17 November 2007

Musings from PhocusWright 2007 - The Long Tail

Perhaps a kinder gentler PCW this year at the Omni Resort in Orlando.

Sure there was the usual Philipalooza extravaganza and some nice touches - as usual a great show. BUT the bigger news perhaps is the maturity of the market if this is reflected by the attendees and the content.

On Center Stage - the usual suspects. Michelle Peluso was back in great form now that Sabre is private (under TPG). Lots of buzz on long tail businesses which perhaps suggests that there is game over in the head of the market.

So stands out?

The airlines - conspicuous by their absence. The (what we call) Reverse Yield Management sites - Farecast et al, put on a great panel.
Google - is now the 8000 lb gorilla and becomes the center point of almost every conversation.
Social Media is real, is impactful and is a key ingredient in Travel Distribution now. BTW great party they threw!
OTAs have matured - now it’s about the consumer. Kudos to Michelle for pushing the consumer experience. I have a bet with Rod Cuthbert of Viator as to which of the big 2 will be in the ascendency in 2009. I am backing Travelocity because of Michelle. He is taking the safe way with Expedia.
Investment - LOTS of news here. Hudson Crossing (in whom PCW's Chair has a stake) was out in force. The Libra party had to transfer back to the bar for waking up the golfing neighbors on their floor. Lots of people both seeking and offering capital assistance. Chimney Rock is the new player here; finally an investment bank with some industry professionals. Good to see my old friends Mims Wright and Susan Black have re-united there.
Shock and Horror with the sell out by Libgo to Ozzies Flight Center. Heads will role.
Travelport dropped the hammer and is letting over 1100 people go. Lots of new consultants on the street in the coming months. Flo will be acting CMO and commuting to London. Come May she will be headed to the beach and good for her.

A kinder gentler Philip this year. I understand attendance was down but at those rates phew!!!!
The resort clearly had logistical issues running out of restaurant food on Wednesday night. But all in all another good effort. Next year we can expect that every attendee will be a mobile walking electronic billboard with Philip selling prime time ads on certain people. Terry Jones for example will have premium rates more akin to the back page of the New York Times.

So till next year



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe I was at a different conference? Kinder and gentler??

Michele Peluso was not back in form, she was just giving the same speech she gave a few years ago. Did she really ask suppliers "can we just all get along?" She needs to get a new pitch, especially with Expedia's announcement about going to a CPC model for hotels! I'm putting my money with Rod Cuthbert's...

I heard the attendance was over 1000. Don't think the price of entry is having any effect as it is the only travel conference worth going to in my book.

And as for selling ad space on Terry Jones, it conjurs up a very disturbing image.