We hosted our inaugural Simpleview EMEA Summit last month in Liverpool, and while it was certainly intended as a space to meet, network and connect, this event also featured multiple outstanding sessions and in-depth content from a wide range of speakers and industry experts, as well as insight and knowledge from our own Simpleview staff.  If you missed us in Liverpool, let this round-up of the event’s key sessions and themes inform and enlighten you, all while whetting your appetite for next year’s Simpleview EMEA Summit.

Sustainability: Onward Challenges and Opportunities

Simon Calder’s keynote presentation opened the first day of proceedings with a cathartic look back on all that both the industry and the wider travelling public have had to contend with over the last few years.  As part of this conversation, the need for sustainability within the sector rang loud and true as a paramount issue for anyone with any kind of stake or interest in this space — be they businesses or ordinary travellers.  From climate change and over tourism to everything in between, Simon’s presentation highlighted the fact that sustainability is a challenge to be met on many fronts and, likewise, as a concern that can only be resolved via input and action from multiple separate and distinct pathways.  Interestingly, this was a sentiment explored in the session hosted by Hannah McDonnell of Tomorrow’s Tourism, entitled, ‘Sustainable Destinations – What Changes do you Need to Think About?’.  In their case study session, visitnorway.com’s Editor-in-chief Christine Baglo and Jørgen Flo, Tech Lead for Innovation Norway, demonstrated how Visit Norway is taking the issue of sustainability in its stride and — most importantly — how destinations can utilise technology to not only meet this challenge, but how they can actively involve their visitors to ensure that they are an integral part of the solution to sustainability.

The Onward Advance of AI

While no one quite knows what the future holds for the sector vis-à-vis the challenge of sustainability, there was a second topic that emerged as a major point of discussion during our EMEA Summit: AI and, more specifically, what the advance of this technology might hold for the sector.  While Simon Calder’s keynote speech certainly touched on how the advent of this kind of technology could change the travel industry as we currently know it, the session offered by Cosmic Joint Chief Executive Kate Doodson — ‘The Future of Destination Marketing’ — took a deeper dive into how DMOs can use AI as a tool to transform their marketing strategies.  Finally, in her session, Tina Veater, Head of Account Management at Simpleview, explored how our DMO clients can better leverage the power of AI to ensure that they have enhanced search visibility.

Engaging with Accessibility

Accessibility proved to be another major topic in Liverpool, as was evidenced in the sessions hosted by Simpleview Account Manager Miriam Bonner and, likewise, by Visit England’s Head of Business Support Ross Calladine and Tourism for All’s Chief Executive Ray Veal.  On the opening day of the event in Liverpool, Miriam’s session — ‘Understanding the Importance of Accessible Markets with AudioEye’ — explored how DMO clients can utilise the technology of the AudioEye platform to ensure that their websites are accessible to all users.  Meanwhile, during the course of their session — ‘The Importance of Being Accessible’ — on the second day of the EMEA Summit in Liverpool, Ross and Ray highlighted not just the wide and varied challenges that disabled persons face as members of the travelling public, but how DMOs and destinations should be aware of and react to their needs as they seek to successfully engage with this particular demographic of travellers.

Information and Insight for Clients: Simpleview Sessions

In addition to being a forum for expert insight, the two days in Liverpool were also interwoven with multiple sessions hosted by our very own Simpleview staff.  From Trainer Amy Knight-Dawson’s introduction to our new global CMS to Account Manager Matt Bassett’s talk on how DMOs can harness the visual power of CrowdRiff, our team was on hand to educate and inform clients on how to make the most of their Simpleview products.  Whether our delegates were interested in maximising their use of the CMS, the CRM, the DMS or our SEO solutions, there was a session to suit them.

If you missed the knowledge and insight imparted in any one of these sessions, don’t worry; even as we wrap up this year’s event, we’re running a number of Summit Encore webinars that you can register for and of course, we’re already planning 2024’s EMEA Summit.  See you there and be sure to save the date for 10-12 September 2024.