Speakers

Confirmed Speakers For The Book Direct Show 

The Book Direct Show speakers

We are delighted to have so many fantastic experienced speakers join us from countries all over the world including Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK and US.


Heather Bayer will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Heather Bayer
Vacation Rental Formula

Seven Stages of the Guest Experience

A powerful direct booking strategy will include a thorough knowledge of the guest journey from dream-there to been- there. You have a huge opportunity to impact guests and build loyalty at every stage of this journey. This session defines each of these stages and provides practical examples of actions you can take to cement that loyalty and create lasting relationships.

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 17 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 335 episodes of interviews; owner and manager features, and her own musings on this great business.

Sebastien Grosjean will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Sebastien Grosjean
BookingSync & Smily

Rich snippets and how to get star reviews on Google search pages

Mark Simpson will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Mark Simpson
Boostly

New Tactics To Filling Your Calendar With Staycation Bookings


The new big word in the world of hospitality is "Staycation". In this talk with Mark Simpson (Boostly) he's going to share with you new tactics on how you can fill your calendar without having to rely on OTAs to do so.

Mark's talks are always filled with effective advice that you can action straight away, so make sure you bring a pen and paper with you as you're going to want to be taking plenty of notes.


Mark is recognised as an expert in Short Stay Accommodation Marketing and has been featured on BBC News, BBC Five Live and the Hotel Owner Magazine.

Mark founded Boostly in 2016 and has been working with Accommodation Owners and Property Managers from all over the world to boost their direct bookings and cut down on the amount of time it takes to do so.

His Boostly Academy is one of the largest training programmes for hospitality businesses all over the world and the Hospitality Community Facebook Group is regarded as one of the best and most engaged online support forums.

Michael Friedman will be speaking at he Book Direct Show

Michael Friedman
SkyRun Vacation Rentals

Consumer Trust and the Guest Experience during Covid and Beyond.

What Property Managers need to be implementing now and in the future for more Direct bookings. How our Brand in over 30 locations and 1000 properties are building trust and actually gaining market share and Direct bookings.

Michael has over 30 years of hospitality, vacation rental, real estate, and travel and tourism experience. He has created, led, and implemented successful sales, sales training and development programs that increase revenue, market growth, and expansion. His programs have grown businesses by 40% to 1000%. He is a growth-oriented sales professional with leadership skills at both the franchise and sales level. As a thought leader, Michael provides industry expertise in vacation rental outbound sales, network growth, sales funnels, and marketing plan development and execution. He is also the Co-Founder of Vacation Rental University (VRU), an online academy that educates, trains and supports the VR industry. VRU was founded to fill the void in true education and training in a fragmented industry. Michael has a passion for developing others, and has consulted with individuals as an executive coach and mentor.

Michael resides in Charleston, SC, where he enjoys playing golf, walking on the beach, and dining at many world class restaurants. He’s an avid college and professional football fan, and devoted father of two grown sons who reside in Madison, Wisconsin (his home state).

Merilee Karr will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Merilee Karr
UnderTheDoormat

Standards and Professionalism, customer expectations in the new world

Cleanliness, health and safety, TRUST. Customers expectations and what they think about when they book accommodation is changing. Our industry is well placed to recover faster than hotels, but to lead the recovery, we need to focus on professionalism and consistently deliver to a high set of standards.

Merilee Karr is the CEO and Founder of UnderTheDoormat – an award-winning luxury short-term rental company. Merilee founded the company in July 2014 after a 13-year successful career at oil and gas giant Shell. Her vision for UnderTheDoormat is to enable modern travellers to enjoy the comfort of a home with the professional service of a hotel.

As the elected Chair for industry body, UK Short Term Accommodation Association, she is passionate about helping professionalize and grow the industry in the most responsible way. Merilee has worked with BEIS and HMRC on sharing economy policies, Westminster Council and MHCLG to build regulation in the industry.

Merilee has been featured on the BBC and Sky News, in the Times, the Independent and other industry publications and regularly speaks at events, including International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF), the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) and European Holiday Homes Association (EHHA). She has also participated at the UN Women’s Panel on Entrepreneurship.

Merilee has been recognised with several awards including the prestigious accolade of Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018, and Business Woman of the Year in 2019.

Durk Johnson will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Durk Johnson
Housekeeping Solutions Team

Cleaning practices in a COVID-2019 world that can help generate more repeat bookings


Durk is currently a back of the house consultant that specializes in helping companies with efficiency and productivity. He is also the Executive Director of VRHP, a national organization that specializes in housekeeping, maintenance, and laundry principles and procedures.

Prior to his current roles, Durk, was the Vice President of Meredith Lodging where he over saw housekeeping, maintenance, and owner relations. Durk was previously the Director of Housekeeping for Vacasa in Portland, Oregon. Before Vacasa, Durk was the chief operating officer of Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Durk previously served as the chief operating officer of Meyer Services where he worked to diversify the services offered to property owners and unify back-of-the-house operations. Durk also served as the senior guest sales manager for Meyer Vacation Rentals, where he was responsible for implementing a search tool to assist sales agents to find the best vacation property for potential guests, and for raising the morale of the sales team.

Durk previously served as director of operations for Deer Valley Lodging in Park City, Utah, where he oversaw housekeeping, maintenance, front desk, bell staff and skier shuttle. He has also served as a consultant on housekeeping efficiency and cleaning standards.

Yvonne Halling will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Yvonne Halling
Bed and Breakfast Coach

Your Direct Bookings Mindset – 4 key elements to help you build a “direct bookings business”

Yvonne Halling is the founder of Bed and Breakfast Coach.com and the creator of B&B Money Maker Business Transformation Program where clients typically increase their business by between 23% and 600% in one season, while working less, paying less commissions and having more fun.

Along with her team, she helps clients to implement key business principles that are very much missing from the small hospitality landscape, which is why online travel agents such as booking dot com and Airbnb have pretty much taken over.

Yvonne is the co-creator of the Book Directly Club, a toolkit which gives owners the power to attract direct bookings and positions them as the hub of their local communities, where they belong.

Dennis Klett of Lodgify will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Dennis Klett
Lodgify

Anatomy of the perfectly optimized vacation rental website for increasing booking conversion

We all know how important it is to have your own website to get direct bookings but how do you make sure it's fully optimized? Learn which elements you need to make sure you focus on to increase booking conversions.

Lodgify is an all-in-one vacation rental software that allows vacation rental owners and property managers to easily create their own accommodation website and accept online bookings. Owners can manage all reservations from one place and synchronize property data with their booking channels.

Noelia Novella will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Noelia Novella
Doinn

How to set your direct bookings goals using Google OKRs framework

OKR is a management methodology that was created by the ex-CEO of Intel, Andrew Grove, and it aims to simplify the way to view the so-called “Objectives and Key Results,” that is to say, the key goals of a company.

Through this presentation, Property managers will learn how this methodology lines up the whole team, brings full visibility and predictability, helps in terms of gaining autonomy and decision making power, avoiding conflicts of priorities and, mainly, convert them in a goal-oriented and healthy growing company

Inspiring and informative speaker, Noelia links the start-ups´ culture to the traditional cleaning industry and the vacation rental.

Richard Vaughton will be speaking at The Book Direct Show

Richard Vaughton
Rentivo Group

Revenue Management


If you thought this was just about pricing, think again!

Richard is based in the UK and has over 20 years of experience in the traditional vacation rental industry, establishing a private portfolio and also owned and managed rental companies with closing on one thousand properties, (“Discovery Holiday Homes”, “Lake Como Homes Ltd” and “The Preferred Apartment Company”) all of which have been successfully moved on. More recently Richard has been contracted to Stay Alfred to assist the development of the European portfolio of this fast-growing master lease urban market.

Also as a founder of Rentivo Group, a rental software company, the experience born from being in a pro-active managerial and ownership position has been vested in this software. Successful crowdfunding allowed Rentivo to expand and is now a well-recognised player in this business sector.

Richard is now acting as a consultant, advisor and non-exec in several sectors of the short term rental industry. Experience with on the ground managerial issues, the software challenges, plus successful company sales and acquisitions with crowdfunding and investments allows Richard to cover a broad spectrum of a company’s needs.

Tara Scott will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Tara Scott
Click Book Stay

Being you!

We're in a people business and it's fair to say people buy from people! But what works for one person, won't necessarily work for another. Some people are flamboyant and lively, others are calm and considered. Be yourself and you will attract the customers that fit with your personality whether that be property owners and/or guests.

With a tourism focused career spanning three decades, Tara first stepped into the world of hospitality and tourism at the age of 13 and hasn’t looked back. Not only does she hold a BTEC National Diploma in Travel & Tourism and a BA in Hospitality (Tourism) Management, but she also has extensive experience across the sector including working as an aircraft despatcher, travel agent and managing director of a 5 star holiday estate. Tara now runs a successful holiday home rental agency, Click Book Stay, and is Vice Chair of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC). She’s passionate about improving standards, offering good old-fashioned hospitality and working together with other likeminded businesses to create a visitor experience that’s second to none.

Phil Tester will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Phil Tester
Laurels Tech

Google My Business

Phil originally qualified as an Avionics Engineer with British Airways, but moved on to work in their Revenue Management and Crew Planning Departments. During that time he first worked with web analytics, looking at the look to book ratios of thousands of flights and analysing demand and price elasticity. Having created websites since before Google was even invented he’s seen web design and SEO change out of all recognition.

On leaving BA, Phil bought a B&B with his wife Helen and also created Laurels Tech Web Design. This has allowed him to work closely with the hospitality community, providing them with websites, SEO and 360 degree virtual tours, thereby growing their exposure and increasing bookings. Phil’s mission is to help educate as many people as he can so they’re not taken in by techno speak and conned into spending money they don’t need to by unscrupulous companies. In fact, only this month he helped save a chalet owner nearly £5,000 on SEO work they’d been charged for, but had never actually been carried out.

Early bird tickets ending soon

Lucy Driver will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Lucy Driver
Transparent Intelligence

Using industry data and benchmarking to optimise your operation & drive direct bookings

Transparent's industry-leading market intelligence covers over 32 million listings worldwide across Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com and TripAdvisor.

We develop insights into market supply, demand, rates, occupancy and performance to serve property managers with optimised strategies through our dynamic dashboard. The dashboard gives you visibility over the behaviours of your market and your individual competitors to you can get ahead with proactive adjustments.

Our users report over 20% increases in occupancy, rates and revenue, as well as hours saved in tracking and benchmarking manually from public sites.

Lucy will explain what industry data can do to help operations to optimise and drive reservations and revenue.

Andrew Jones will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Andrew Jones
iPro Software

Using technology to drive more direct bookings for your short stay agency

I will cover the pitfalls to watch out for and how to maximise your PMS and free / low cost software ensuring you know what tech you need today and what you need tomorrow

A passionate individual who believes in using technology to make our lives easier by scaling agencies sustainably and profitably.

I help people in the vacation rental market to grow their business. What qualifies me to do this? I’ve built a successful vacation rental business myself so I understand the importance of providing software that is stable, sustainable and easy to use, something the whole team can benefit from AND ensure the business is profitable.

Technology allows the SME niche websites to compete with the leading agencies and while providing a special one to one guest experience with their guests that puts them on a level playing field to the “Big Boys”.

iPro facilitates this and gives agencies more time to focus on business growth and marketing.

Tyann Marcink will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Tyann Marcink
VR Mastered

Why Photography Sets the Tone for the Guest Experience You Deliver

Tyann Marcink is considered one of the top influential women in the vacation rental industry worldwide. She is the co-creator of VR Mastered #vacationrentalbootcamp, the worldwide Community Ambassador for Touch Stay digital welcome books, and the owner of 5 vacation rentals and a small management company. She lives in Missouri wine country with her husband and 3 sons and is building 2 more large houses this year in Branson, Missouri.

Her passion for photography and the vacation rental industry truly makes her eyes sparkle. She loves speaking on photography and the guest experience while coaching others and celebrating their success.

Maria Rekrut will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Maria Rekrut
Maria Rekrut & Associaties

Video Marketing, Using Branding on Social Media and Youtube to Drive Direct Bookings

Secrets to Using Video Marketing, Branding on Social Media and Youtube to your advantage and beat out your competition while getting more direct bookings!!

Find out which social media sites will work the best for you, when you should be posting to get the most eyes reading your ads.

What is your next step in branding your short term rentals and what's the next step in harnessing the power of Youtube so it becomes your best form of advertisement.

Maria Rekrut has been in the short term rental business since 2000 and owns Bed and Breakfasts and cottage rentals in Ontario, Canada. Maria is a Real Estate Investor, Property Developer of Heritage Buildings, Landlord and Landowner. Property Developer of both long and short term rentals since 2000 in Ontario, Canada.

Maria is noted as a Keynote Speaker/Author and Blogger for both Short and Long Term Rentals since 2000. #1 International Best Selling author of "Double Your Income Using Social Media"

Winner and Participant and Guinness World Record Holder in 2020 of the most authors signing a book at the same time of the book "Magnetic Entrepreneur - World Renowned".

Chief Editor and Producer of the Real Estate Media News Radio and TV Network. Author, Radio and TV Talk Show Host on her weekly radio and daily TV show "Maria Rekrut on All Things Real Estate"

Maria publishes a monthly newsletter for all of her Real Estate Associations.

Maria Rekrut is the President and Founder of the Canadian Short Term Rental Host Association, Canadian Real Estate Investors Association, and the International Real Estate Investors Association.

In 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 Maria was nominated by the Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce for the category of Business Woman of the Year.

Maria is passionate about the coaching she does with both short and long term rental owners and she hosts Mastermind workshops and weekend getaways.

Sandra Roig will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Sandra Roig
AB Apartment Barcelona

The importance of a good Google ads structure to get direct bookings

Sandra is a Marketing professional with more than 20 years’ of experience, half of which were spent working in Digital Marketing.

During her career, Sandra has worked for companies such as GE, Bayer Healthcare and Siemens and provided Digital Marketing classes in some of Barcelona’s Tourism Schools. Sandra also speaks 6 languages including English, German, Russian and Italian. She also has a digital agency in Barcelona, that manages a wide range of projects, including SEO, SEM and SMM, and other digital tools for different type of customers.

Since founding AB Apartment Barcelona in 2007, the business has been awarded by Google as an example of best practice in E-commerce & featured in a book called “Digital Tourism Marketing”as an example to follow in content marketing.

For the past 3 years AB Apartment Barcelona’s Blog has been nominated as the best blogs about travel in Barcelona.

Craig Webb will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Craig Webb
Webb Marketing

Increase your online presence, through Google, link building and directories

Google is an ever-changing landscape. Learn the latest tips to keep your business visible on page one, through GMB, off-page SEO and link building with directories.

Directories now have a new place in Google, so we need to be visible there too.

Use these tools to get you in front of the OTA's.

Hotel General Manager of 15 years. An ever-dwindling marketing budget means I have watched hours of online videos and trained myself in SEO, online marketing techniques, Google tips and tricks and making the most of every free tool and platform to improve the hotels visibility and direct bookings.

Now the go-to-guy for restaurants and hotels to get your business noticed without spending cash.

Luca De Giglio

Luca De Giglio
Trips Community

Direct Bookings and the decentralized web

Luca has always been 5 to 10 years ahead in the vacation rentals industry and is also one of the most experienced thought leaders, having been in the industry since 2001.

He created an "Airbnb before Airbnb" lifestyle business 7 years before Airbnb and this funded his world travels for 10 years.

With Trips and the Community he wants to create a neutral booking platform where value is captured and distributed at the network level, with no companies and hierarchical structures.

Trips is partner with Origin Protocol, a Silicon Valley Startup setting up the protocols for the Web 3.0 on which Trips will operate.

Direct Bookings will also profit from web 3.0, allowing them to match the OTA offering in a decentralized way.

They have Youtube and Paypal founders involved in the company.

Louise Brace will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Louise Brace
Rental Tonic

Brand Storytelling - Using the power of story to drive bookings

Louise Brace is a holiday rental and destination marketing expert and one of the leading sources on short-term rental regulations in Spain. She has lived in Spain for 18 years.

A travel content writer and digital marketer, Louise works with rental businesses across the globe to create meaningful brands, which engage with guests through authentic and compelling written and visual content. Holiday experiences, not holiday rentals, is Louise’s motto!

Vince Perez
Fetch My Guest

How Pricing Decisions Impact #Bookdirect and Brand Value


Now more than ever, independent vacation rental professionals need to rethink, re envision, and look inward to better understand how their brands will perform on “reset”. Travelers are coming back and expectations are higher than ever.

See how seasoned vacation rental professionals are leading with #Bookdirect strategies that build long term value by committing to making OTA incremental rather than detrimental to their business.

Vince Perez expertise spans across multiple disciplines in the hospitality and technology fields. Prior to his successful technology ventures, Vince was a respected executive in the hospitality industry serving in Senior Executive Leadership roles in Operations, Sales and Marketing for premier companies, including Japan Airlines, Nikko Hotels and Hyatt Corporation. Vince is a partner with Beach House Rentals, a thriving vacation rental management company located on the California Coast.

Vince is also the founder of Fetch My Guest (www.fetchmyguest.com), the only autonomous marketing automation platform that gives independent vacation rental professionals complete control of their brand, marketing and guest life cycle resulting in more direct bookings while dramatically reducing marketing costs. Fetch My Guest launched in North America in 2015 and has been well received by Vacation Rental Managers, and praised by industry analyst and bloggers for their innovative approach and focused commitment to serving the vacation rental professionals. Fetch My Guest is the underlying technology that powers the largest network of independent vacation rental brands that is driving the #bookdirect revolution. The members only marketplace delivers on the promise of transparency to vacation rental travelers from the Hawaiian Islands to the coast of Maine.

Vince is a regular contributor to VRMIntel and has been featured in Sarah and T and Cottage Blogger podcasts. Vince has also been a featured speaker at the Vacation Rental World Summits, VRMIntel Live, Northwest Vacation Rental Professionals and VRMA events.

Natacha Parmantier will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Natacha Parmantier
Natacha Parmantier Ltd

How to get more website traffic and direct bookings from Facebook doing this strategy in only 10 minutes a day

Natacha will share with us her 3-2-1 daily strategy on Facebook to get more website traffic and direct bookings in only 10 minutes a day.

She will also share a few success stories of her clients using her Facebook strategies.

Natacha will also tell you why she believes that social media is a must for property owners and managers.

Natacha is a French vacation rental consultant who owns rentals in Spain. She works with property owners and managers around the world.

She learnt from the mistakes she did when she failed building her first business online. For her second business, she decided to use all of her marketing knowledge and became a Social Media Revenue Powerhouse in a matter of months.

As a vacation rental owner, single mom who studied marketing in the US, Hong Kong & France, she decided to share her knowledge with other vacation rental owners like her. She took this step, as she saw how it could be of great help for all the property owners and managers who have a desire to get more direct bookings and less reliance on OTAs.

Digital marketing can be so overwhelming and you hear so many strategies that it’s difficult to know what to focus on without running into circles. She is doing all she can, so that you don't feel like that!

She has been awarded several times by Rentals United in 2019, but also by Moredirectbookings in 2020 as one of the top consultants on digital marketing for the short term rental industry.

Thanks to her digital marketing strategy, her clients make thousands of dollars from a single post on social media!

It all comes down to having an efficient and organized strategy. And once you have that in place … the rest becomes much easier.

Eric Bordier will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Eric Bordier
VR Partnership

Understand how to add languages and international marketing including yield management to your direct website

Even before the Coronavirus crisis, international marketing and support is an area in which big channels were crushing direct websites or shared portals.

The Coronavirus crisis increased that complexity with cross border restrictions. How to find a survival way if your destination depends on international bookings? There are solutions that cover languages, yield management and marketing. They leverage focus, shared efforts, and state of the art technologies including AI and data.

After experiences as a marketing manager with L'Oreal and a consultant with McKinsey, Eric started his vacation rental company in Prague in 2004. RENTeGO was the first in Prague to propose online reservation and use codelocks. Because the U.S. cloud software he was using did not support multilingual, he leveraged the API and the help of great developers to make a multilingual website and that grew into VR booster - developing custom websites for U.S. companies.

He now leverages these experiences with VR partnership- we help you Get the Global Vacation Rental Market. VR partnership helps suppliers and vacation rental companies go global and leverage technologies and alliances for faster and more profitable growth. We have experience in building business plans, marketing, selling and supporting across many languages, countries and technologies.

Alexis Barcelo will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Alexis Barcelo
Abal Consulting

Surviving the storm - preparing for recovery. How to re-adapt your distribution channel and pricing strategy to be profitable.

Although the world is on pause, we don't have to be. The tourism sector contributes up to 22% (direct and indirect) to world GDP. In 2019, 1.500 millions of travellers went on vacation internationally. Our own guests or potential guests are our best allies. When we listen to the measures that are going to be implemented in our sector, we truly believe it's time to show our capacity to implement measures ourselves. Travellers and hosts worldwide are concerned about COVID-19 and together we are looking for solutions to get out of this "bump on the road" together.

In this session, ABAL Consulting will show how times have changed. We will explain how to measure the performance Short term rental ecosystem generates by promoting and running businesses through traditional OTA's. Take a bigger slice of this lucrative pie and seize your future on your own by implementing other kind of strategies.

Alexis founded ABAL Consulting in 2015. He used a phrase which seemed to strike an emotional cord: "Each property is unique, our way of managing it, too!"

If you want your company to truly scale, you have to do things that DON'T scale. Serving your customers one-by-one to understand their real needs.

With more than 16 years of experience in the hotel and vacation rental industry, previously served as General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of Hotel Chains & Independent Hotels, negotiating deals and strategic partnerships from vacation rental properties, small to midsize Hotel companies to some of the largest travel companies.

Nowadays, acts as an Associate Teacher at International Business Schools & Universities, as Consultant, Speaker and Financial Advisor in several sectors of the short term rental industry.

His consulting firm enables: Vacation Rental Properties, B&B’s, Hostels, Hotels… to predict customer demand, maximises revenue and profit by combining Hotel Management expertise with an effective and a disrupting combination of easy-to-use tools, coaching, and processes.

Currently, as the global travel and tourism sector grinds to a halt following travel bans, flight cancellations and Non Refundable Bookings refunded; many Short Term Rental Property Managers are struggling to plug the hole in their monthly income. Alexis is focused on designing projects like ABAL Places or AdoptaHost.com to help short term rental Properties reduce the impact of the COVID-19 health emergency on their businesses.

Chris Maughan will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Chris Maughan
I-PRAC

Converting Enquiries into Rentals through Consumer Trust


It’s clear there is a huge demand for short term rentals. Although enquiries are important you need to convert them into rentals. I will showcase how you can build consumer trust across your website and brand, and convert enquiries into rentals by providing your potential guest with trust and confidence.

Building the bridge of trust between you and your guest is vital.... I will show you how to do this effectively.

Chris’s journey began in a small studio in the South of France. However, 20 phenomenal years since, and he has become a leading professional in the short-term rental sector.

Chris's company and experienced team at AES GROUP now manages close to 250 properties on the French Riviera, some of which are the most sought after properties in the world. His luxury rental accommodation and events company provides corporate services for global brands including Google, Spotify, Disney, Fox, IPG, Twitter, Microsoft, and Apple. It comes as no surprise that the company itself (AES GROUP) has become an industry-leader in Cannes and for its high-end global clientele.

When many other industry professionals would have paused to enjoy the fruits of their labour, Chris in fact, continued to make a positive impact. In 2016, Chris founded I-PRAC, and his vision to protect travellers from rental fraud finally came to life. I-PRAC is a global verification platform for short-term rental agencies and property owners, and is proving to disrupt the sector, for the better.

Chris’s long-span career speaks volumes about his tenacity, attention to detail and understanding of future industry trends. He promises invaluable insights and take-aways that will guarantee business growth and retention.

Paola Gheis will be speaking t the Book Direct Show

Paola Gheis
Paola Gheis Consulting

Unique Selling Proposition: How to make it unique & exquisite

How do we tell a compelling story and position our vacation rental as a highly desirable place?

How do we make sure that what we offer is genuinely unique?

How do we build a unique value proposition that sustains a high occupancy with high rates as opposed to offering promotions and discounts to get those bookings?

In this presentation I will share the working techniques we have on hand as owners and managers in order to identify and exploit all the leverages. This will allow us to enhance our positioning in the market and offer a compelling unique value proposition.

Paola Gheis is a European consultant specialized in marketing and communication in the luxury segment of vacation rentals. She transforms the positioning of her clients' villas and boutique hotels by developing the brand and communication strategy through high impact marketing techniques.

Paola is a vacation rental owner and also manages ¨ The Villa Italy¨, the brand she created for a client owning a collection of six exceptional villas in Tuscany, Pantelleria and Ischia.

Paola studied Economics and Industrial Relations in Italy & USA and the business of Contemporary Art at Sotheby's Institute in London. Art is a passion that eventually helped her professionally to focus to the luxury side of vacation rentals.

Most importantly art and design allowed her to refine her marketing techniques to increase the value perception in any given vacation rental project she undertakes. Consistency of communication in every form, a clear brand personality definition with a strong link into the territory the property is located are levers she plays with.

Paola formerly worked in global and European HR roles for blue chip companies in the High Tech industry.

In 2013 she realised her true passion was the vacation rental industry and she has been working full time in it since then.

Paola has presented her work method at national and international events and she is recognized for her commitment and contribution in the vacation rental industry.

Adam Clarke will be speaking at the Book DIrect Show

Adam Clarke
RoomRaccoon

Direct is Best. And Technology is Essential.

SEO, distribution mix, social media and other marketing can all help get more potential bookers to your website. That's half the battle.

During my presentation I'll show you how to turn lookers into bookers. How technology can help improve conversions and reduce booking abandonment. I'll also cover how technology can improve performance through automation and integrations. The importance of contactless stays in a post COVID 19 world. And why a good Channel Manager is a key part of your direct booking strategy.

Ultimately I'll demonstrate how technology should be helping you make more money!

Adam is UK Country Manager for RoomRaccoon. He leads their business in the UK and shares his expertise with their sales teams across the globe. RoomRaccoon were voted the leading all-in-one Hotel Management System in the world at the Hotel Tech Awards earlier 2020. Headquartered in the Netherlands, they have offices throughout Europe and South Africa. Working with more than 1,000 hotels, serviced apartments and vacation rental businesses.

Prior to RoomRaccoon, Adam was Chief Sales Officer for another all-in-one Hotel Management System. Where he sat on their Executive Committee, grew their customer base from 0 to more than 1,000 in less than 4 years and led their expansion into Africa and North America.

Adam is a lively and experienced public speaker. Home is in Suffolk, where he is a father of 3 children. He also loves rugby, golf, pub lunches and travelling.

Neely Khan will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Neely Khan
Neely There

Let Your Purpose Drive Your Content: The Essential Marketing Mindset for More Direct Bookings


Did you know, an incredible 77% of consumers say they have stronger emotional bonds to purpose-driven companies?
Yet, a number of hospitality businesses fall into the trap of spending oodles of money on flamboyant websites and flashy PR. Marketing costs money, yes; but it’s vital that you figure out your “core message” first, as this will drive all your content.
Essentially, content marketing is having those much-needed conversations with your target audience. Which in the world of STR, is extraordinarily important! Once you’ve truly aligned with your purpose, values, and key benefits (not features), this will naturally transpire into your content marketing activity, and hands-down, win you loyal guests – who will always come back for more.

This is your greatest advantage over OTAs.
So, grab your notebooks and learn how to unashamedly love your STR business, as well as everything it stands for. Your content will sing and dance as a result of it, I promise!


Four years ago, Neely quit her full-time job, for her dreams to pursue writing full-time. She has since set-up her business, "Neely There" which combines her love for hospitality and storytelling.

Whilst Neely's content creation services are diverse (from reports, whitepapers, publications, and creative branding), storytelling remains at the heart of everything that she writes. She believes that there's nothing better than the art of storytelling, for an industry that is first and foremost, people focused.

By working exclusively in the hospitality space, Neely has a thorough understanding of what her clients need; and more importantly, what will emotionally engage their target audience(s). She has recently worked with leading STR businesses, helping them increase their brand awareness and communicate their purpose and values, in captivating and creative ways.

For Neely, her work is quite literally, the result of a childhood dream. This deeply-rooted passion transpires into all her travel and hospitality projects, resulting in greater engagement and happy consumers, all-round!

Robert Nunez will bespeaking at the Book Direct Show

Robertin Nunez
Co Host Expert Company

How one can survive and thrive after having your listings canceled by the OTA.

The steps taken immediately to stop the bleeding, patch up the holes, and come back stronger then before it took place.

Seeking and developing growth and pivot strategies as to not return to what it was before and push forward in the new space one is in with the lessons learned.

1991 - Acquired Real Estate in the N.E U.S.A.
1996 - Co-Founded Flights Club- Entertainment Travel Co
2002 - Founded F.I.V.A Corp & dominated the distressed Real Estate market in Philadelphia & S Jersey.
2012 - Mr. Nunez entered the STR industry & is founder/president at Co Host Expert Company, “The Short Term Rental Professionals”.
2020 - Co-launches HOSTS2PROS S.T.R. workshop in Europe & the U.S www.Hosts2Pros.com
Host2Pros is a master class workshop specifically designed for hosts and pms to help educate, inform and elevate their S.T.R. business operations.
2020 - Founded World Med Supplies Med Supplies Service Inc, providing global distribution for Protective Personal Equipment for local governments, organizations and institutions. https://worldmedsupplies.net/

Alexander Caravitis will be speaking at the Book Diretc Show

Alexander Caravitis
Syncbnb

How to build your own direct booking website for less than $100 - no coding required

Now, more than ever, it is essential for every vacation rental owner or manager to have their own website and attract direct bookings. The advantages are obvious: You avoid platform fees, build a direct relationship with your customers, increase repeat visits, enforce your own cancellation policy, screen your guests, but most importantly - you control the narrative - you control the experience of your guest from start to finish!

In this 30 min presentation we will show you how to build your own website without needing to write one line of code. Through detailed step by step instructions, we will show you how to get your own domain name, build your own managed WordPress site, install the booking engine, connect to a payment processor to accept credit cards, and build unique content that will drive visitors directly to your website.

Bio: Alexander Caravitis is the co-founder and CEO of Syncbnb, a product that helps vacation rental hosts increase their revenue and manage bookings from multiple sources while avoiding double bookings. Syncbnb has 1300 customers in 58 countries and continues to grow rapidly since its launch in early 2018. Before Syncbnb Alex was a founding partner at the largest online services company in Greece and before that he was involved in web design, web development and online marketing. He has 2 kids and loves the outdoors, long walks and short runs.

David Tucker will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

David Tucker
Travelers Book Direct

Hotel Meta Search and Google Hotel Ads


In this session David Tucker from Travelers Book Direct explores strategies for Meta Search, Google Hotels Ads, and Google Book Direct. This set of powerful strategies provides your property with the ability to compete directly with the OTA's on their turf, and convert guests into your direct booking channel at a fraction of the cost.

In this session you will learn how to get your channel set up, integration into your booking platform, bidding strategies, cancellation considerations and pricing outlines.

Primarily for hotels, inns, resorts and B&B's; however short term vacation rental opportunities will also be discussed and you will get the most up-to-date information available.

David Tucker aka “The Direct Booking Guy” has been involved in the hospitality industry for most of his life. Growing up in the owners apartment of a hotel in the destination ski resort of Sun Valley, Idaho. David’s journey includes working in the Travel Wholesale, Agency, Group Sales and Airline business.

For the last 20 years David has been on the Digital Marketing side of the hospitality business, and is a partner in two Marketing Agencies, RightNow Communications and iLuka Media. David lives part time in Idaho and Hawaii with his wife and business partner, Wendy Jae.

Vince Breslin will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Vince Breslin
Uplisting

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to help drive more direct bookings

1. How to assess your websites current performance
2. How to choose the right keywords
3. Optimise your website content
4. Get your pages indexed

I'm one of the founders of Uplisting, an all-in-one property and channel management platform. We saw the need for a solution like Uplisting as part of the team behind the success of Housetrip (an Airbnb competitor, acquired by Tripadvisor).

We help short-term rental operators optimise and increase revenue by providing smarter automation, user-friendly software, and a best-in-class direct booking engine. We work with members with between 1 and 300 properties.

Marco Gouveia will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Marco Gouveia
Digital Marketing Training

How to improve online results using Google Analytics

My presentation will be about Google Analytics for a Start up level. I will explain the fundamentals about Google Analytics, the main advantages and how to monitor everything that happens in a website. Monitoring our website is the key to improve our results.

Marco Gouveia is a highly regarded digital marketeer in Portugal, with more than 14 years of experience in the field. He is a digital marketing trainer and consultant with expertise in Search Engine Optimization, Google Ads and Web Analytics.

Today, he is Board Advisor in Pestana’s Hotel Group - the biggest hotel chain in Portugal. His hard work and dedication didn’t go unnoticed, not even by Google, the international tech giant, that invited Marco to become regional trainer. As such, since 2016 that Marco has been trainer of Google’s Digital Atelier, a tree-day digital marketing training course, that happens throughout Portugal and has already been attended by more than 50.000 Portuguese students. In addition to his work in Pestana and Google, Marco also dedicates his time to teaching, his greatest passion: he is currently a professor in more than 6 universities, teaches in 3 professional schools and promotes his own training courses in SEO, Google Ads and Google Analytics. He is also co-authored “Digital Marketing for Companies” (or in Portuguese “Marketing Digital para Empresas”) and a frequent guest speaker in the most well-known digital marketing events and conferences in Portugal.

His mission is to openly share his knowledge of Digital Marketing, helping online businesses thrive and encouraging entrepreneurship among his pupils not only through his theoretical and practical expertise, but also through his fun, charismatic demeanour.

Jason Beaton will e speaking at the Book Direct Show

Jason Beaton
Vacation Rental Formula

Use Facebook Ads to Pinpoint your Guests - How STR Owners can generate perpetual Traffic

How can you beat the juggernauts when they have unlimited budgets? We hear this question all the time. The answer is by meeting the guest where they are. Whether a guest is just finding out about your rental, started a booking but didn't complete it, or has enjoyed your hospitality in the past, use Facebook Ads to help guests overcome objections and book directly with you.

We will discover the specific Facebook Ad targeting strategies that will allow you to outmaneuver the "Big Guys" to serve your ads to exactly the right people with the correct Call To Action, so you win the booking, not them. You will be able to build your system to rely less and less on OTA bookings, thus future-proofing your business.

Evolved from CottageBlogger.com, Vacation Rental Formula (VRF) is the leading training and informational resource for short-term rental property owners and managers. VRF is also the home of the Vacation Rental Success Podcast with over 650,000 downloads and 300+ episodes. Featuring multi-media content to provide the best possible learning options for each visitor, the VRF membership and training portal supports short-term rental hosts and managers in their goal to achieve a successful and sustainable business.

Visit VacationRentalFormual.com for all your learning resources.

Michael Goldin of NoiseAware will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Michael Goldin & Leo Walton
NoiseAware/SuperHog

How to protect your direct bookings before, during, and after a guest's stay

Don't let one bad guest ruin all of your hard work.

NoiseAware and SuperHog will walk property managers through the steps where bookings can go wrong and the best ways to combat false identities, parties and noise, neighbor complaints and property damage. Funny, scary and cringeworthy stories will certainly be shared.

Michael Goldin is the Director of Business Development for NoiseAware, the only privacy safe noise monitoring service built specifically for short term rentals. Michael has been in the STR industry since 2015 and has grown a deep rooted passion for the industry and the people within it.

Leo Walton is a Co-Founder of SUPERHOG, leading on day to day business decelopment and long term strategic partnerships. Leo has developed a knowledge of, and network within, home-sharing since 2012, as part of a team who built and grew OneFineStay. Leo is passionately committed to the growth of the vacation rental sector and believe SUPERHOG provides managers, hosts and platforms with the tools to act with confidence and stay on top of the bad actors.

Joanne Greene will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Joanne Greene
Reviews4you

Helping you to engage with your clients and drive direct business via your online reviews

I will be covering the benefits of responding to your online reviews and how this can lead to increased revenue and an increase in direct bookings

Having grown up in the hospitality industry and being asked at a young age what I wanted to be when I grew up, I naturally responded that I wanted to be a tourist and that is exactly what happened. Following my hotel studies at Manchester Polytechnic, I moved to Lenox, Massachusetts working at the wonderful 17 bedroom Wheatleigh hotel.

From here I returned to London and worked at the impressive Milestone hotel in Kensington until I switched sides and worked for GTA, the largest wholesale tour operator in the world.

I moved to Amsterdam where I pioneered the first full for empty contract agreements for a wholesale tour operator meaning hotels contracted their entire inventory over to GTA resulting in them cancelling all other contracts, including with the OTA’s. After 27 years at GTA consulting with hotels,

I started my own business helping properties to increase their revenue, reduce their distribution costs and increase their direct business via a much underutilised tool – review sites. After all, this is supposed to be a service industry so why should service end once the guest checks out, plus there are a whole host of benefits to responding to your online reviews.

Reviews4you helps to relieve some of the daily pressures of being a hotelier by responding to your reviews on your behalf. Our responses are carefully crafted to help to increase your ranking on major review sites; improve your visibility on major search engines; reduce distribution costs and increase your direct business.

Dan Vant will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Daniel Vant
iBookedOnline.com

How to maximise your gift voucher revenue

The presentation will cover why gift vouchers are often an untapped revenue source, how the seasons, months and key calendar dates can be used to increase sales.

Find out key metrics on what people really buy, and what price points are the most popular so you can use this insider knowledge to create your own unique offering.

I'm Daniel Vant, Founder & Owner of iBookedonline.com - With 11 years of experience in the Gift Voucher industry I have a wealth of knowledge of what sells, annual sales trends, and buying patterns.

I developed iBookedOnline.com to give back control to venues wishing to sell their own gift vouchers and event tickets without the restrictions often placed on them by platform providers such as Red Letter Days and Groupon.

In keeping with the book direct movement, you are firmly in control of what you sell, we are here to help and advise if you get stuck, promote you, and help you increase your direct sales.

Charlotte Gossage will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Charlotte Gossage
We All Need A Holiday Limited

Help your hotel become a City Cheerleader

A SIMPLE, LOGICAL AND FUN WAY TO:

INCREASE YOUR HOTEL WEBSITE DIRECT BOOKINGS
GET TO KNOW YOUR GUESTS BETTER
SUPPORT THE CITY 'YOU CALL HOME'
INCREASE YOUR HOTEL BRAND WEBSITE BOOKINGS
INCREASE AND IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GUESTS

Charlotte has spent the last five years dipping in and out of startup life, working on her own and consulting with others. Her focus has always been on helping hotels get a bigger piece of the online booking pie and gaining back control. Her mission is to show how hotels can be much more than simply places to stay and how their own brand websites hold an untapped power to show off the city they call home.

Charlotte has spent over a decade in Dubai and a few years in Oman at the award-winning Six Senses Zighy Bay. Currently back in the UK, Charlotte is working on a new startup called We All Need A Holiday which is a new holiday competition subscription model that will share revenue generated with partnering hotels.

Theo Bailey will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Theo Bailey
Per Person Per Night

Why contractors are the Holy Grail when it comes to direct bookings

What you will take away from this presentation is an insight into Why focusing on contractors and the lifetime value of the client is more effective at retaining #directbookings.

How we bypass OTA’s and use social media to attract contractor bookings.

How we created a mini #bookdirect movement for contractor bookings by building a Facebook community of hosts that ‘pass the booking’ on to other hosts.

How you can get involved in the Contractor market yourself and begin to get direct bookings.

And much more.

Theo Bailey is the founder and CEO of Per Person Per Night, the specialist provider of accommodation exclusively for contractors.

Theo has been a serial entrepreneur for the past 20 years that now specialises in the property sector with hospitality at its core.

Driven by competition, Theo has a keen eye for differentiation/positioning in a market and supports this with a great understanding of branding marketing and promotions.

Theo is a dynamic leader and entrepreneur that has high expectations of himself and those that are around him.

Specialties: Visionary; creative; optimistic; stimulating; able to inspire others; can multitask; quick to get results; great at getting things started; creative. Excels when focused on the big picture strategy and the creative process through to the end result.

Loves: Marketing; Sales; Branding; Business Development; Team Building; Leadership

Steve Kopady will be speaking at the Book DIrect Show

Steve Kopandy
Book Direct Show

Your Brand is Your Land

From Newcastle, Australia, Steve got his travel industry experience as the COO of London Bicycle Tour Company, and Director of Cyclecities.tours - a global partnership of city bike tour operators. Since its inception in 2011, Cycle Cities has grown into a thriving, but close-knit network of 40 bike tour operators. In 2015 he started annual ‘Symposiums’ for Cycle Cities partner companies. Six symsposiums have so far been held (Berlin, London, Nice, Budapest, Munich and Athens). These events have not only connected the partners to a stronger network but continue to capitalise on the drive there is for collaboration and innovation in small-business tourism partnerships.

In 2020 Steve created the #bookdirect Symposium, which brought together marketing professionals from tourism, hospitality and accommodations for an event in Athens, themed around the #bookdirect message. Steve hosted the event and delivered a fast paced, exciting and deeply informative program. It was the first live event of its kind and received rave reviews from it's sponsors and European and North American attendees.

Steve is a successful short term rental owner and manager, degree qualified in Business/Marketing, and an inspirational communicator. As a singer he has performed on stage to over 1 million people in the last 10 years, as a member of Europe's best Take That tribute. He knows how to put on a show.

Steve presented at the More Bookings Direct Conference in 2020 and we look forward to having him return as host of the #BookDirect Show.

Deborah Labi will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Deborah Labi
Have You Got Network

Panel Discussions

Deborah has been a vacation rental Property Manager and Owner for over 13 years. During this time she became aware of problems in the industry and her newly launched company, Have You Got, comes just at the right time.

Wanting to think differently, she designed Have You Got as the first Book Direct ‘Meta-No-Search’ Platform offering Guests the first “No-Search Accommodation Service” while ensuring Managers and Owners complete independence.

Integrity, unity and collaboration are the driving forces behind her business. The small fragments of this fragmented industry come together on Have You Got.

It is the first global network of independent Managers and Owners, who benefit from an automated platform for both bookings and commissions from successful guest referrals.

Will Slickers will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Wil Slickers
Slick Talk Creative

A New Perspective of Destination Creation

I will present my belief on the luxury market of vacation rentals and the importance of creating a destination in an already destination market and non-destination markets and how the importance of branding & transparency play into more direct bookings.


Wil Slickers is an experienced hotelier and short term property manager. With early beginnings working for the Autograph Collection of Marriott, Independent all suite hotel properties, and Revenue Management Certification from Cornell University, Wil has built off of all his experiences to create the podcasting platform he has today called Slick Talk: The Hospitality Podcast. With the podcast opening many doors, Wil is also a co-owner of a luxury vacation rental management company called StayLux, located in the Pacific Northwest of the US.

Nancy McAleer will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Nancy McAleer
Florida Rental By Owners

David vs. Goliath - Can You Create Your Own Rental Listing Website?
plus
The Guest Email Nurture Campaign


Frustrated owners and property managers have all thought about it. Is now the time to toss the OTAs and go head to head against the giants by creating your own listing website? Are you in a situation where the OTAs control your destiny and want to do something about it? And is it even possible to forge a new Book Direct frontier?

Nancy McAleer of Florida Rental By Owners did just that with co-founder Michele Totino and she's ready to tell you the truth. What it takes to run a successful vacation rental listing site. The hurdles, the frustration, lessons learned, and coming out a winner for the Book Direct industry.

In her second presentation, Nancy will also share her guest nurture campaign that is geared towards direct bookings. This is easy and valuable resource for owners and property managers to incorporate into their workflow.

Nancy is the owner of AMI Home Rental and Co-Founder of Florida Rental By Owners an online niche vacation rental listing website, designed to allow owners and managers full control advertising of their properties without the fees associated with 'Big Box' style OTAs. Dedicated to the Book Direct movement you can find Nancy sharing her insights throughout the vacation rental industry.

Bart Sobies will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Bart Sobies
ibooked.online

101 Consultants will tell you how to get more direct bookings, how do you decide on what you should focus on?

The theme is around Return on Investment. Both in terms of time and money. We will first focus on what is realistic on both fronts for your particular business. Then depending on how much time/money you have we will help you understand what marketing angles you should be focusing on.

Things that will be covered, blogs, seo, website design & development (DIY or get a company in), Social media (which platforms to focus on) and more!

Bart Sobies, Australian-born entrepreneur who founded the ibooked.online in 2019. He started his first online business at the age of 16 and is an ardent pursuer of all things tech, marketing and investement. Bart has been at the helm of several companies and helped them gain 100% year on year growth through building great digital products, leading sales & marketing teams. He has worked with thousands of SME's, managing millions of dollars worth of revenue.

His real passion is in helping businesses navigate an increasingly complex and noisy digital world to get real tangible financial results. He setup ibooked.online to help accommodation owners and managers get their online presence up to scratch, in the same way that he has in the restaurant industry before.

Gianpaolo Vairo will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Gianpaolo Vairo
Vacation Rental Rocket

Local aggregation, a simple way to generate more and more valuable direct bookings.

Gianpaolo is a Vacation Rental professional with over 10-year experience with a special focus on the South European market.

Gianpaolo had the extraordinary chance to start a career in the Short term rental industry back in 2007 in Barcelona, now considered as the European “VR Silicon Valley”. First as Property Manager, he had worked in many recognized short terms rental companies like Waytostay and Daily Flats, using later this experience to help international VR tech companies like Kigo and Guesty to expand internationally.

He has since founded his own Vacation Rental related startup, “Localler”, an all in one tourism marketing platform designed to provide to Property Managers, Destination Management Companies, and local travel professionals digital tools to market their products creating local micro OTAs. This project awarded him as “the most promising Young Entrepreneur” in 2015 from Wired Italy.

Under the Vacation Rental Rocket brand, Gianpaolo offers vacation rental business development consulting, helping any Holiday-rental-related businesses, to establish, grow and scale-up in the South European Market (Italy, Spain, Portugal).

James Mitchell will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

James Mitchell
Dawton Group

James started his Service Accommodation business back in early 2018 and grown his owned, R2SA and management business to over 35 units including a guest house.

His focus was to make his business fully systemised and automated and now only spends 30 minutes every few days to check in on progress.

We have all our units in one place to its very important to focus on direct bookings so we have developed a few cheeky ways to get those companies booking with us!

Moriya Rockman will be speaking at the Book Direct Show

Moriya Rockman
Smiling House

Moriya Rockman is the founder and CMO of Smiling House Luxury in Switzerland, managing over 1.200 properties worldwide.

As a Media creative and PR expert, Moriya has been involved in the business development of many companies.

3 years ago, together with her husband Ira, she founded Smiling House and Smiling Flats Holiday Rentals.

Both companies are busy creating a bridge between the new age of travelling and legacy travel companies.

Another angle is developing the concept of Rent-to-Buy and Buy-to-Rent – vacation rental properties as Real Estate assets.
Moriya is a specialist of the sharing economy and a keynote speaker.

She is an active partner of Weconomize, a group of professionals leading transforming processes in big organisations using the shared economy.

More to be announced...

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