2021 Education Topics

Below are the available on-demand education topics for the 2021 InnSpire event. All sessions have been pre-recorded for attendees to view on their own schedule through June 30, 2021.

Opening General Session

Popsicle Moments: Creating a big impact….with little money.
Darren Ross, CEO, Service Freak Hospitality, LLC, Operators of Magic Castle Hotel, Hollywood, CA
Darren Ross will share how he and his team at the Magic Castle Hotel in Hollywood have been creative with service, and that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create an impact. The Magic Castle Hotel has won five Stars of the Industry Awards for Guest Relations Award presented by California Hotel & Lodging Association. They understand that meaningful service happens when guest are made to feel listened to and responded to.

Marketing Workshops

SEO is Dead – Long Live SEO (Is All Google Traffic Created Equal?)Annie Buck, Education Director and Pam Prentice, Marketwatch Manager; Acorn Internet Services
There has been a definite change in “SEO” marketing thought. It used to be website search engine optimization (SEO) was all you needed to do, but since Google has placed so much emphasis on their Local / Maps / Travel components in recent years, innkeepers need to know that the return isn’t just via their website optimization, but from their Google My Business account and how they control their OTA feeds.  This affects Google, TripAdvisor and where website traffic and ultimately bookings now come from. This advanced course will go over the results of a 2-year study and the trends that have been discovered.

Google from a 10,000-Foot Level – An Introduction to Google Marketing for Innkeepers – Lisa Kolb, President & Co-Founder, Acorn Internet Services
Too many new innkeepers do not fully understand the current breakdown of Google’s services, and how your information is displayed for your guests, therefore marketing your inn on Google successfully becomes a challenge.  This beginner session will go over the difference between Google Organic placement, Google Maps, Google Local, and Google Travel, and how to be seen in each of these locations.

How to Survive Any EconomyNathan Mayfield, President, ResNexus
From the rise of OTA’s, to pandemics and government shutdowns, learn tips to survive the good and the bad of any economy.

The Future of Hospitality Distribution Post-COVID-19 – Mark Bloomquist, Director of Sales, Cloudbeds
Changes in travel behavior caused by Covid-19 are altering Hospitality distribution practices, but are also rewinding the clock. Despite an uncertain future, one thing is definite – 2021 will look very different from 2019. Join this session to learn about current insightful trends and changes to hospitality distribution practices, including discussions about: OTA’s, distribution-mix, and how you can capture valuable direct business.

Destination Recovery: A Marketing RoadmapBen Lloyd, Vice President, Odysys
Do you have a roadmap to your marketing in the new normal? Demand for travel is still there, but the rules have changed. Learn the phases of recovery and the marketing strategies & tactics that you can execute to drive recovery for your property and your destination.

Supercharge your Marketing Strategy through the Power of StoryWilliam Foster, Filmmaker and Chief Storyteller, Portlight Creative
As an innkeeper, you should always be looking for ways to connect with your guests in a personal, authentic way. The modern traveler who seeks out smaller inns and B&Bs is likely focused on a more holistic experience that includes their overnight stays at least as much as the activities they choose in the surrounding areas. In this one hour webinar, we will help you understand how story driven elements in your marketing connect you to your guests in a deeper, more authentic way. Your guests want to know who you are, what you value, and why you do what you do. It’s more than having an “About Us” page on your website. Connection is about getting personal and leveraging the things that make you unique.

How to Measure the ROI of your Marketing Strategies – Peter Ross, Co-founder, 829 Studios
There are a myriad of different ways to market your business and all of them require time and money. In this session, we will review data from dozens of companies to determine where exactly you should be aligning your resources. Using these successful organizations as our guide, we’ll analyze their approach to marketing online and identify a few of the most effective marketing strategies. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll have this discussion within the context of a marketing plan so you’ll be able to take home a comprehensive framework for use with your business.

Have Your Way with the OTAs: Finding Your Happily-Ever-After E Scot Fuller-Beatty, Director of Sales & Education at ThinkReservations
Two words: relationship goals. Learn how to best work with your different online travel agencies to optimize your revenue and marketing objectives. Join E Scot Fuller-Beatty, Director of Sales & Education at ThinkReservations and Innkeeper/Owner of The Chadwick Bed & Breakfast in Portland, Maine, as he shares collected tips and tricks from lodging professionals and marketing partners who have found their happily-ever-after.

Operations Workshops

Lessons Learned During COVID-19Innkeeper Panel Discussion
Our businesses faced disruption and our lives were altered when COVID hit. This session is a candid discussion about how these innkeepers worked through the ever-changing protocols, how they handled issues that came up with employees or guests, and what they learned along the way.

California Employee Handbook Changes for 2021Jennifer Shaw, Esq., President and Founder, Shaw Law Group
Employee handbooks often are on the front line of employment litigation. To comply with the new regulations and laws for 2021 and recent court decisions, California employers must make appropriate updates to their employee handbooks. Join us for this session to learn how to get your employee handbook ready so you are in compliance.

Payment Processing & Data Security in the Age of COVID-19 – Wynn J. Salisch, Principal, Casablanca Ventures 
Securing your data from constantly emerging threats – particularly in the age of COVID-19 – can feel a lot like playing an unending game of whack-a-mole. This session will finally explain, in plain English, how to better protect your Personally Identifiable Information (PII), sensitive business, and payments data despite this era of growing fraud and costly breaches. Additionally, you will learn how to deal with the dangers of ransomware and other online threats including hackers, phishers, extortionists, and other cyber miscreants. Limit or even prevent the damage they can cause to your finances, privacy, reputations, and your physical and mental well-being. This session also includes a brief bonus section on payment processing, an explanation of the confusing rates and fees, and how to reduce those costs.

How to Reduce the Time Needed to Clean & Sanitize Guest Rooms – Dr. Sheila O’Halloran, Founder and Managing Partner, Accurate Ergonomics
The cost to clean guest rooms has increased as much as 50% due to COVID-19 and new government regulations. Attend this session to learn the top five strategies hospitality efficiency experts employ to reduce time and save money.

Don’t hurt yourself!  Easy Actions to Implement to Stay Safe at Work – Mike VanAmberg, VP of Operations, Work-Fit
Workplace injuries are difficult for employees and businesses, so learning how to keep your employees safe is essential to successful operations. This presentation provides simple tactics that can be implemented into any workplace to reduce the risk of incurring injury from on-the-job activities.

The Role of Essential Cannabis in Hotel Recovery – Brian Applegarth, Enlightn Strategies
In July 2020, the California cannabis industry reported record sales of nearly $350 million. Recession-proof and ‘Essential’ (as designated by the State of California), cannabis offers an opportunity for hotels as they strategically plan their road to recovery. Come learn about how cannabis-related products and services can support your success, increase stability in times of crisis, and differentiate your establishment in a sophisticated way.     

SBA 504 Refinance Loan: A Tool for RecoveryAmanda Near, Marketing Associate, TMC Financing
Knowing where to look for capital and how to access it can make or break businesses. Learn about nd unlock long-term fixed rate hotel financing through the SBA 504 financing program for: purchases, construction (including land), expansion and/or renovation of hospitality properties, financing for PIPs and equipment/furnishings.

Don’t Panic! Help is on the way! – Robb Monkman, CEO, React Mobile
Hoteliers are facing a lot of challenges today as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. How do they motivate employees to return to work in an environment that may put their health at risk? How can they leverage existing technologies to get a better ROI on new systems needed to attract guests and retain workers? What happens if they find a guest or co-worker who is showing signs of medical distress? With low to no occupancy, how do they meet State legislative requirements and commitments to programs like the AHLA 5-Star Promise to add technology and improve processes, and what happens if they don’t comply? This session will answer these questions and explore the next steps we need to take to ensure that our properties and people are safe.

Five Proven Steps to Prepare for Disasters in the “New Normal” – Patrick Hardy, President, Hytropy Disaster Management
Innkeepers need to be ready for a world of COVID-19 and other disasters occurring simultaneously, such as a wildfire, earthquake, or flood. How do you prepare for any of these in a way that keeps guests and staff safe? What modifications do you need to make to your existing disaster plans? This presentation, by one of the world’s experts in hospitality disaster preparedness, will provide the five proven steps to keep your inn “all-hazards ready” in the midst of the COVID-19 “new normal”.

Mobile and Kiosk Self Check-in: Meeting Guests Where They’re Comfortable – Jeff Tweddale, President, BookingCenter
Enabling Guests to book and check themselves into their room has quickly become the new norm. Allowing ‘self service’ is a contactless feature that sets you apart and saves time and money. In this session, we will examine the ways inns and hotels have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by supporting self check-in, from kiosks and guest’s own mobile devices, and discuss the main challenges and opportunities presented when offering the service.

Industry Updates

2021 California Legislative and Case Law Update – Jason Geller, San Francisco Regional Managing Partner, Fisher Phillips
This session will analyze significant new legislation, case law updates, and employee benefits law developments that will impact California employers in this year.

State Advocacy Update – Lynn Mohrfeld, President & CEO, CABBI and CHLA
COVID-19 has redefined operational requirements for the hospitality industry, and more changes are on the horizon. Join us to learn about how CHLA and CABBI developed resources and worked with state officials to protect the future of California’s hospitality industry. Recognized by the International Society of Hotel Associations for our work in 2020, we are excited to share the future of our programs and discuss the hospitality industry’s political future.

California Submarkets- Trends, Valuations & Revenue Forecast – Kathryn Proctor & Dick Lopez, Lodging Brokers Network
Learn how occupancies and average daily rates are trending within your California submarket. View ranked data on how California submarkets performed over the last year, which markets are rebounding the strongest, and the most up-to-date forecasts for lodging revenue for the next few years. Explore how current cap rates and valuation parameters vary across the state and the implications for your inn’s value.

How California Inn Sales have Changed During COVID-19Kathryn Proctor & Dick Lopez, Lodging Brokers Network
Markets are changing faster than ever before. Join this session to learn about which kinds of California Inns are selling, what buyers are considering, and how Inn financing has changed.

Hospitality State of the Market: Focus on California and Smaller Independent Properties – Chase Oeser Sr. Business Development Executive, STR
Join presenter Chase Oeser, Sr. Business Development Executive with STR, as he provides an overview of the current State of the Hospitality Market. In this session, we will take you through the hospitality industry’s national performance, smaller property performance in California, and the impact of COVID-19.