Editorial Board   

Mr. Boni

Paolo Boni

President & Chief Executive Officer, VFM Leonardo, Inc.

Paolo Boni has been leading VFM Leonardo's vision and strategic direction since 2001. Under his leadership, the company has expanded globally and now has over 80,000 hotels, over 30,000 travel related website partners worldwide and the largest online visual content distribution network for the travel industry. As a recognized travel industry expert, Mr. Boni frequently speaks at major travel conferences on subjects relating to online travel marketing, online hotel merchandising and rich media. Since 2003, Mr. Boni has been a regular speaker and panelist at Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) conferences, including HEDNA Miami 2003, Frankfurt 2006 on and New Orleans 2008 on the transformation of distribution, customer experience, consolidation and the future of the online travel industry. In 2006, Mr. Boni spoke at the Eye For Travel - Travel Distribution Summit's (TDS) in Europe and Chicago, on the impact of rich media on consumers' hotel booking decisions and the Travelcom conference on using compelling content to build hotel brands online. He was a panelist on destination marketing to young adults at the Educational Seminar For Tourism Organizations (ESTO) and the online marketing roundtable at the MMG Vail Summit Senior Travel Executive Forum. More recently, Mr. Boni presented at the Hotel Association of Canada's Annual Conference 2008 on guerrilla marketing and marketing in the 21st century. Mr. Boni holds an LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School (1993) and a B.A. Economics from McGill University (1989). He was formerly a Partner with leading Canadian business law firm, Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg LLP, practicing in securities and corporate law with an emphasis on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions. VFM Leonardo is the leader in online hotel merchandising with the largest, universally accepted online visual content distribution network (VNetwork) for the global travel industry. VFM Leonardo's VBrochure and VScape products leverage the distribution capabilities of the VNetwork and are the most effective visual content management and merchandising systems available to hoteliers today. For more information about VFM Leonardo, visit http://www.vfmleonardo.com

Mr. Boni can be contacted at 1-877-593-6634 or press@vfmleonardo.com

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.