Industry Innovators: Travel and Hospitality – Virtual Event Preview
I am delighted to announce that the inaugural Amazon Web Services (AWS) Industry Innovators: Travel and Hospitality virtual event will be held on June 14, 2022. Industry Innovators is a half-day event dedicated to sharing travel and hospitality innovation stories and insights.
Join us to hear how your peers at Dine Brands Global, Melia Hotels International, United Airlines, White Castle, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts are reinventing their traveler and guest experiences. Plus, learn innovation and digital transformation best practices from the teams at AWS.
Small innovation wins can lead to big gains
Prior to the event, the AWS Travel and Hospitality team talked to some of the speakers about their innovation experiences.
Justin Skelton, senior vice president and chief information officer at Dine Brands Global, shared his advice for those looking to innovate: “Just get started.” He recommended that you begin with applications. If that goes well, you’ll build trust, and you’ll build a pipeline for future projects.
Jason Birnbaum, senior vice president digital technology at United Airlines (United), echoed Justin’s approach. Jason found that when United tried to analyze and prepare for outcomes years down the road, it became stuck. Once it allowed its teams to each work on one application, the solutions they developed “surpassed my expectations.”
“Just get started” is also my own mantra. Throughout my career, I’ve led many digital transformation initiatives, and I’ve always stayed focused on the same end goal: to deliver bottom-line value. I found that it’s easy to get distracted with “what if” questions that can divert stakeholder engagement and delay getting started. With the AWS cloud, it’s easy to start small, experiment, and learn from your successes while quickly curtailing and course correcting when failures happen.
Prioritize innovations that enhance the guest or traveler experience
Another common piece of advice that we heard: “Put your guest and traveler experience first.” Christian Palomino, global vice president IT at Melia Hotels International, and Susan Carroll-Boser, vice president of technology at White Castle, discussed how the operational efficiency enhancements that they have made empowered their team members to focus on their guests.
White Castle has received significant publicity for its trial of Flippy, the robot that fries multiple sides. Flippy, an amazing innovation, improves efficiency so that White Castle’s busy team members have more time to deliver memorable moments for their guests.
Likewise, Christian shared that automating manual record keeping and processes has led to building human relationships and removing friction for the Melia Hotels International staff, which is exactly what resort guests want.
Scott Strickland, executive vice president and chief information officer at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, revealed how innovations it has introduced helped all their internal and external customers, including guests, employees, and franchisees. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has gone all in on AWS, which facilitates faster integration and innovation than a multicloud approach. As a result, it can introduce new services like contactless payments, which reduce check-in and check-out times, reduce chargebacks, and meet guests’ expectations. A win for all parties.
Training and collaboration propel innovation
Upskilling and training internal teams is often a fundamental step when initiating digital transformation initiatives. Susan mentioned that the support White Castle received from AWS, like AWS Immersion Days, “meant the world to my team.” Christian echoed that sentiment, noting that the AWS team worked alongside the Melia Hotels International team to devise innovative solutions.
During Industry Innovators, Luc Hennekens, enterprise strategist at AWS and former group chief information officer at Airbus and Qantas, will share the insights that the AWS Enterprise Strategy team has gathered from helping thousands of companies along their digital transformation journeys. He’ll uncover the patterns of success and failure to transforming how work gets done and how progressive organizations are managing their people.
Join us at Industry Innovators: Travel and Hospitality
If you’re looking to get inspiration from your peers across the industry and from AWS, you won’t want to miss this event. Whether you are thinking about how to get started, what initiatives can have the most impact, or how to accelerate the pace of your digital transformation journey, this event will leave you energized, excited, and ready to innovate.
You can view the full agenda below and register today to attend the event live on June 14, 2022, or to watch the sessions on demand.
We hope to see you there.