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 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.