Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. d'Elsa

Laura d'Elsa

Regional Director USA / Canada, German Convention Bureau

Laura d'Elsa is the Regional Director USA/Canada for the German Convention Bureau (GCB). Based in New York City, she represents the GCB in the North American markets and promotes Germany as a leading meetings destination. Ms. d'Elsa serves as the main point of contact for U.S. and Canadian companies, associations and organizations interested in hosting events, meetings, and incentive programs in Germany. She also oversees all operations for the NYC office. Ms. d'Elsa is focused on educating clients and prospects on the benefits of hosting meetings in Germany, which include excellent value for money, a world class transportation system, exciting and historic cities, and many green venues and convention centers. A major theme she is responsible for driving in North America is Germany's expertise in key sectors such as automotive, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, finance and economics, logistics management, technology and more. In leveraging these expertise clusters the GCB and its German partners are able to create memorable and strategy-focused experiences that have made the country the #1 association meetings destination in Europe and #2 in the World. Ms. d'Elsa joined the GCB in 2011 from Sydney, Australia, where she worked for event agency DKC International. At that agency, which focuses on events in the government, non-profit, and association sectors, she was responsible for the public relations and marketing for all events, including strategy development and implementation, sponsorship management, collateral production, and media planning. Among other projects, Ms. d'Elsa managed and coordinated all media relations for the Australian lecture tour of Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz, which was extensively covered in national and international media outlets. Ms. d'Elsa's previous professional experience spans all areas of integrated communications. She started her career at the Coca-Cola Company in Vienna, Austria, working first in the company's public affairs and communications department and then for the Coca-Cola UEFA Euro 2008 project team, where she managed the company's Austrian hospitality activities surrounding the 2008 European Soccer Championships. Ms. d'Elsa has also worked as a freelance editor and translator in the fashion and media industry and as a public relations consultant in the non-profit sector and now serves as a source on the meetings industry and business travel in Germany in leading MICE publications.

Ms. d'Elsa can be contacted at 212-661-4582 or gcbny@gcb.de

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.