IMHI Class of 2016-2017

IMHI Class of 2016-2017
Class of 2016-2017

Thursday, June 30, 2016

HEDNA's European Global Distribution Conference held in Berlin from June 14-16, 2016.

by Galina Mereacre
Attending a conference is a professionally rewarding experience. As we find out that we will be
representing ESSEC at HEDNA's European Global Distribution Conference in Berlin, Jessica and I took the responsibility seriously – preparing and trying to give out our best in order to make our institution proud.

HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is the only global forum exclusively dedicated to the advancement of hospitality distribution through strategic collaboration and knowledge sharing. For over 25 years, the non-for-profit association has provided members with networking platforms, educational opportunities and professional resources to help them navigate the ever-evolving landscape of hotel electronic distribution.

For a soon graduated MBA in hospitality this was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the latest trends in the industry, to get a better grasp of the on hands on experience, and finally assess how ready we were in our turn – for the beginning of our new careers. During the 3 day conference, we got to listen to some of the biggest names in the industry, participate in different workshops and even engage in hallway conversations with these experts. We were pleasantly surprised to conclude that our MBA program prepared us well in order to understand and contribute to solving the main challenges the hotels are facing today.

"Jonathan’s inspiring speech inspired  a deeper understanding of the hotel industry's challenges and opportunities"

We were again reassured just as it was a Peter O’Conor’s e-commerce class that emerging consumer and industry technologies, guest expectations, business strategies, market forces, and organization strategies create a compelling and essential need for hotel distribution to continue to evolve and transform. HEDNA's own research presented a compelling vision into the future of hotel distribution presenting us with the various factors driving the need of change as well as discussing optimal solutions.

Among some of the greatest speakers we were honored to attend was also Jonathan MacDonald - a world-renowned speaker that provided thinking, new perspectives and avenues of thought for companies such as Google, Apple, P&G, Unilever, Nestlé and IKEA. Jonathan’s inspiring speech inspired  a deeper understanding of the hotel industry's challenges and opportunities and enabled hoteliers to utilize knowledge to explore what the future could look like, and whether they are building the future hotel industry as the one they want to live in.

The conference was concluded by another wonderful motivational speaker – Jim Pickell  also founder and CEO of HomeExchange that discussed innovation, disruptive technology, and data and how these aspects are already removing traditional barriers and friction points in reshaping and delivering a better hospitality and travel experience.

Especially valuable I found the opportunity to network with other professionals, which is an exceptional chance for our professional development and horizontal exchange of experience. We got the chance to meet professionals from all areas of electronic distribution including hotels, representation and management companies, GDSs, switch companies, OTAs, tour operators, software and payment service providers, industry consultants and educational institutions.

As I am looking to build a career in digital marketing, attending Hedna conference and gathering valuable industry insights had a significant contribution to my future professional expertise. I feel beyond lucky to have had the opportunity to attend this event along with professionals from all over the World.

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