HSMAI Middle East Result on its Dubai Conference
After London, Toronto, Singapore, India, and Korea, the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Middle East successfully finished its 6th Annual ROC Commercial Strategy Conference. This conference was the last of its kind held globally.
The theme of the event was “Connect Evolve Lead.” Connect: Asentiv Worldwide’s Phil Bedford, MSc, gave a motivational talk about networking in the hospitality sector. Evolve: Customer experience enthusiast Steven van Belleghem discussed the process of evolution and the introduction of true customer culture. Lead: Michael Dominguez of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) gave a talk on the value of culture, the need for humility, and the necessity of beginning with the development of a strong team.
The HSMAI conference was an incredible intellectual exchange, exemplified by international keynote speakers whose perspectives were thought-provoking and pertinent.
The conference also included lively roundtable discussions that promoted fruitful idea exchanges and gave guests important takeaways on the newest tactics and trends in the sector, with a focus on innovation, customer involvement, and forward-thinking thinking.
On the second day of the conference, the ROC Star Awards honored three outstanding individuals who had been nominated by their peers for their outstanding accomplishments and impact in the hospitality industry. Out of 41 entries, nine nominations were chosen by the advisory boards. This year, 50% of applications came from countries other than the United Arab Emirates, including the KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, and Iraq. This makes the awards program genuinely regional, recognizing the hard work, creativity, and performance of our on-site executives.
The recipients of the 2023 ROC Star Award are Laurence Desirée Klett, Director of Marketing Communications & Sustainability at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, Linda Mwaffak, Commercial Director at Conrad Dubai, and Abhay Bishnoi, Director of Revenue Management at Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
A choice of the HSMAI certificates, Certified Hospitality Revenue Management Executive (CRME), Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM), or Certified in Hospitality Business Acumen (CHBA), was among the impressive variety of prizes awarded to each winner. The winners also received a merit-based 40% scholarship to Les Roches’ Executive MBA in Global Hospitality Management or Executive Master’s in International Hotel Management, as well as free registration to an online course from Les Roches e-Academy, valued at €1000. Along with a complimentary one-year HSMAI membership for 2024, the recipients also received two complimentary registrations to specific HSMAI ME events.
“This year’s HSMAI conference brought global perspectives and diverse voices to our regional community with local insights, ensuring a rich and varied discourse,” said Mona Faraj, Managing Director of HSMAI Middle East. Our speakers’ diversity—they come from all over the world—has expanded our perspectives and brought a plethora of information and experiences closer to home. The ROC Star winners this year further highlight how lively and dynamic the hotel sector is in this area. These people are role models for our industry, and their accomplishments inspire others to want to lead change.
Key organizations such as Dubai Economic Tourism, Atomize, Fornova, AlMosafer, FLYR for Hospitality, HoloConnects, IDeaS, and more than thirty sponsors collaborated to arrange the event. Hotel experts were provided with timely insights by the conference, given the rapid expansion and ongoing evolution of the hospitality business in the Middle East.