Sales Leader Forum

November 8, 2023 | Long Beach, CA, USA

The HSMAI Sales Leader Forum advances the hotel sales discipline by elevating the knowledge and skills of off-property sales leaders when it comes to important trends, critical insights, and best practices…and what it means for leading hotel sales teams in today’s landscape.

You’ll leave with practical information, insights, and strategies to help you sharpen your action plan and challenging ideas to guide your strategies – all aimed at fueling sales.

The Forum is organized by HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board.


“The hotel industry is changing at a tremendous rate. That means that the needs of hotels are constantly changing, which in turn affects the skills required of sales leaders to manage those demands. HSMAI’s Sales Leader Forum is the place for sales leaders to get critical insights on important issues.”
–Eric Kreins
Assistant Managing Director, Sales | Hilton Worldwide Sales


“The more informed your sales leaders are, the better results you will achieve. That’s why IHG is sending some of our top performers to HSMAI’s Sales Leader Forum in October.”
–Jonathan Kaplan
Vice President, Commercial, Essentials & Suites Brands | IHG

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What You Can Expect

Sales in Commercial Organizations: Fueling Collaboration and Avoiding Collision

See more 2022 sessions

Who should attend?

  • Off-property seasoned sellers who want to fuel, update, and/or reinvigorate their career in sales or sales leadership
  • Sales professionals from brands, management companies, and independent hotels and resorts who are leading teams and impacting front-line sellers – from corporate leaders who support on-property teams to regional DOS who oversee multiple properties
  • Examples of attendee titles include Group & BT:
    • national sales director
    • strategic account director
    • key account director
    • area director
    • regional director of sales

The 2023 agenda is coming soon! In the meantime, take a look at what happened in 2022:


  • The agenda included strategic conversations, tactical solutions sessions – all designed to build business acumen to elevate sales as a whole.
  • Chief Commercial Officers provided recommendations and insights into the most pressing issues of the day.
  • With thought leader keynotes and collaborative roundtables, we dove deep into how sales leaders can tackle the challenges of Talent (especially retaining), Helping Sales Teams be More Effective & Efficient, and Cross-Over With Other Commercial Disciplines.
  • The Sales Awards Dinner recognized and celebrated the Sales Professionals of the Year and the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award in Sales honoree (Roger Dow, President & CEO, U.S. Travel Association).

Events In Conjunction With the Forum

  • HSMAI’s Chief Sales Officer Executive Roundtable (by invitation)
    • Friday, October 21, 2022 (+ Sales Awards Dinner the evening before)
    • 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • HSMAI’s Hotel Management Company Sales & Marketing Executive Roundtable (by invitation)
    • Friday, October 21, 2022 (+ Sales Awards Dinner the evening before)
    • 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • HSMAI Curate (by invitation for Organizational members)
    • Wednesday, October 19, 2022 (+ reception the evening before)
    • 8:00 am – 6:30 pm

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

12:00 – 6:00 pm ♦ Registration & Bookstore Open (Legacy Ballroom Foyer)

Pick up your badge first! Then check out the keynote speakers’ books and certification study guides available at very special prices.

4:30 – 6:30 pm ♦ Welcome Reception

Reconnect on the Beans & Barrell Patio with old friends and make some new ones as we kick off the 3rd annual Sales Leader Forum. The reception is included in all conference registrations!

Thursday, October 20, 2022

8:00 am ♦ Partner Showcase & Networking Breakfast

9:00 – 9:45 am ♦ KEYNOTE: The State of the Industry

Recovery is well underway, and economic fundamentals point to a solid foundation for continued rebuilding. However, risks to the outlook must be reckoned with.

Hannah Smith will share STR’s latest views on the economy, the mindset of travelers, and expectations for how and when travel will fully recover — all so you can make smarter, more confident decisions.

  • Hannah Smith, Senior Consultant, STR

9:45 – 10:30 am ♦ Icon Interview: One-on-One with Roger Dow

Roger Dow led the U.S. Travel Association — the national umbrella organization representing all segments of the $770 billion US travel and tourism industry — as President and CEO for 17 years. As he transitions to his next venture aiming to solve the nation’s hospitality workforce crunch, we’ll have an intimate conversation with him about his legacy of progress and innovation, and his perspective on the future of the travel industry.

  • Roger Dow, Founder, Future Work Solutions (FWS)
  • Bob Gilbert, President & CEO, HSMAI

10:30 – 10:45 am ♦ Break for Coffee & Conversation

10:45 – 11:30 am ♦ A View from the Top

This panel of senior executives will bring cross-disciplinary perspectives to bear on recommendations and insights into the most pressing issues of the day—the digital realities of selling, focusing seller attention to drive growth, demand generation strategies, evolving sales skills for the new world, and more.

  • Moderated by Roger Dow, Founder, Future Work Solutions (FWS)
  • Kimberly Furlong, Chief Commercial Officer, Atrium Hospitality
  • Chris Finelli, VP, Sales & Marketing, Hyatt
  • Raul Moronta, Chief Commercial Officer, Remington Hotels

11:30 am – 1:00 pm ♦ Opportunities & Threats: Strategic Issues for the Short- & Long-Term

Thought leaders and practitioners will share strategic insights on today’s key themes.

Theme #1: Loud Retaining: Strategies to Recharge Your Talent Strategy

We’ve been talking about talent acquisition and retention for years, but even after all that time, the need for talent in hotels has never been greater. Staffing challenges in sales, marketing, revenue optimization, and operations are being felt across all hotel companies at the unit and corporate levels.

It’s more complicated than ever these days with quiet quitting, the great resignation, burned out employees who want better work-life balance including remote work and increased wages,

Sometimes it can feel like the problem is insurmountable. Where to start? Let’s focus on retention…because a bird in hand is worth two in the bush!

We’ll talk about “loud retaining” strategies you can deploy to recharge your talent strategy, among them:

      • building your own pipeline by highlighting professional and personal growth opportunities that can lead to longevity with and loyalty to your company
      • controlling both hard and soft talent acquisition costs and the negative impact they have on your company’s bottom line
      • refreshing your talent experience and putting people at the center of your business growth
      • renewing and enhancing skills across your workforce to give your company a competitive advantage

Kimberly Rath, Co-Founder & Chairman, TalentPlus

Theme #2: Helping Sales Teams be More Effective & Efficient

Leading a sales team to ensure productivity and efficiency is no joke. It is even harder than “normal” in today’s world of remote and hybrid work — for your team and your customers.

As the industry’s recovery continues — and recessionary threats loom — how can you support your team to maintain or grow your margin? What strategies and insights can hotels learn from other industries and industry leaders — especially when it comes to the following issues?

      • Fluid deployment – Making it work at scale
      • Understanding and utilizing technology including 1) the potential for automation throughout the sales funnel (e.g., chatbots, email marketing tools, etc.), and 2) capitalizing on the technology resources you currently have
      • What are the KPIs that we should be paying most attention to?
      • The “right” measures of success
      • Delivering outstanding results with a smaller team (e.g., getting higher value from each sale, communicating in person and digitally/virtually for better results, streamlining processes, etc.)

We’ll also get a real-world case study to illustrate how building effective and efficient sales teams is coming to life in a hotel company today.

      • Dr. Kelly McGuire, Principal, ZS
      • Jeff Patton, Vice President of Sales, Americas, Hilton

Theme #3: Sales in Commercial Organizations: Fueling Collaboration and Avoiding Collision

All commercial disciplines in hotels — including sales, marketing, revenue management, and distribution — are evolving and expanding.  Hotel performance goes up when the walls between the disciplines come down. How we share goals, develop integrated strategies, and determine new measures of success can be the difference between growth and stagnation.

This strategic presentation will help you better understand this evolution so you can lead and adapt accordingly. Among the issues we’ll address are:

      • Being a leader in developing a cross-discipline strategy
      • Adapting execution of goals based on strengths and skills
      • Emerging key measures of success for commercial organizations
      • Increasing need for strong commercial acumen among sales professionals

Allison Handy, Senior Vice President of Sales, Aimbridge

1:00 – 2:00 pm ♦ Lunch & Partner Showcase

  • Hospitality students from local universities will join us for lunch…giving you the opportunity to connect directly with the next generation of the industry’s leaders

2:00 – 3:30 pm ♦ COLLABORATE: Deep Dive Discussions on Strategic Issues

Industry experts and well-known keynoters offer lots of takeaways and insights, but HSMAI also believes that it is important to make time to allow attendees to learn from one another.

This portion of the program will spark attendee conversation, engagement, and peer-to-peer learning, taking advantage of the collective brain power at the Sales Leader Forum.

Deep dives will focus on the day’s three big issues that are teed up in the morning:

  1. Retaining Talent
  2. Helping Sales Teams be More Effective & Efficient
  3. Cross-Over With Other Commercial Disciplines

It will be an open exchange of ideas, experiences, and insights that leverages the talent in the room, and leaves you with new connections and knowledge that you can use to immediately impact your business.

3:30 – 4:15 pm ♦ Widen Your Lane: Build Your Digital Marketing Competency

Ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect? It describes the condition where — when we know just a little about something — we struggle to evaluate just how little we know. It’s only after continuing to explore a topic do we realize how extensive it is and how much we still have to master.

As sales professionals are increasingly charged with digital marketing responsibilities, it is easy to fall into this trap when it comes to digital marketing.

This session — led by the instructors of HSMAI’s popular Hotel Digital Marketing Essentials course — will give you a better understanding of the hospitality digital marketing concepts, tools, and techniques you need to know today to hit your sales goals; help you “know what you don’t know” and develop a plan to fill your digital marketing knowledge gaps (and those of your team); and, prepare you to work more skillfully with internal teams and external partners to increase sales and optimize revenue.

  • Dan Wacksman, CHDM, CRME, CHBA, Principal, Sassato LLC
  • Holly Zoba, CHDM, Principal, Scout Simply

4:15 – 5:15 pm ♦ KEYNOTE: Speak with Influence: Communicating with Impact as a Leader

Leading communication expert and champion, Karen Laos, will provide best practices for stepping up your communication game in the workplace. Whether you’re a seasoned expert in the field or growing into a new role, Karen will offer tips and tricks for enhancing your presence and your message. Learn practical ways to build trust and credibility quickly. This session is perfect for leaders of teams and for individual contributors. Let’s all stand out with confidence!

  • with Karen Laos, Founder and CEO, Karen Laos Consulting

6:30 pm ♦ Sales Awards Dinner & Networking Reception

Celebrating and elevating the sales disciple, we’ll recognize and celebrate:

Attendees will include Sales Leader Forum participants, and guests of both the CSO and Hotel Management Company Sales and Marketing Executive Roundtables.

Attire is “festive business casual.”

Registration includes the entire program on November 8, 2023, including breakfast, lunch, and the Sales Awards Dinner.


Registration Type Early Bird through October 11
October 12–Onsite
Hotel/Associate1 $795 / $1150 $995 / $1350
Partner/Supplier2 $895 / $1250 $1095 / $1450
Faculty or Student HSMAI members3 $398 / na $398 / na
Hotel Group Pricing Hotel companies can enjoy significant savings when they register THREE or more people from the same company. The discount is $50 off per person. Contact Mandie Hart at +1 703.506.2025 or to register your team.

1 Individuals who are directly employed by hotel brands, management companies, ownership groups, independent hotels and resorts, DMO’s, restaurants and attractions
2 Individuals from supplier organizations who market to hotel/associate professionals
3 Full-time faculty or student members
4 Join HSMAI today to save on registration fees.

Register now!

Health & Safety Protocols: What You Can Expect in Long Beach

HSMAI will follow the most up-to-date guidance from the CDC for indoor gatherings in terms of masks and other protocols. Details will be shared a little closer to the event.


Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received four weeks prior to the conference will receive a full refund less a $100 administrative fee. Cancellations received between four and one week out are entitled to a 50% refund, or 100% roll-over to the 2023 conference. Cancellations received within one week will not be refunded, except in the case of a medical emergency (including if you are required to isolate due to covid exposure). The transferring of a registration to a colleague is free of charge, and must be requested in writing. All cancellations and transfers must be submitted in writing to

Substitution Policy

A transfer of your full registration is permitted prior to the conference by submitting a written request to Onsite transfers must be accompanied with proof of the original confirmation letter. Only one transfer is permitted per original registrant. The individual submitting the transfer request is responsible for all financial obligations (any balance due) associated with that substitution. Badge sharing, splitting, and reprints are strictly prohibited.

Hotel Group Pricing/Promo Codes

Hotel companies can enjoy significant savings when they register three or more people from the same company. The discount is $50 off per person. Contact Mandie Hart at +1 703.506.2025 or to register your team.

Earn Certification Credits

You will be eligible to receive up to 8 hours of continuing education for CRME and CHDM certification and re-certification for attending the conference.


If you register online, you will immediately receive an electronic confirmation of your registration. If you faxed, mailed, or called in your registration and have not received a confirmation within 10 business days, please contact

Consent to Use of Photographic Images

Registration and attendance at, or participation in, HSMAI meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to the use and distribution of the registrant or attendees’ image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions and audiotapes of such events and activities by HSMAI.

Corporate Confidentiality, Antitrust Guidelines, & Code of Conduct

Attendees at HSMAI’s events must agree to follow HSMAI’s statement on corporate confidentialityantitrust guidelines, and code of conduct.

Special Accommodations

HSMAI is committed to providing access to all individuals attending the conference. Those needing any special accommodations (e.g., sign-language interpretation or large-type print materials) should email Juli Jones.

Registration Help

If you have any questions regarding your registration, please contact Mandie Hart at +1 703.506.2025 or

2023 Speakers Coming Soon!

Reservations can now be made at the Hilton Long Beach at the special HSMAI Sales Leader Forum rate of $205 a night.

Reserve your room online

HSMAI Sales Leader Forum Partnership Opportunities

Platinum: $10,000

  • Welcome attendees from the main stage during a general session (2-3 minutes).
  • Send three (3) company representatives to take advantage of your complimentary registrations and connect with influential attendees face-to-face.
  • Be recognized for your investment in the sales discipline and hotel industry.
    • Premium logo recognition in pre- and post-event marketing
    • Logo placement on print and email marketing
    • Logo recognition as a “Platinum Partner” on the event website
    • Onsite branding on the sponsor logo loop
    • Logo in printed program with 200-word company description
  • Connect in person with attendees at your premium-placed display table in the general session room. You will have room for collateral and a display screen.
  • Provide a customized logo item for distribution at attendee place settings. The item is produced at the sole cost of the sponsoring company, and must be pre-approved by HSMAI.

Silver: $5,000

  • Send two (2) company representatives to take advantage of your complimentary registrations and connect with influential attendees face-to-face.
  • Be recognized for your investment in the sales discipline and hotel industry.
    • Logo recognition in pre- and post-event marketing
    • Logo placement on print and email marketing
    • Logo recognition as a “Silver Partner” on the event website
    • Onsite branding on the sponsor logo loop
    • Logo in printed program with 150-word company description
  • Connect in person with attendees at your display table in the general session room.

Bronze: $2,500

  • Send one (1) company representative to take advantage of your complimentary registration and connect with influential attendees face-to-face.
  • Be recognized for your investment in the sales discipline and hotel industry.
    • Logo recognition in pre- and post-event marketing
    • Logo placement on print and email marketing
    • Recognition as a “Bronze Partner” on the event website
    • Onsite branding on the sponsor logo loop
    • Recognition in printed program with 100-word company description
  • Connect in person with attendees at your display table in the general session room.

Co-located Event Partnership Opportunities

Executive Roundtables: Thursday, November 9, 2023

Sponsor an executive roundtable for senior leaders of hotel companies.

HSMAI Executive Roundtables are networks of like-minded senior hotel leaders that meet periodically at face-to-face forums. The by-invitation-only executive roundtables in Charlotte, NC will host 15-20 senior executives, each responsible for a leading hotel brand or hotel management company’s sales strategy and execution.

Each roundtable has three exclusive partnership opportunities available to connect with these unique audiences.

  • Opportunity for one (1) company representative to sit for a 20 minute Partner Insights session (10 min case study presentation/10 min discussion with attendees). Discussion topics will be mutually agreed upon with HSMAI, our partners and the Roundtable Planning team
  • Invitation for the interviewee and one (1) other company representative to attend the networking lunch
  • Co-branded content with logo recognition and partner mention in the Roundtable summary providing insights for the industry at large
  • Recognition on signage, and in the onsite guide with company description, representative listing, and logo
  • Opportunity to offer guests a branded gift
  • Pre- and post-event access to full contact information for all attendees (except email)
  1. Brand Chief Sales Officer Executive Roundtable: $7,500
  2. Hotel Management Company Sales & Marketing Executive Roundtable: $7,500

Interested in learning more? Contact:

Elise Rhinehart, CMP
HSMAI’s Director of Partnership
T: 703-506-3297 |

Ready to sign up? Complete the SLF Partner Commitment Form today!

Representatives from these companies attended the Sales Leader Forum 2022.

Aimbridge Hospitality
Aloft Nashville West End
Atrium Hospitality
Beaver Creek Lodge
Best Western Hotels & Resorts
BWH Hotel Group
Casa Monica Resort & Spa
Coraltree Hospitality
Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West
ESA Management, LLC
Expedia Group
First Hospitality
Graduate Hotels
Grand Bohemian Charleston
Grand Bohemian Charlotte & Asheville
Grand Bohemian Hotel Greenville
Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook
Grand Bohemian Orlando
Great Ohio Lodges
Greenwood Hospitality Group
HEI Hotels & Resorts
Hilton Anatole
Hilton Worldwide Sales
Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk
Hyatt Corporation
IDeaS Revenue Solutions
IHG Hotels & Resorts
InterMountain Management
Johnson & Wales University-Providence
JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District
Kalibri Labs
Karen Laos Consulting
Kessler Collection
Marcus Hotels & Resorts
MGM Resorts International
Milestone Inc.
Mohegan Sun
North Central Group
Omni Hotels & Resorts
Opal Hotels Group
Otesaga Resort Hotel/The
Pacifica Hotels
Park MGM
Parks Hospitality- Cary Collection of Hilton Hotels
Parks Hospitality Group
Pima Community College
Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Real Hospitality Group
Red Roof
Regency Hotel Management
Remington Hotels
Revenue Analytics
Sassato LLC
Scout Simply
SearchWide Global
Spire Hospitality
Star Performance, Inc.
TAJ Hospitality Management
Terranea Resort
Terrapin Hospitality
The Woodlands Hotel
University of North Texas
University Place Hotel and Conference Center
US Travel Association
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Speak with Influence: Communicating with Impact as a Leader

Widen Your Lane: Build Your Digital Marketing Competency

Helping Sales Teams be More Effective & Efficient

Opportunities & Threats: Strategic Issues for Short- & Long-Term Talent

View from the Top

Icon Interview: One-on-One with Roger Dow

Platinum Partner


Silver Partner


Bronze Partner