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HSMAI’s Curate Event Explores AI and Innovation

April 23, 2019 Association No Comments

Hospitality industry senior executives from sales, marketing, and revenue management disciplines convened for Curate: An HSMAI Executive Insights Forum, on March 26, 2019 at Thompson Nashville in Nashville, Tennessee. The event, exclusive to companies that are Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) organizational members, generated thought-provoking conversations on issues of interest and relevance to all hospitality industry professionals.

“Spring Curate 2019 was a huge success by any measure,” said HSMAI President and CEO Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA. “From the truly unique experience of our welcome reception at a Nashville recording studio, to the insights and ideas shared by our keynote speakers, to the challenges and opportunities identified through interactive brainstorming — we’re proud to have established Curate as one of the hospitality industry’s premier events for thought leadership and innovation. None of it would be possible without the commitment of our Organizational Member companies, so we have to thank them for their vision and support.”

Forum presentations included, Hospitality as Entertainment by Colin Reed, Chairman and CEO, Ryman Hospitality Properties, in conversation with Kieran Donahue, Marriott International; What We Talk About When We Talk About AI, by Kimberly Nevala, Strategic Advisor, SAS; Experience AI in Action, hosted by Dan Wacksman, CHDM, Chair, HSMAI Marketing Advisory Board; and Solving Distribution at Warner Music Nashville by John Esposito, Chairman and CEO, Warner Music Nashville, in conversation with Flo Lugli, Navesink Advisory Group. There was also an interactive speed voting on hot-button issues, including AI, which was discussed throughout the program. See results below.

My company has a clear definition and vision for AI:
> Yes — 23%
> No — 77%

The biggest barrier to AI in my organization is:
> Unclear definition and strategy — 47%
> Funding — 25%
> Lack of AI skills — 17%
> Ability to manage the data — 5%
> Concerns about job impact — 4%
> Ethical concerns or perceived risk — 2%

The biggest opportunity for AI in hotels will be:
1. Price/revenue optimization
2. Customer service
3. Marketing
4. Operations
5. Other

The event was held for representatives of HSMAI’s 61 Organizational Members, which include Diamond members: Accor, Best Western,, Expedia Group, Hilton, IHG and Marriott; Emerald members: Hyatt, Interstate, and Wyndham, and Sapphire members: Atrium Hospitality; G6, Loews, Omni, Preferred; Radisson; Red Roof, White Lodging, and ZS. The Fall executive insights forum will be held at The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL. HSMAI Europe also holds two Curate forums each year. For more information on Curate and Organizational Membership, including a full list of members, visit

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