[HITEC Guest Blogger] Meet Nicole Hockin

HFTP Connect is featuring four guest bloggers throughout HITEC 2012. The bloggers will be providing you their insights on all things HITEC. Before we get to Baltimore next week, get to know our guest bloggers.

We already met Brad More.

Now, let’s meet Nicole Hockin.

Nicole Hockin is vice president of marketing and public relations for Nor1, Inc., a technology leader in upsell solutions and exhibitor at HITEC 2012. 

She thrives on the creation of successful brand development and strategic communications.

Notable past positions include Chief Marketing Officer for REBEL Travel Corporation, Public Relations Manager for Hotels.com and Marketing Communications Director for Travelweb. Her greatest enjoyment comes from sharing her love of travel with her three children. Follow her on Twitter @travelnicole.

What is your specialty in hospitality and why do you enjoy your job?

I have been working in marketing and public relations with hotels and resorts, OTAs, and travel technology companies for 10 years now. I feel very fortunate to do what I do every day. It’s my job to demystify a business; to help articulate the benefits of products; and to help a company put its best foot forward from the inside out.

I enjoy creating “Aha Moments” when working with various teams to build and manage brand and product marketing strategies that inevitably are designed to give people a great experience.

I am excited for the opportunity to channel my old newsroom days and report on HITEC happenings. But before I do, here’s a little bit about me and my thoughts on next week’s most anticipated event.

What is your favorite part about HITEC?

HITEC is the marriage of the two worlds that I love most: Technology and Hospitality.

With technology comes the challenge of truly being inventive. Hospitality is a unique industry because there are so many different levels of ownership and management within brands, chains and properties that it can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to introducing and implementing new technologies in a guest room or at the corporate level down to the properties.

HITEC is the venue that brings us all together – in one event – to discuss and demonstrate the technologies that will both benefit guests and the bottom-lines of the hotels.

What education sessions and topics are you looking forward to the most?

These are some education sessions I have marked down as “must see.”

  • Examining All Sides of the Hotel Distribution Debate 
(Tuesday, June 26 from 4 – 5:30 p.m.)
  • Are Search, Mobile and Social Equal? How to Divvy Up Your Digital Marketing Resources (Wednesday, June 27 from 8:30-10 a.m.)
  • The Future of Mobile in the Hospitality World (Thursday, June 28 from 2 – 3 p.m.)

Name three areas within hospitality technology that you think are evolving the most?

  1. Marketing in the digital age. From Trip Advisor to Facebook and Twitter to Mobile strategies, the social revolution is building relationships with friends and managing the ones with foes. Our new marketing normal is a never-ending communication cycle with guests. To be successful, hospitality companies must stay vigilant with their communication of brand and value proposition while embracing the technologies that enable this 24×7 access.
  2. Data-driven Pricing and Merchandising. This evolution is just beginning to take hold in hospitality. Companies like Nor1 are leading the way with data-driven technologies that enable hoteliers to know their guests better than ever before with targeted pricing and offers tailored to meet their preferences.  Guest-centric data coupled with transactional data is the key to enhancing the guest experience while boosting the bottom-line.
  3. Distribution technology is still evolving. It will be interesting to see the yet-to-be-realized impact that Google Hotel Finder will have on disrupting current distribution models.

Since you’ve been in the industry, which technology do you think has changed hospitality the most?

Distribution.

It is continuing to shape hospitality and new entrants into the OTA environment are shaping the distribution landscape, too.

From traditional OTAs like Expedia and Priceline to Living Social, Google Hotel Finder, and Facebook, hoteliers are in a race to build brands and loyalty, while making distribution deals to increase heads in beds. Less operating in organizational silos and more standardization of technology and marketing practices will help hoteliers with these relationships based on “coopetition.”

Since my days at Travelweb (the original Room Key), I’ve watched hoteliers give up control of their rates and inventory in order to drive bookings and then fight tooth and nail to create rate parity and re-establish control of yield management and pricing, only to at times relinquish their own competitive advantages to gain broader distribution.

I’m even hearing of block allocation rearing its ugly head again. Hoteliers have a real opportunity with the advent of so many social media platforms to engage and connect with guests if they are willing to embrace the technology advancements propelling them forward.


Look for this symbol on HFTP Connect to show you that the blogger is an official blogger of HITEC 2012.


Please note:

The content published in this section was provided by HITEC Guest Bloggers. The information is the view/opinions of the Guest Bloggers and not of HFTP, nor of any person or organization affiliated or doing business with HFTP.

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