Whoever at PhoCusWright decided on Hollywood as the venue for this year’s conference should be immediately invited to join President-elect Obama’s new transition team. Day one of what has been billed as the travel industry event of the year did not disappoint. The main focus of Monday was the Travel Innovation Summit - a mix of X-Factor and Miss World where the audience got to be Simon Cowell, Danni and Paula to determine which travel product was going to be the next killer application.
In true PhoCusWright fashion, the vehicle was not the raising of hands or voices but a wireless voting device. Here 32 great travel innovators commenced a battle which, while it may not be to the death, could mean the difference between a partnership with a major online travel agent or the next round of funding.
At various points I expected the CEO to announce to the audience that there ‘can be only one’. Overall we saw an excellent range of genuinely innovative products. However, very few of the presentations actually focused on the revenue model which surely in today’s climate is as important as ever.
Today was like the bikini round - we got to see the bare-bones of the proposition and vote on its technical innovation, financial and market-making potential. Round two on Wednesday is on with the evening wear when we get to see the softer side. I for one can’t wait.
Overall it is refreshing to be in an environment which accepts that we are facing challenging times but is focused on positive action and doing something about it. Maybe that is just America. Maybe it is the Web. Maybe it is PhoCusWright.
If you are interested in following the conference wherever you are read the live feeds on the PhoCusWright Twitter feed
and check out our exclusive videos on the BTN YouTube channel www.youtube.com/breakingtravelnews.