23rd of November 2016

8:00 – 15:00    On-site registration and receipt of badges

8:15 – 9:00     Welcome coffee & Speed matching (Energizing session)

9:00 – 9:10    Official opening

9:10 – 9:35    Key insights into hotel performance in the region (Expert Talks)

Speaker: Thomas Emanuel, Director of Business Development, STR Global

9:35 – 10:20    To brand, or not to brand – is that The Question for hoteliers?
This discussion will highlight the perpetual dilemma of hoteliers if they need to brand their hotel or go unbranded as well as what are the pros and cons of each decision.

•    Laurent Denis, Head of Development Europe, Louvre Hotels Group
•    Georg Schlegel, Managing Director, Choice Hotels International
•    A hotelier (TBA)

10:20 – 10:45    Optimizing the website: the fast track to raising direct bookings? (Expert Talks)

Irina Gerdjikova, CEO, Lucrat
Angelina Ivancheva, Marketing Manager, Lucrat

10:45 – 11:05    Networking coffee break

11:05– 11:50    Hotel & restaurant marketing in the digital аge: trends, opportunities, case studies

•    How has the digital marketing changed the hospitality landscape?
•    Tips of setting a marketing strategy that works?
•    What are the most effective marketing channels?
•    How to implement innovative solutions to achieve better results?

•    Nicolas Günther, Head of Sales, Travelzoo
•    Hristo Hristov, CEO, Netinfo
•    Alen Popovic, CEO and Co-Founder, Social Me
•    Georgi Malchev, Managing Partner, XploraBG

11:50 – 12:15     How can the industry utilize the best digital advertising & marketing practices ? (Expert Talks)

•    New vs. Returning Clients
•    How to use Google Adwords
•    How to make effective Landing Pages?
•    How to gain more from email marketing campaigns?
•    Hot to use Facebook Ads?

Speaker: Martin Popov, CEO, Interactive Share

12:15 – 12:40    A successful contemporary marketing strategy for hotels in 3 steps (Expert Talks)

Speaker: Katya Todorova, Marketing manager, Clientric

12:40 – 13:05     Best Hotels Panel (Panel discussion)

13:05 – 14:05     Networking lunch

14:05 – 14:50     Gourmet stories: the distinctive cuisine as a marketing instrument

•    How to launch and manage a successful restaurant – a view from the kitchen
•    Restaurant marketing that works: how to find, attract and retain the foodies?
•    How to set the “right” menu?
•    Gourmet tourism – is this a niche in the region?

•    Norman Dinsdale, Senior Lecturer, Course Leader MSc. International Hospitality Management at Sheffield Hallam University
•    Chef Andre Tokev, Restaurateur, ANDRé and Grozd restaurants
•    Moderator: Henning Krippendorf, Owner, Tracklayer

14:50 – 15:10     Networking coffee break

15:10 – 15:55     New players, new business models – how do OTAs and sharing economy businesses change the game and how to make use of them?

•    What are the game changers in travel industry today and how to adapt to the changes?
•    OTA – a rival or ally for hoteliers?
•    How should hoteliers benefit from the opportunities provided by the online travel agents?
•    Travel market 2020 – how will it look like?

•    Emanuel Tutek
, Partner, Horwath HTL SEE
•    Velizar Velichkov
, Co-Founder,
•    TBA

16:00 – 16:45    Destination marketing – what makes the great destinations great?

•    How to communicate with potential visitors to influence their destination preference and their final destination choices.
•    New trends and opportunities in destination marketing.
•    Destination branding: mission possible?

•    Andrea Kaiser, General Manager, Park Inn by Radisson Sofia
•    Rumen Draganov, Director, Bulgarian Institute for Analysis and Assessment in Tourism
•    Marian Beliakov, CEO, Pamporovo AD (tbc)

16:50 – 17:35    The role of architecture & interior design in hotel marketing

•    Andrey Velinov, CEO, Vista Point Architecture Studio
•    Gencho Goev, CEO, Goev Design Studio

17:35 – 17:40   Closing remarks