Global Distribution Conference

Simplifying the Journey

Seattle | January 23 – 25, 2023

Conference Agenda

Monday, January 23

10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Registration Desk Open Spanish Foyer
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Payments and Fintech Pre-conference Sessions
2:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Payments Track 1 — Future State: Never Wait to Check-in Again
In this case, it’s a good thing to be sent to your room, because it means never having to wait in line at the front desk to check in. We’ll be exploring concepts and technologies around automating front desk functions.
Lisa Murphy, iOL Pay; Pablo Delgado Díaz-Pache, Mirai USA, LLC; James Lemon, Stripe; Mathijs van Dijk, CitizenM Hotels
2:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Payments Track 2 — Past to Present: “Legacy” Infrastructure Can Enable the Future
Can legacy tech be used to power new trends? Our panel of experts will discuss and provide valuable insights on how to marry emerging technologies with existing infrastructure.
Sydney Goodwin, Omni Hotels; Javier Domaica, Amadeus; Jenny Mays, Sabre
3:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Payments Track 3 — Thinking Differently: Innovations in Travel Payments
Join us for a discussion on what’s new in travel payments and what to watch in the space.
Laurie Gablehouse, Worldline; Donnie Schumann, Uplift; Marc Padrosa, Kantox; David Cabreza, XanderPay
3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
Payments Track 4 — What Sayeth the Hoteliers?
Hear from hotel experts on what’s working, what’s needed and what they’re leaving behind.
Manika Singh, Planet; Marilyn May, IHG; Dan Morton, Hilton; Michael Wong, DayBlink
4:15 – 5:00 p.m.
Open Payment Alliance Working Group
Laurie Gablehouse, Wordline
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Revenue Optimization Working Group
Learn what Sabre, IDeaS and OTA Insights are doing in the area of Revenue Optimization, Retailing, Attribute based pricing and optimizing the distribution channel mix. A round table – Q&A session will follow the brief presentations by these three companies. The workgroup is open to all HEDNA members.
Matthew Goulden, Triometric, OTA Insight; Olga Tolle-Rodrigues, IDeaS; Mykola Sheludko, Sabre; Chinmai Sharma, RateGain
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Future Leaders of HEDNA Working Group (Invite Only)
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Connectivity Working Group
The Connectivity Working Group is holding a collaborative session to officially launch efforts to improve Supplier/Distributor/Intermediaries operational processes. We will review the terms previously established and begin the process of identifying the inputs required to improve how we onboard new hotels and products through various distribution channels.
Audrey Murante, Sabre 
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Hotel Analytics Working Group: The Growing Contribution of Metasearch in your Direct Channel Revenue
The growing importance of meta search as a source of traffic and revenue to hotels’ direct channels. Plus the growing concern hotels have about meta profitability and how to measure and benchmark it.
Anisha Yadav, Revinate; Matthew Goulden, Triometric, OTA Insight; Pablo Delgado Diaz-Pache, Mirai
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Content Working Group
This session is intended to be a working session for all members. We will hold focused discussions with the goal of developing industry recommendations on standard content for both Room & Rate Description elements. The attendees will discuss what elements are required vs “nice to have” in both Room & Rate Descriptions. This will drive consistency across channels while also supporting automation and optimization.
Ben Mussler, Sabre
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
HEDNA U: Fundamentals
Natalie Kimball, Shiji; John Niser, Fairleigh Dickinson University
5:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Future Leaders Cocktail Reception (Invite Only)
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Opening Reception sponsored by RateGain

Tuesday, January 24

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Registration Desk Open Spanish Foyer
8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast The Garden
8:45 – 9:15 a.m.
Arrival Coffee
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
HEDNA Lounge sponsored by Leonardo
Join your colleagues in our networking lounge, open to all and so much better than checking emails in your room!
9:05 – 9:20 a.m.
President’s Welcome
Sebastien Leitner, Cloudbeds
9:20 – 9:50 a.m.
2023 Industry Outlook & Trends to Watch
Cleveland Research presents a 360 view of the industry like never before, including insights from airlines, alternative lodging, hotels and OTA’s.
Matt Varabkanich, Cleveland Research
9:55 – 10:25 a.m.
China is Opening Back Up to Travel, Are You Ready?
Join us as we hear from two distribution partners about what’s happening with China as they emerge from the pandemic. As the largest inbound travel market to the US, we’ll discuss best practices to capitalize on this pent up demand. Hot topics will include new OTA entrants, travel trends, technologies and emerging channels.
Hai-Ming Zhou,; Natalie Kimball, Shiji; Karen Codilla, Outrigger Hotels
10:25 – 11:10 a.m.
Networking Break
11:10 – 11:40 a.m.
Cultivating Ethical Partnerships, Peer Groups and Hiring Practices: Presented by Women Leading Travel & Hospitality
This session highlights the importance of establishing and reinforcing your brand’s ethical values through partnerships, peers and hiring practices. Our panel discusses best practices to identify and support underrepresented voices in your organization and your network.
Hannah DeMaio, Women Leading Travel & Hospitality; Robin Harnish, Holibob; Nisreene Atassi, Expedia
11:40 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Expedia: What’s in store for 2023, Trends to Watch, Innovation, Partnerships and Much More
We check in with Chris Hodges, Senior Director, Lodging Connectivity to discuss the latest travel trends and 2023 predictions. We’ll dive into connectivity boundaries and obstacles and conclude with his perspective on partnerships in a post pandemic climate.
Chris Hodges, Expedia; Sebastien Leitner, Cloudbeds
12:15 – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch sponsored by SiteMinder
1:35 – 1:50 p.m.
HEDNAChat — Why FinTech is Critical to Hospitality
In this session we’ll explore what hoteliers can learn from other industries about operating with a modern payments infrastructure – how automatically accepting, moving and paying-out funds can form the basis of significant improvements in both revenues and costs. Benefits can be developed in-house or outsourced to tech-partners, allowing stretched hotel and HQ teams to focus on revenues, manage partnerships, guest experience and operations.
James Lemon, Stripe
1:50 – 2:05 p.m.
HEDNAChat — Modernizing Distribution through Decentralization
Arise’s Alex Lamb explores what it looks like to completely break down distribution by isolating and modernizing specific functions in order to solve for challenges and pave the way for agile innovation using a decentralized infrastructure..
Alex Lamb, Arise Travel
2:05 – 2:20 p.m.
HEDNAChat — Powered Hotels: The Great Unlearning
The world of hospitality is undergoing a seismic shift being driven by innovation and automation. In order to embrace and lead through this change – do executives need to unlearn all they know? This is all about being open to evolving norms by understanding, seeking out and implementing new technologies.
Klaus Kohlmayr, IDeaS
2:25 – 3:15 p.m.
HEDNAChat Roundtables
Join session attendees for an informal and collaborative discussion on the content presented.
2:25 – 2:50 p.m.
Choose one of the following:
Talking FinTech
Modernizing Distribution
Powered Hotels
2:50 – 3:15 p.m.
Choose one of the following:
Talking FinTech
Modernizing Distribution
Powered Hotels
3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Networking Break sponsored by HotelRunner
3:45 – 4:20 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Delivering Seamless Customer Experiences Through Integrated Capabilities
Delivering customer experiences through modern and integrated commerce capabilities; includes topics surrounding Fintech, customer interactions throughout the purchase and stay journey and so much more.
Javier Domaica, Amadeus; Alex Pyhan, Marriott; Ian Ackland,; Danny Finkel, TripActions
4:20 – 4:55 p.m.
What’s in Store for Hotel Search in 2023 and Beyond
A search perspective on marketing trends impacting distribution.
Blair Roche, Koddi
4:55 – 5:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks
6:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Shuttle Service to MoPOP Offsite Event
7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
HEDNA Takes on Pop Culture – Offsite Event at MoPOP

Wednesday, January 25

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Registration Desk Open Spanish Foyer
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Breakfast The Garden
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Arrival Coffee
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
HEDNA Lounge sponsored by Leonardo
Join your colleagues in our networking lounge, open to all and so much better than checking emails in your room!
9:35 – 9:45 a.m.
Welcome from HEDNA’s Vice President
9:45 – 10:20 a.m.
Enhancing the Guest Experience Through Payment Technology
Consider a “What Would Starbucks Do” scenario for guest interactions. Most of us have utilized the Starbucks app to breeze effortlessly in and out. It’s quick, efficient, mostly pleasant and has built a loyal following. Imagine similar automated touch points throughout a hotel stay. It’s possible and it’s already happening. How do we achieve greater adoption?
Mike Carlo, XanderPay; Manika Singh, Planet
10:25 – 10:50 a.m.
Legal Lens: Building a Future Proof and Compliant Distribution Strategy
Join HEDNA’s best legal minds as they discuss recent regulatory and legislative changes and offer a glimpse into what could be coming next: Will DMA break apart Google? Why is Airbnb now showing total pricing and are resort fees going to disappear?
Greg Duff, Foster Garvy; Ben Thomas, Penta Hotels Worldwide
10:55 – 11:25 a.m.
What’s in Store for Corporate Travel
An Inside Look at Corporate Travel – what the buyers are thinking, how hoteliers are rising to the challenge and how the role of technology in TMCs is evolving.
Lew Harasymiw, Amadeus; Traci Mercer, Sabre; Adrian Emmanuel, Concur; Kathryn Titterington, IHG
11:25 – 11:55 a.m.
Networking Break
11:55 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
To Serve Your Guest, Understand Their Journey: Strategies for the Seamless Experience in Lodging
Hoteliers are facing conflicting objectives: How do we make it easier for customers to DIY without losing the ‘surprise and delight’ they’ve come to expect? How can we maintain a high level of service and hospitality without further taxing our workforce? What technologies can we tap into that help us better serve our customers and know more about them amidst data privacy concerns? What are other hoteliers doing today to make the journey better tomorrow?
Jeff Katz, Journera; Oral Muir, Hilton
12:30 – 12:40 p.m.
Introduction to New President and Closing Remarks
12:45 – 2:00 p.m.
Networking Lunch sponsored by Roomdex