Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing and Technology in Europe - Named by HSMAI Europe

The Top 20 extraordinary minds within sales, marketing and technology in Europe's travel and hospitality industry were named at the HSMAI Europe Awards at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London. The 2014 Top 20 recipients are judged by a panel of senior executives for their recent work, based on the following criteria: creativity and innovation; cutting edge sales, marketing, revenue and technology campaigns; achievement in challenging situations; and sales efforts that resulted in significant gains.

"The Top 20 will become our annual hot list, that celebrates the sales, marketing and technology leaders and innovators in our industry," says Ingunn Hofseth, president of HSMAI Europe, continuing:

"The creative strategies, passionate dedication and sharp intelligence of these professionals have not only grown the business within their organisations but have also truly raised the bar for the hospitality industry as a whole."

Admirable minds
"The judging of TOP 20 list of extraordinary minds is difficult, because there were so many factors to consider and attend to, not to mention many excellent candidates. We were looking for the extraordinary persons that have created a significant result for the company, but also created an example for everyone to live up to. I admire these individuals and what they have acheived" says chairman of the jury, professor dr. Bård Tronvoll.

David Doctor
Vice President Western Europe, Middle East and Africa
Amadeus IT Group
Madrid Area, Spain

Niklas Andréen
Group Vice President and Managing Director - Global Hospitality, Car & Partner Marketing
Stockholm, Sweden

Jens Thraenhart
Co-Founder, Dragon Trail &
Founder, Digital Innovation Asia (DIA)

Eivind Roald
Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing
SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)
Oslo Area, Norway

Christopher E. Bates, CRME
COO, Hall St.
Owner of Enrich Revenue
Barcelona Area, Spain

Frederic Savoye
Regional Director of Revenue Western & Southern Europe
Hilton Worldwide
Barcelona Area, Spain

Suzie Wotton
Vice President of Marketing
Red Carnation Hotels
London, United Kingdom

Brannon Winn
VP Business Development - EMEA
Sabre Hospitality Solutions
The Netherlands

Sally Beck
Hotel Manage
Lancaster London hotel
London, United Kingdom

Reto Gurtner
Weisse Arena Gruppe
Saint Gallen Area, Switzerland

Dr Des O'Mahony
Founder & Ceo Ireland (Head Office)

Siri Løining Kolderup
Head of Communications
The Thief
Oslo, Norway

Jeff Karlson
Group Vice President
London, United Kingdom

Alex Muttscheller
Director of Distribution and Data Management
Kempinski Hotels

Francis Bertrand
Vice President Ventes Internationales
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Chris Cooper
Group Director of Revenue
Rocco Forte Hotels

Carl Oldsberg
VP Revenue & Distribution
Nordic Hoice Hotels

Thomas Bieger
Prof. Dr. President
Professor of Management with special focus on the Tourist Industry

Matthew Pancaldi
Director of Sales Europe & Asia
United Kingdom

Erik Munoz
Executive Director Strategic Sales & Global Partnership
London, United Kingdom

The HSMAI European Awards

"The European Travel Marketer of the Year is a prestigious award, and to be a part of the jury gives inspiration, although it is quite challenging. We were looking for a campaign that really stands out and has managed to bring the business idea of the company's target markets, as well as to the customer. The winners of the different categories have managed to do so," says chairman of the jury, professor dr. Bård Tronvoll, with reference to this year's winners, who are:

TV Advert of the Year
Gold: Norwegian
Honourable mention: Nordic Choice Hotels
The jury says:
"Using the old classics can often prove to be a good idea, provided the message is delivered in a good way, which this year's winner achieves. The commercial shows a frustrated customer, highly unwilling to pay the extra cost, filmed on candid camera. The winner is airliner Norwegian, with candid camera."

Content Marketing Project of the Year
Gold: The Thief
The jury says:
"The award is presented to the marketing campaign that demonstrates creativity, clarity, and a sustainable, holistic, strategic, rather than tactical customer-experience focus. Our winner more than fulfilled the requirements of all categories, and we are delighted to congratulate The Thief as the HSMAI Europe 2013 category winner."

Best in Class Technology - Innovation Award
Gold: SuitePad
The jury says:
"This young company has made large steps in Europe into individual hotels and chains in a short time. The judges admired their ability to create a new and innovative way to meet the sales and marketing needs of a hotel through use of new technology and also meet the demand from guests to enhance their stay and retain loyalty. This company offers an insight into the hotel room of the future and a way for hotels to maintain a competitive edge. We are very pleased to recognise SuitePad with the award for Best in Class Technology for Innovation."

The Digital Winner
Gold: Scandic Hotels
Honourable mention: Switzerland Tourism
The jury says:
"This award recognizes the best digital marketing campaign in the hotel industry. We judged the entrances on the strength of their digital presence, but, more importantly, on the impact of the campaign on their customers. We congratulate the winner, Scandic Hotels, for significantly improving their customers? experience through their online check-out feature."

Social Media
Gold: Fjord Norway
Honourable mention: LAAX+
The jury says:
"Using social media's most famous symbol, the winner in this category have managed to make it to the central element of their campaign. This, together with one of the most growing social media channels Instagram they succeeded engaging many of their potential customers to promote the region's top attractions. By using #hashtag, Fjord Norway has won the category of social media. We congratulate!"

PR Campaign of the Year
Gold: Switzerland Tourism
Honourable mention: Fjord Norway
The jury says:
"Combining creative excellence with business impact, the winner of the category PR Campaign of the Year has developed a communication tool which matches its premium offering. Covering different European countries, the web-based 'Wintersleep' campaign engaged potential customers and delivered its message in a subtle and playful manner. We congratulate Switzerland Tourism."

Best in Class Technology - Revenue Management
Gold: IdeaS
Honourable mention: Hotel Lugano Dante
The jury says:
"The winner of our Best in Class Technology - Revenue management demonstrated to the judges a clear commitment to evaluating client needs and providing an innovative solution that replaced outdated methodologies and enabled the client to meet very high growth targets and maintain their competitive positioning. The team at IDeaS demonstrated a clear return for the client showing year on year growth in RevPAR and RGI, and just as importantly, engaged the revenue management team, thereby increasing morale, and creating a sustainable revenue management culture. HSMAI Europe is very pleased to announce that the award for Best in Class Revenue Management Technology 2013 goes to - IDeaS Revenue Solutions."

HSMAI European Travel Marketer of the Year
Switzerland Tourism
The jury says:
"HSMAI European Travel Marketer of the Year is a prestigious award to receive so therefore has the jury put high demands when they discussed the winner. The winner must set an example to the persecution of other tourism stakeholders and must be a good ambassador for European tourism. The winner is able to meet these requirements through to exciting new avenues to communicate with the market and has been able to use many different channels tailored to the individual segments. They have used their unique position as a destination and promoted what characterizes this country. We bow before the Switzerland Toursim."

Switzerland Tourism Awarded HSMAI European Travel Marketer of the Year

Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Germany took home most of the prizes during the HSMAI European Awards at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London last week, celebrating the winners, in which also the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds within sales, marketing and technology in Europe's travel and hospitality industry were named.

Apart from naming this year's winners, the awards night contained lots of entertainment, delicious meals and splendid company - all led by Stephen Twining, of famous tea makers Twinings of London, serving as the evening's master of ceremony.

"The hotel and travel industry is entering a very exciting point in its history. People are travelling more than ever, as the world becomes a smaller place. With more and more people crossing international borders, having a residence in Paris and going to work in London is fast becoming a reality for a number of people. As a globally recognised organisation, it is a fantastic time for HSMAI Europe to be entering new European markets and to be holding our first ever Top 20 Awards here in London," said chairman of HSMAI Europe Ingunn Hofseth, in her opening speech, continuing:

"However, the industry also faces challenges from the world becoming more easy to access through the rise of social media, which is forcing companies to compete on a number of platforms against a growing number of competitors. This is where we believe HSMAI Europe plays a valuable role within this industry, in confronting such challenges. Through sharing knowledge and experience of the hospitality and travel sector, and the ground-breaking ways in which marketing has evolved, we encourage companies to learn from one another and share their skills to help the travel sector reach its true potential and overcome the new challenges it faces."

Deeply impressed
She later went on to express her respect for the wining companies:

"I am deeply impressed by the candidates' work, and, of course, that of the evening's splendid winners, as we honour some of the great men and women who have achieved unbelieveable results, and will stand out as role models in the hotel and travel industry for years to come," she says.

"I would also like to express my gratitude towards our experienced judges and the chairman of the jugdes, Professor Dr. Bård Tronvoll".


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