HSMAI Perspectives: Demystifying AI: Insights from Curate 2023

Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President and CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)   

Curate Executive Insight Forum is an exclusive benefit of HSMAI Organizational Members – to get together with other executives, collaborate and learn about the most pressing topics in our industry. In early November in Long Beach, CA, over 70 industry leaders gathered for Curate 2023 on Demystifying AI, a topic increasingly central to our industry’s future. In this newsletter, we want to share some of the take aways from the mind-bending day of Curate for all Organizational Members who receive Executive Insights.   

One thing was clear from the event, you can’t hide from AI, it is here to stay. We were joined by experts in generative AI from Google to ZS who shed light on the evolution of machine learning and generative AI and gave us roadmaps on how to implement AI into our work. Finally, Terry Jones, founder of Kayak, shared his vision on innovation.  

Ben Heller, AI Transformation Manager for Google Cloud, opened our day and walked us through the evolution of AI and the powerful applications for use both internally and externally.  

One particularly groundbreaking application of AI: hyper-personalized branding. This concept, once a futuristic idea, is now a tangible reality, allowing us to tailor experiences and services to individual guest preferences at an unprecedented level. Such advancements underscore the need for our industry to continuously adapt and embrace new technologies. 

During the case study session, moderated by Felix Laboy, four presenters shared how they were using AI in commercial functions.  

Jacqueline Nunley, an Industry Advisor for Travel and Hospitality at Salesforce, aptly noted at Curate 2023, “Change will never be as slow as it is today.” This sentiment echoes across sectors as we witness a rapid transformation fueled by AI. Today’s innovations in AI are not just future possibilities but present realities, reshaping how we approach every aspect of hospitality management. 

After Jessica Jarvis from ZS offered an interactive working session, Terry Jones, a pioneer in the travel technology space, offered a compelling perspective: “If your competitor is AI-driven and you are not, their company is learning and improving many times faster than yours, and you may never catch up.” This statement underscores AI’s potential as a powerful competitive advantage, emphasizing the necessity for continuous, always-on learning and adaptation in our industry. 

Curate 2023 was more than just a forum; it was a glimpse into the future of hospitality. As we reflect on the insights shared and the discussions sparked, it’s clear that the journey with AI is just beginning. The question now is not whether to embrace AI but how quickly, safely, and effectively we can do so.  

 Read the Sessions Recaps

If you’d like an invite to Curate 2024, please contact Stacy Gleason, HSMAI Director of Membership.  

Categories: Revenue Management
Insight Type: Articles