Watch now: Why Inspiration

Scott and I go back over 20 years. He’s the EVP of Marketing at Visit Myrtle Beach, but he also happens to be a leader in destination marketing. Though the landscape has changed dramatically, Scott has continued to evolve to keep Myrtle Beach top of mind with travelers everywhere.

He’s also someone I’m glad to call a great friend. (Neither of our hairlines has changed in the last 20 years!)

Scott recently sat in with the team here to give his take on why competing in the inspiration phase is such a critical piece of any marketing strategy—a point that resonates (and not just for destination marketers.)

Tune in below as he shares some great insight:


The big picture: it’s incredibly hard to compete with the big guys at “Book Now,” and Scott’s take reinventing the approach for travel marketing is spot on.

Dig into more from Tnooz and Google or for more like this, give Scott a follow here.

And for you destination marketers out there—interested in how advocacy is changing the game for destinations worldwide? Let’s chat. (I promise you’ll be in store for a fun conversation.)

Our customers show up big at the Adrian Awards

We ❤ our customers. We recognize the experiences and memories they’re creating every day—and see it firsthand through their guests!

So our team can hardly contain our excitement as we announce that together with our customers we’ve taken home 3 HSMAI Adrian Awards this year! We love taking hospitality to new frontiers and breaking boundaries every day. Browse through the winners below as we take a few moments to extend an enormous thanks to the folks that helped make these achievements happen.

2016 Adrian Award winning submission – The Shores Resort & Spa

The Shores Resort & Spa

Gold Adrian Award in the Digital Marketing Division

Winning awards isn’t anything new for Susan Keaveney, Marketing Director at The Shores Resort & Spa. Just two months ago her team snagged a Silver Flagler Award with their advocacy campaign!

Now she and her team have a shiny, new Gold Adrian on the shelf for their Global Digital Marketing achievements. Congrats, Susan!

2016 Adrian Award winning submission – Adrift Hotel & Spa

Adrift Hotel & Spa

Gold Adrian Award in the Digital Marketing Division

Adrift Hotel is known around here for their outstanding guest stories—they make regular appearances on our monthly favorites. Linh DePledge, Operations & Marketing Director for Adrift Hotel, leads an impressive team who continues to inspire us each day. She had this to say about advocacy back in April:

“Whether someone is looking for a dog-friendly property, a romantic getaway, or a place where they have the freedom to enjoy the outdoors, the platform has unveiled some incredibly fun, personable, and even heartwarming experiences. The quality of this guest-created content is second-to-none.”

It’s no surprise that their submission for the Integrated Market Campaign for Consumers category won Gold! Congrats Linh & the entire Adrift team!

2016 Adrian Award winning submission – Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando

Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando

Silver Adrian Award in the Digital Marketing Division

Our friends at the former Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando started breaking records soon after they went live on our platform! The hard work from Tony Aslanian, former Director of Sales, Marketing & Revenue Strategy and Deanna Padilla, former Marketing Manager, helped this property win big with a Silver Adrian in the Contest or Sweepstakes category. All the while they collected fantastic moments from their guests along the way.

To HSMAI, the Adrian Awards and all of our customers, thank you! We love celebrating the success of our customers every day, and it’s icing on the cake to get those compliments and recognition from surrounding industry at large.

200K and beyond: a huge milestone in record time


Nick Hotel team celebrating their milestone

In just 56 days, Nickelodeon Suites Resort reached over 200 thousand friends and relatives through guest stories—that’s over 3,500 warm introductions for their hotel to like-minded future travelers around the world every day.

We’re thrilled to see Nick Hotel succeed in such rapid time. We recently caught up with Deanna Padilla, Marketing Manager at Nick Hotel, who said, “If you are looking to increase your social awareness and reach new audiences while building your relationship with existing fans, then Photo Advocacy is a must for your property.”

The guest stories have poured in. Here are some of the incredible moments Nick Hotel has seen since going live with Photo Explorer.






To see how Nick Hotel and other hotels are capturing their guests incredible travel stories, be sure to check out See it live: how hotels are using Photo Explorer.

A glimpse into 2016: what can your hotel expect?

2016 looks like it’s going to be an excellent year for hoteliers. Robert Rauch, President of RAR Hospitality and a leading hospitality management and consulting firm in San Diego, recently came out with his yearly trends report.

Rauch reveals some outstanding insights that will help your hotel maximize your efforts in 2016. Check out what we’ve taken away below, and be sure to read Rauch’s article for the full story.

Personalized experiences create value

Trends in the digital space are heavily influenced by the increasing interest of travelers to have personal experiences that create value. As more and more travelers are using the internet as their go-to source for travel considerations, this leaves hotels with the responsibility to communicate that they understand guests’ interests and needs online.

No matter the channel your hotel picks (social media, blogs, forums), potential guests are gauging your brand’s identity and making purchase decisions based on those perceptions.
As Rauch explains, that’s why it is so important to communicate your hotel’s unique story and make a great first impression when a potential guest engages with your brand.

At, we couldn’t agree more. We help hoteliers make their guests’ stories an integral part of their hotel’s story. We see firsthand that our customers’ guests have incredible stories to tell and huge audience who are listening. When it all comes together, the stories that people tell each other are far more convincing, easier to relate to, personable and trustworthy than any story told through an advertisement.

Rauch reminds us that experience design extends beyond the digital world, and encourages hoteliers to think about how their hotel spaces are designed–combining work, play, food and drink into an experience that keeps the youthful customer in mind.

Digital, digital, digital, and when you’re done, more digital

Digital matters in 2016, which goes without surprise. Rauch states that digital marketing boils down to two things for 2016: mobile and video. Mobile is an increasingly popular trend. More and more potential guests are using mobile to research and book travel. That’s why responsive websites, mobile-friendly emails, and even dedicated mobile apps are advised.

Plus, hoteliers should take note of the growing trend in live-streaming on mobile. Apps like Periscope average 2 million daily active users (oh, and Periscope just launched on March of this year). This growing trend is beginning to replace traditional television for millennials, and hoteliers should keep track of this new channel to stay relevant to this growing market.

Hoteliers should also take note the disruption caused by companies like Airbnb and HomeAway that have paved the way in the Sharing Economy. Rauch explains, “Mobile and digital check-in, easily accessible and plentiful outlets in all areas, reliable and fast wifi are some of the amenities desired by those who utilize Airbnb and HomeAway.” Hotels should continue to innovate and offer alternatives to these types of amenities in order to capture the attention of the modern traveler.

Take revenue strategy by the horns

By investing in new revenue management technologies, hoteliers can better forecast demand for a clearer idea of their most profitable customers and rooms, all of which help to maximize profits in the long-run.

Revenue management technologies are just one part of a more important revenue strategy, though. At, we’ve talked about how your guests, your team, and your hotel’s bottom line all win when you create a revenue culture, part of which includes prioritizing channels based on net revenue.

Rauch challenges hoteliers to balance their channels and evaluate where OTAs fit in. Focus on driving more eyeballs to your hotel’s website and maximizing profits.

Technology has changed the way hoteliers manage revenue and reach new guests. Going into 2016, hoteliers should continue to think about revenue management technologies and revenue culture, how to improve personalized guest experiences, and how to make an impact with mobile and video in the digital world. Here is the full article of Top 10 Trends for 2016 from Robert Rauch and our friends at RAR Hospitality.

See it live: how hotels are using Photo Explorer

Photo Explorer is an entirely new way for hotels to infuse authentic guest stories and candid perspectives into their online experience. The newest feature of our advocacy platform, it’s become an integral part of many hotel’s marketing and revenue strategy.

Check out how some of our current clients are using Photo Explorer, below.

Rekindle a favorite moment of a past guest

The Shores


See it live

Extend the time past guests spend with your brand. Rekindling their favorite moment is a far better way to keep in touch than pushing promotion after promotion, and you’ll have the opportunity to engage past guests in the right way for months after their stay.

Share experiences with a visitor learning about your hotel for the first time

Nick Hotel



New visitors may not be ready to book now. Present them with an opportunity to “show some love” for a favorite photo in order to receive a special incentive for a future stay, and start building a new relationship. This thoughtful interaction is relevant to their current travel considerations, and starts the conversation down the right path.

Over time, hotels convert curious onlookers into future guests with meaningful, relevant interactions as they envision the beginning of their own great travel story.

Receive warm introductions to friends, family, and colleagues of a past guests

Adrift Hotel

PhotoExplorer_Friend_Adrift PhotoExplorer_Friend_Dog_2_Adrift

See it live

Photo Explorer turns your guests’ memorable moments into highly engaging interactions with friends & family (and your brand). Greet your guests’ networks with a unique, distinct experience that builds a strong initial brand connection and starts them down the path to becoming a future guest.

Not only that, but your hotel has a richer story to tell thanks to the authentic perspectives and experiences that only your guests can provide.

Photo Explorer is a powerful, smart platform that drives and converts. With advocacy, hotels aspire to inspire—and aspirational selling is the key to winning in the new hotel marketplace.

If you’re curious how Photo Explorer can help your hotel reach new audiences like never before, learn more here or get in touch with one of our Advocologists and they’ll be thrilled to walk you through a live implementation.

Be a part of the future of hotel marketing and revenue management with RevPAR Hacking

Hot off the press from and industry leaders, RevPAR Hacking is the ultimate guide to the impact of revenue culture. Not only will readers get insight from leading experts in their field, but they’ll also learn the tips and tools to put them at the forefront of hotel marketing and revenue management.

RevPAR Hacking Cover

Download RevPAR Hacking to learn about the impact of revenue culture, plus the thoughtful approaches to get you there.

So what does it mean for a hotel to have a revenue culture?

By aligning collective goals, teams work together as they aspire to generate the most revenue—and the entire organization will reap the rewards. In fact, so will the guests, as there will be more resources available to serve their needs. A revenue culture spans everyone responsible for driving the hotel’s bottom line—marketing, e-commerce, revenue management and sales succeed by sharing revenue considerations at every level of their strategy.

To go further, guest data and revenue data should inform one another at every level. A comprehensive revenue approach to this degree will not only align your teams, it’ll also target the most profitable business for your hotel—the right guest at the right price.

In RevPAR Hacking, industry thought leaders open up on how they’ve created a growth-minded revenue culture that has set up their teams for success. These models shed light on the ‘hows’ and the ‘whys’ of revenue culture, but also why it’s a valuable (and inevitable) shift for hotels who continue to seek growth.

A revenue culture that aligns your hotel’s goals will be a key driver of success—your team, your guests, and your bottom line will all win.

See for yourself how RevPAR Hacking reveals the impact of revenue culture, plus the thoughtful approaches to get you there.

Seeing is believing

HITEC at the Hangar Lounge, and the Icebreaker Photo Contest

We kicked off the first night of HITEC with an amazing event at the Hangar Lounge, co-hosted with our friends at Social Tables and Lanyon. The mid-century modern travel hangout couldn’t have been more perfect, complete with three lounges including the top observation deck overlooking the streets of Austin.

It was a great party, and we’ve got the pictures to prove it (thanks to our guests!) hosted the ‘Icebreaker’ photo competition, encouraging folks to ‘break the ice’ and take a photo with a new friend. For the last month the contestants have been rallying votes. Some sweet prizes were on the line, like an Apple iWatch.

Needless to say, our guests came through. Check out some of our favorite quotes and snaps below:

Katherine Darsie

Troy Hughes


Cara Goodrich


I know, I know—what you’ve all be waiting for…the winner! I’m happy to be the first to say, congratulations Marcy Albert! She tallied up an astounding 668 points and 112 votes, (in addition to the sweet tattoos.)

Marcy Albert

Another really great aspect of this event is that each host played a huge part in the technology that made it memorable. While we headed up the photo competition, Lanyon and Social Tables each headed up the event logistics with some really great products:

Event Registration

RegOnline® by Lanyon
RegOnline® by Lanyon is the affordable event management software that lets you plan and manage meetings and events quickly and easily.

Leading up to the event, our guests easily registered themselves and their guests online. Confirmation and reminder emails were sent to all attendees inboxes, making event info handy the night of the event.


Event Check-in

Software by Social Tables, an Event Software Platform
Event check-in software that revolves around people. Organize your attendees with the power of the social graph.

Event check-in was a snap thanks to this amazing platform by Social Tables. Guests were checked in at the touch of a finger, keeping traffic flowing (especially important at a high-volume event!)

Social Tables

We had a fantastic time at HITEC—the biggest show in it’s history. The latest, most innovative technologies were on the floor, with quality attendance of over 6,000 hotel professionals from around the globe. A huge thank you to our friends at HFTP, our co-hosts Social Tables and Lanyon, and all of our fantastic guests!

(Now, who’s ready for New Orleans?!)

Passing of the gong

David Bruce and Crystal Ellington
David Bruce, Account Manager and Crystal Ellington, Business Development Representative

At, we’re constantly striving to innovate for our hotel partners, aspiring to find new and creative ways to help hotels earn new guests. As we continue to grow, so too does our team. In fact, this constant growth is what helps us serve our hotels even better! That’s why it makes me extremely proud to see two of our members moving up among the ranks in the Marketing department.

Thanks to stellar performance and “gong-banging” ability, the one and only David Bruce is being promoted to the Account Management team. Stepping up to fill in for Mr. Bruce is our very own Crystal Ellington, moving from her research role up to the big stage as our new Business Development Representative.

So, what’s all this talk about a gong anyway? Think of it as a badge of honor, a celebration of the little victories along the way, heard loud and clear through the halls of It’s our little reminder of why we’re here—success through collaboration and innovation. As David passes the gong to Crystal for new pastures in the Accounts team, we’re all more inspired and motivated to achieve more. Congratulations to David and Crystal!

(P.S. all-stars making moves means that there are more shoes to fill! Check out our openings here.)

#HITECatx is in the books

The books are closed on’s third (and my first!) latest HITEC. No one word could describe the entire experience—exciting, fast-paced, entrepreneurial, innovative, and most of all FUN. The mix of age-old exhibitors and new faces, along with the 6000+ attendees made it the biggest HITEC to date. And yet, it remained personal—the face-to-face interactions allowed for immeasurable connections throughout the industry.

Ed St. Onge
Image courtesy of HITEC.

For, it was a special year for our President, Ed St. Onge. A seasoned HITEC and industry pro, he participated on not one, but two panels over the week.

First up was Entrepreneur 20x—HFTP’s collaboration with Capital Factory that gathered innovative start-ups to pitch transformative hospitality tech to an audience of venture capitalists, super angels, serial entrepreneurs and HITEC attendees. Ed sat on the judge’s panel. Being the industry’s startup expert-at-large, it was of course a perfect fit. Whistle—a startup out of Silicon Beach that connects customers and businesses via SMS and mobile messaging—took off with the prize this

Next up was HITEC’s Investing in Technology Super Session, moderated by HFTP’s Lyle Worthington. There Ed, along with the panel of angel investors and thought leaders, got to dive deep on the potential risks and rewards of investing in developing tech and innovations.

As for the rest of the show, big data, mobile demand, and engaging millennials were all hot topics. Our focus was of course advocacy—showing how hotels can reach their guests’ enormous networks of friends and family, and cultivate those brand connections to generate revenue. The idea struck a chord with a lot of folks looking to engage their guests further, as booth traffic was steady. (Our comfy couch helped, too.)

As the exhibit halls closed on a great #HITECatx, our team reflected on an amazing week. The gears are already turning for what’s next for

Oh, and of course there was our event we hosted at the Hangar Lounge with our friends Social Tables and Lanyon. But that’s another post leaders Ed St. Onge and Brian Kent reflect at the closing of HITEC 2015