SXSW and Superfly Pros on Making Events Better

Conference organizers everywhere would probably like the secrets to hosting a buzzworthy event like South by Southwest or Bonnaroo.

Our guests Mike Shea and Rich Goodstone aren’t giving everything away, but they were willing to share some insight during the Skift Global Forum earlier this year.

Shea, chief logistics officer and partner at South by Southwest, and Goodstone, co-founder of Superfly, the production company behind Bonnaroo, spoke at the forum about using data for personalization, integrating technology and the effect of big events on a destination.

And they joined us backstage in the Skift Take Studio to talk about bringing fun to events that could be boring, the way attendee behavior is changing, and why selfies are getting in the way of experiences.

Shea and Goodstone spoke to editor and podcast host Hannah Sampson.

This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

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Google Travel VP on the Power of Virtual and Augmented Reality

Google has been making big moves in the travel space since last year. The search engine launched the Google Trips app earlier in 2016 and hosts booking for some hotel and airline partners.

Skift reported this year that the company’s revenues from travel advertising likely top $12 billion.

That’s a lot to dig into, so we were glad to have Oliver Heckmann, the vice president of engineering who heads Google’s travel product, with us at the Skift Global Forum in September.

He joined us backstage in the Skift Take Studio to talk about how user behavior is changing with the shift to mobile, Google’s efforts to move toward an assistant-driven environment, and the potential for virtual and augmented reality.

Heckmann spoke to Skift contributing writer Jeremy Kressman.

This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

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Booking.com CEO on Taking a Mobile-First Approach

Anyone who has traveled has likely found — or at least searched for — a room on Booking.com.

The site has more than a million accommodations to choose from in more than 93,000 destinations across the globe. It’s the largest and most important brand in Priceline Group, and we were happy to have CEO Gillian Tans on stage at the Skift Global Forum in September.

She joined for a follow-up conversation backstage in the Skift Take Studio to talk about last-minute behavior, direct bookings, advertising, new search methods, and more.

Tans spoke to Skift contributing writer Jeremy Kressman.

This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

 

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Lola CEO on Why Messaging Matters

Kayak co-founder Paul English used to devote his focus to helping travelers plan and book their own trips online. These days, the serial entrepreneur is trying to provide users with a lot more one-on-one help.

His latest startup Lola Travel is a travel agency messaging app meant to give travelers a way to book trips without doing their own legwork.

At the Skift Global Forum in September, English spoke about artificial intelligence, natural language understanding, and taking Lola global. He joined us backstage in the Skift Take Studio to talk more about the inspiration for his new company, how he is trying to improve the tools that travel agents use, and why messaging is more popular than talking.

English spoke to editor and podcast host Hannah Sampson.

This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

 

 

 

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TripAdvisor CEO on Setting Realistic Expectations

They may not know his name, but millions of travelers are familiar with Stephen Kaufer‘s work. He is the CEO and co-founder of TripAdvisor, which gets 350 million average monthly unique visitors and hosts 385 million reviews.

The site goes beyond just reviews: TripAdvisor fully rolled out instant booking early last year and has been branching out into restaurant reservations, vacation home rentals, and tours and activities with acquisitions over the past couple of years.

Kaufer spoke in September at the Skift Global Forum and joined editor and podcast host Hannah Sampson backstage in the Skift Take Studio to talk about the threat of competition, the new ways consumers are using the site, challenges for instant booking, and what is still left to review.

This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SilverRail CEO on Tackling Trains in a Digital Age

Aaron Gowell sometimes describes himself as the “token train guy.”

He is accustomed to trains getting short shrift from the traveling public, especially in the U.S., but the CEO and co-founder of  SilverRail is on a mission to make it easy to book train travel online by building a digital infrastructure for the global rail industry.

At the Skift Global Forum in September, Gowell talked about the difficulty in booking travel across multiple platforms and modes of transportation. He joined Skift editor and podcast host Hannah Sampson backstage in the Skift Take Studio for an encore discussion that touched on American attitudes toward train travel, the investments other countries are making in rail, and recent breakthroughs with online travel agencies.

This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start listening to The Skift Podcast, today! Subscribe via iTunesSoundCloud, or RSS.

 

 

 

Frits van Paasschen on Being Your Own Disruptor

Starwood Hotels & Resorts was all over the news in 2016 as various companies battled to acquire it. Frits van Paasschen, the former Starwood CEO, watched with interest and some nostalgia throughout the process, which ended when Marriott finally closed the deal in September.

Van Paasschen, who has since left the company, is now an investor, advisor, and author of a book called The Disruptors’ Feast.

He spoke in September at the Skift Global Forum in Manhattan and afterwards joined editor and podcast host Hannah Sampson backstage in the Skift Take Studio to talk about his reaction to Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood, whether a 30-hotel-brand portfolio makes sense, and what kind of disruption hotels should be worrying about.

This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

 

 

Start listening to The Skift Podcast, today! Subscribe via iTunesSoundCloud, or RSS.

 

 

Club Med President on the Future of All-Inclusive

Club Med has an iconic name and decades of history, but the company has been forced to adapt for modern millennial travelers.

President Henri Giscard D’Estaing spoke at the Skift Global Forum in September and joined Skift editor and podcast host Hannah Sampson backstage in the Skift Take Studio for a follow-up discussion.

The conversation touched on the future of the all-inclusive model, growth markets for the company, and what he expects the next generation of guests will find as Club Med continues to evolve.

This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start listening to The Skift Podcast, today! Subscribe via iTunesSoundCloud, or RSS.

 

Carnival Corp. CEO on Exceeding Expectations

We had the opportunity to interview some of the travel industry’s top CEOs and other executives during the Skift Global Forum this year — so many, in fact, that we’re delivering some of those one-on-one discussions in the form of podcasts.

The first is from our talk with Arnold Donald, the CEO of the world’s largest cruise company, who also kicked off the forum this fall. He joined us behind the scenes in the Skift Take Studio to talk about Carnival Corporation’s efforts to reach new travelers, the company’s expansion into China, and what the future holds for cruising.

Donald spoke to Skift contributing writer Jeremy Kressman.

This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

 

 

Start listening to The Skift Podcast, today! Subscribe via iTunesSoundCloud, or RSS.

What’s Next for Choice and Loyalty in Air Travel

The experience of booking and taking flights has been changing dramatically as airlines deconstruct their products to give passengers more choices for extra fees. At the same time, the value of loyalty programs has diminished, and credit card companies are trying to fill the void.

We’ve got three short conversations packed into one loaded podcast today, all revolving around airlines — a hot topic at the recent Skift Global Forum. Jeremy Kressman, a Skift contributing writer, spoke to this episode’s guests in the Skift Take Studio backstage at the forum.

The first conversation is with Robert Albert, founder and CEO of Routehappy, about innovation in the way airlines sell flights. The second is a spirited back-and-forth with Brian Kelly, founder of The Points Guy website, and George Hobica, founder of discount airfare site Airfarewatchdog.com, about the value of loyalty.

And finally, we hear from Ben Smith, president for passenger airlines at Air Canada, who touches on those themes and more from a carrier point of view.

This is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

 

Start listening to The Skift Podcast, today! Subscribe via iTunesSoundCloud, or RSS.