Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Will Feature Hands-on Strategy and Tactics for Social Media

Jul 13, 2010

Contact:  Jennifer Macera, 607.255.3101, js372@cornell.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Will Feature Hands-on Strategy and Tactics for Using Social Media

Ithaca, NY, July 13, 2010 – Because of the importance of social media, the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit (CHRS) will focus several working sessions on strategies and tactics for hospitality companies to make optimum use of social media. Produced by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, the CHRS is scheduled for October 6-8, 2010, on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY. Registration is now open at http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/events/chrs/.

CHRS social media sessions will present strategies for interacting with consumers on social media, trends and tools for social media, data mining from social media, and legal issues surrounding social media.

Anil Aggarwal, Chairman and CEO of Milestone Internet Marketing, will present "Social Media Strategies for Hotels," examining how social media channels are influencing consumer decisions on selecting hotels, and how hotel managers can set up their social media strategies to maximize the gain from these channels. In addition to determining measurement methods, the session will look at critical social media sites for hotels and how to incorporating social media elements onto your hotel's website.

Looking at trends and tools in social media, Lorraine Sileo, VP of Research for PhoCusWright, will present research showing current measurement tools and look at future uses for social media research. The PhoCusWright "Social Travel Study" analyzes the key categories of social media and will help hoteliers focus benchmarks for measuring activity volume, advocacy, and positioning.

Taking a look at social media strategy for the food-service industry, Steve Levigne, VP of US strategy and insights, will explain McDonald's social media strategy, which is intended to gain insights into customer needs.

Forbes Travel Guide is about to launch its Web 3.0 travel platform, which combines social media with search engine optimized travel content. Shane O'Flaherty, President and CEO, of Forbes Travel Guide, will give a demo of the site, which is aimed at bringing the voice of the hospitality world back into the online conversation and place them as experts in conversation about travel, rather than operating in a reactive mode.

Based on J.D. Power and Associates' web intelligence, Stuart Greif, VP and GM, global travel and hospitality, global services and emerging industries division, of J.D. Power and Associates, will explain how hotels can mine timely data from the travel discussions that take place in conversations and reviews on the internet. Greif will analyze the topics of greatest interest to consumers and note emerging trends, using examples from the lodging industry. He also will explain how hotels and hospitality providers may present more effective message to travelers.

Michael Wooden, SVP of market development for ACS, a Xerox company, will look at how to "Reap the Rewards of the Next Revolution in Hospitality Customer Experience." Noting that social media have shifted the dynamic between your business and customers, Wooden discusses the core social media competencies, along with the benefits and challenges of integrating social media technologies with customer relationship management. Most particularly, Wooden will focus on how to transform guests into brand advocates and increase online sales conversions (to reduce call-center volume).

Professor and Academic Director Peter O'Connor, of the Essec Business School (Paris and Singapore), will explain how to wade through the social media maze of blogs, social networks, folksonomies, and wikis with a goal of determining the best practices used by international hotel companies as they react to and exploit social media. He'll present the best and worst of how hotels have interacted with consumers on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo; micro-blogging on Twitter; photo-sharing sites Flickr and Picasa; video-sharing sites YouTube and Dailymotion; and TripAdvisor and Yelp.

Although managers think of social media mostly in terms of customer interaction, social media have also caused a monumental shift in recruiting practices and legal issues. Cornell human resources, Associate Professor, J. Bruce Tracey will discuss the pitfalls and possibilities for social media in HR with hospitality attorneys Gregg Gilman, partner and co-chair of Davis & Gilbert LLP, and Carolyn Richmond, partner at Fox Rothschild LLP.

Event sponsors are Charley's Grilled Subs, HOTELMARKETING.COM, HotelNewsNow.com, and Hsyndicate. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Jennifer Macera, js372@cornell.edu, for more information.