Thank you all for the amazing vibe we felt during the 2019 VRMA European Conference, March 17-19, 2019. From pre-conference activities in beautiful Prague to the closing and through the warm foyer and active educational sessions, we could feel the need and will to share and improve from all.
Well attended and appreciated pre-conference activities were one of those sparks that ignited the spiraling fire into this vibe. This illustrates the Bleisure trend that we will try to leverage as vacation rental managers. And yes, it is nice if one has to fly in a day or two before the conference to have options to network in a nice setting.
The will to exchange is confirmed. Sometimes it was even difficult to lure you from the foyer into sessions! And the property managers’ roundtable attracted many and was easy to animate – we’ll do more of that.
Three Trends Strike Me
The curiosity about technology. Several sessions on the topic were well attended, and it is no wonder given how growth and innovation spark new technology solutions to old problems – from noise detectors to AI.
The constructive relationship with the OTAs. They came with large teams, listened actively and presented many improvements catering to professional managers’ specific needs. And yes, there is still a lot to improve to reduce the daunting complexity vacation rental managers face. For example, each of them improves the pricing/yield options – defining some common set of available rules would help manage these in one place until direct pricing becomes universal.
The daunting complexity property managers face explains the rise of questions on property management systems. They dethroned the OTAs as top questions in property manager roundtables. They are the hub that should simplify and tie all technologies and connections. They still have major development needs – and huge new opportunities with AI. I propose to have more plenary sessions, polls and debates on that next year. OTAs could even present their connectivity hit parades…
Of course, that time is also an opportunity to think about the next steps and improvements. We’ll leverage more social media. There were over 400 attendees this year, versus 20 five years ago. The next step is Asia, a reservoir of guests for vacation rental companies and clients for suppliers. And VRMA is a great forum to agree on some level of labels, common tools and rules that will make life better and simpler for the guests, for VR managers and suppliers.
Eric Bordier is a VRMA European Conference Planning Committee co-chair and founder of RENTeGO in Prague.