Programming & Education

2015 European Seminar
23-25 February 2015 
Grand Hotel
Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland

Advance registration ends 15 February.
Register Now


Education and Programming

*Programming subject to change.

General Sessions

Delivering a Great Guest Experience: What Do They Really Want? 
Tuesday, 24 February | 9:00-10:30

Customers no longer buy products and services – they buy experiences that are delivered via products and services. This particularly applies to the vacation rental industry, where it is no longer enough to provide clean accommodations that include cooking facilities, a shower, and a comfortable bed.              
 In order to improve the guest experience, a vacation rental manager must understand the guests’ goals and desires in regard to booking a holiday home. What do your guests really want, what are their real expectations and needs? The guest experience isn't limited to the specific moment in time when they are actually present at the property; it is also important to be aware of other significant touch points throughout the guests’ journey – from search to post-stay – that can make or break a guest experience. By revealing where and when those defining moments occur, and how guest expectations vary and evolve across different markets, this practical session will help you deliver a better experience to your guests.

Presenter: Niki Christian Nutsch, Booking Staff

Back to Top


The Power of Reviews and Other User-Generated Content
Wednesday, 25 February | 9:00-10:30

User-generated content and in particular, reviews, have made a huge impact on how travelers plan the perfect trip. The hospitality sector has embraced this and hotels are making the most of it. This session will look at case studies, discuss best practices in generating and monitoring reviews and relate these to how holiday rentals currently engage and encourage reviews. 
Presenters: Fernando Oliveira, TripAdvisor; Simon James, Sykes Holiday Cottages

Back to Top


Concurrent Sessions

The 2015 European Seminar boasts ten concurrent educational sessions to choose from. Concurrent sessions are 60 minutes in length and will be offered Tuesday and Wednesday of the Seminar. See complete listings below (in alphabetical order by session name). 

Back to Top


4 Steps to Automate Your Way to More Conversions
Sales | Tuesday, 24 February | 11:15-12:15
Know thy funnel. The cheapest, fastest way to get more bookings is to increase the percentage of visitors that book. If you focus on getting more visits and inquiries, you will consistently spend 2x as much in time and money to get 2x the bookings. Focus on optimizing for conversion among the travelers already visiting your site and inquiring on your properties and you can get 2x the bookings with minimal cost and effort.
Presenters: Frank Langston, PayByGroup; Eric Mason, RealVoice/RateCoaster

5 Keys to Guest Retention That Can Be Implemented Now!
Business Strategy | Wednesday, 25 February | 11:15-12:15
If you're a vacation rental manager, repeat guests can be a huge portion of your overall bookings. Done right, repeat bookings are easier to get and cost less to acquire, providing a huge boost to your return on investment. In this presentation, we'll cover five essential keys to improving your guest retention. Following these simple guidelines can help you extend the lifetime value of your guests and give your revenue a solid boost.
Presenter: Tyler Hurst,


Anatomy of Listing Pages on Distribution Channels: Stand Out From The Competition and Increase Bookings
Marketing/Distribution | Tuesday, 24 February | 11:15-12:15
Distribution channels spend a significant amount of time and money testing and developing their listing pages. This session will cover analysis of the elements on these pages, how they are evolving and offer insight into how rental agents can use the new features and functionality to gain a competitive advantage. In this session, we reveal the best ways to differentiate your listings from the competition to convert more leads to bookings.
Presenters: Koryn Okey, FlipKey; Amy Hinote, VRM Intel

Back to Top

Creating Positive Perceptions of Holiday Rentals with Communities and Regulators 
Strategic Communication | Tuesday, 24 February | 15:30-16:30
Holiday rental businesses have an important contribution to society but are often misunderstood by the public, neighbors and regulators.  This presentation will provide an “elevator pitch” that can be used to change perceptions and raise the reputation of the sector.  Real-life examples will illustrate how companies and trade associations successfully overcame problems within the community or with regulators.
Presenters: Carlos Villaro Lassen, European Holiday Home Association; Davis Smythe, Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers; Marie Pistinier, SPLM- French Holiday Home Rental Association
Back to Top

How to Reduce Your Dependency on Major Channels: Develop Your Brand and Find Your Gems in Niche Channels 
Distribution | Wednesday, 25 February | 11:15-12:15
Share your niche channels tips. In this session, rental managers will share their tips by country and destination type. We will also share pitfalls vacation rental managers must be aware of and the processes and precautions can protect them from inefficient channels or scams.
Presenters: Eric Bordier, VR-booster; Ari Eryorulmaz, AE Hospitality; Jean Pierre Mampaey, Maxxton

Back to Top

Major Channels: How to Set Them Up
Distribution | Tuesday, 24 February | 15:30 - 16:30
Session information coming soon.
Presenter: Steve Milo, Vacation Rental Pros

Back to Top

The Biggest Threat to the Industry: Government Regulations – How to Prepare for Them, Learn from Others, and How to Work with Regulators for a Positive Outcome 
Government Affairs | Tuesday, 24 February | 17:00-18:00
Holiday rentals are a key travel option that greatly benefit local, regional and national economies while providing an option that is demanded by travelers. This presentation will provide data, facts and best practices that managers can use to help create fair regulations in their communities. This discussion will include thought leaders from European communities who have faced this challenge. Attendees will leave with useful data and model examples.
Presenters: Matt Curtis, HomeAway; Kari Jorgenson TripAdvisory/HouseTrip; Monica Figueroa, La Rioja Tourism Board

Back to Top

The Vacation Rental Industry: Present & Future 
Business Strategy | Tuesday, 24 February | 14:15-15:15
Using the best insights from HomeAway proprietary market research, this session will describe the state of the vacation rental industry today, including market size and segmentation, marketing strategies used by owners and PMs, and traveler behavior and preferences. Looking forward, we will highlight the dynamics that will propel continued global vacation rental growth.
Presenter: Brent Bellm

Social Networks: How Important Are They For Your Business?
Sales | Tuesday, 24 February | 14:15-15:15
An examination of how social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) can enhance your business. 
Presenter: Giovanni Marchi, Divino Villas
Back to Top

Your Guests Are a Goldmine! Add Maximum Value to Capitalize on Every Booking
Marketing | Tuesday, 24 February | 17:00 - 18:00
Are you missing out on valuable revenue? Using case studies from SuperControl’s varied client base of property managers, we’ll show you how to boost the profitability of each and every booking. We’ll also demonstrate how to use guest data to deliver email marketing that is proven to generate more repeat bookings.
Presenters: Robert Kennedy, SuperControl; Chris Chamberlain, HTK Limited