Matt Landau is Founder of VRMB.com, an education and media platform for vacation rental professionals. Matt's work is comprised of podcasts, film & television shows, and VRMB Communities, a private forum dedicated to direct bookings collaboration. And in tribute of the Book Direct Show Miami 2022, Matt will be debuting a fresh riff on an old classic: "Listing Site Independence 3.0" will outline the deepest cutting ways to make OTAs work for you in the next 3 years. The original Listing Site Independence framework was released in 2016 and stands as one of the sturdiest frameworks for marketing diversification recognized in the vacation rental sector.
Amber Erickson-Hurdle is a longtime hospitality veteran with proven hotel, vacation rental, F&B, and event production chops, who is now recognized among the top 10 branding professionals in the world, thanks to her proprietary branding philosophy. Amber teaches the combined value of personal brands, employer brands, and business brands to increase market share and profitability, reduce turnover, and amplify satisfaction among customers and employees alike. She is a featured expert in an upper-division college public relations textbook, has won multiple business awards, and has been covered in Entrepreneur Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, and beyond. As the author of The Bombshell Businesswoman and host of The Bombshell Business Podcast, Amber offers a sub brand to empower and educate women specifically, while serving everyone through her coaching and consulting. Along with her relatable humor, Amber’s straight shooting “velvet machete” and warm personality never fail to motivate professionals to up their game in business and in life.
Heather Bayer has been fully immersed in the short term rental industry for over 28 years, firstly as an owner of multiple properties in the UK and Canada, and for the last 20 years as CEO of one of Ontario’s leading property management companies. Heather is committed to developing quality education material for the vacation rental industry at Vacation Rental Formula (formerly Cottage Blogger). She’s also the voice behind the Vacation Rental Success podcast – with over 430 episodes of interviews and over a million downloads; owner and manager features, and her own musings on this great business.
Jodi Bourne is on a mission to connect amazing hosts with exceptional guests through direct bookings. As a consultant and web designer, she takes a personal and fun approach to building seriously successful businesses. She works hand-in-hand with her students and clients to teach destination marketing strategies, create beautiful, elevated book direct websites and build professional and independent hospitality businesses. When Jodi isn’t behind her desk at her home in the Texas Hill Country, you can usually find her catching up on the latest true-crime podcast, hanging out with her family or on a road trip with her husband Michael and their black lab, Jolene.
David is a speaker, entrepreneur, and founder of Travelers Book Direct Club: a global education hub for vacation marketing teams. Through TBDx Club, David has spent over 25 years reimagining the vacation marketing experience and exploring the science of helping fellow marketers reach their fullest potential in their career and throughout the direct booking revolution.
Wendy is a motivational speaker with more than 20 years as a travel marketing expert. Wendy has helped hundreds of travel content creators to use the power of their destination to impact followers and drive direct booking. She is a relationship expert specializing in helping destinations personalize content that inspires and empowers audience engagement. Wendy has been a speaker at The Book Direct Show, Short Stay Week, and on The #1 Hospitality Podcast, Hospitality.FM.
Doug Kennedy is President of the Kennedy Training Network, Inc. the lodging industry’s best source for training programs and related support services in the topic areas of reservations sales, hospitality, and guest experience excellence. For over three decades, Doug has been a fixture on the lodging and tourism conference speaking circuit, including VRMA, FVRMA, and several VRM Intel Live events, as well as our 2020 “Virtual” Book Direct Show.
It is estimated that over 40,000 people have participated in more than 2,100 small group training workshops he has presented for hotels and vacation rental companies. Thousands worldwide read his monthly hotel, tourism and hospitality industry training articles in publications such as Hotelier Maldives, HotelNewsNow, Hotel-Online, Hotel News Resource, HTrends, HotelMarketing.com, VRM Arrivals, 4Hoteliers.com, and VRM Intel.
Cathy Cook is Executive Director of Training & Development for Kennedy Training Network, Inc., the lodging industry’s best source for training programs and related support services in the topic areas of reservations sales, hospitality, and guest experience excellence. After growing up on a small family dairy farm in Central PA, Cathy began her career as a front desk clerk in select-service hotels and luxury resorts.
After joining Marriott in 1990, she worked her way up from Night Audit Supervisor, through various operations management positions for prominent Marriott properties, joining Marriott’s corporate-level Learning & Development team in 1998 where she eventually served as Manager of Global Learning And Development. Cathy is an accomplished member of Toastmasters International, having achieved highest level of DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster).
Here are some of the leading industry experts to have taken part in our 2020 and 2021 shows.