imperator travel. click here for full presentation!
ciprian caraba, market manager for tripsta talked about the power of mascots in general and specifically about their original mascot, lobot.

narcisa suruianu from click here for full presentation!

paul abrudan, product manager for zoniz talked about the factors that influence travel decisions.
– 38% friends and family
– 32% must see place
– 22% internet research

after a long and busy day, we left brewing new ideas.

thank you cristi and evensys for another great event!

photo credits: etravel conference