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2020 Summit Agenda

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2020 Summit Agenda

Sessions and Speakers subject to change

Updated as of September 19th, 2019

Sunday, February 23rd

7:00 AM: Attendee Registration opens

8:00 AM - 12:15 PM: Aspiring Day Session

12:15 PM - 1:00 PM: Aspiring Day Lunch with the AIHP BOD

1:00 PM - 5:30 PM: Aspiring Day Session

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM: AIHP Giving Back Event (offsite)



Monday, February 24th

7:00 AM: Exhibitor Registration & set-up

7:00 AM: Attendee Registration open

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM: Room Hosts Meeting

7:45 AM - 8:30 AM: Board Recruitment Breakfast

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Opening General Session for attendees & exhibitors

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM: Forum Sessions

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM: Networking Lunch for attendees & exhibitors

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM: Breakout Sessions

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM: Breakout Sessions

3:00 PM: Marketplace opens & Spotlight Sessions begin in the Marketplace

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Marketplace Reception

7:00 PM: Marketplace closes

Tuesday, February 25th

7:00 AM: Attendee Registration open

7:30 AM - 8:45 AM: Plated AIHP Breakfast for all

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Breakout Sessions

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM: Breakout Sessions

11:30 AM: Marketplace opens

12:15 PM: Lunch in the Marketplace

3:00 PM: Sweet Treat Break in the Marketplace

5:30 PM: Marketplace closes

6:30 PM: 2020 Summit Party at the Hyatt



Wednesday, February 26th

7:00 AM: Attendee Registration opens

7:30 AM - 8:45 AM: State-by-State Breakfast for all

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Breakout Sessions

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM: Breakout Sessions

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM: Marketplace opens

12:15 PM: Lunch in the Marketplace

2:00 PM: Marketplace closes

2:00 PM -3:15 PM: Breakout Sessions

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM: Breakout Sessions

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM: Sponsored Happy Hour

6:30 PM: Client Dinner opportunities

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2020 Summit Sessions

Educational Sessions

AIHP is proud to provide a wide variety of timely and engaging educational sessions to independent property owners, hosts, and managers. Stay informed on everything from ADA updates and taxation concerns to emerging culinary trends to share with your whole team!

Our presenters include successful current and former innkeepers, prominent small business owners, and representatives of the Summit’s most popular Allied Partners. From intimate classroom settings to large keynote sessions, you’ll have the ability to learn from and engage with a diverse group of talented presenters.

If you’d like to present or recommend a session topic, please contact Andrea Bushweiler, the 2020 Summit Content Planner, at



  • Back of the House Operations Path will help you and your team increase the effectiveness of all aspects of running your property from staffing to creating healthy work environments to managing finances, and so much more. 


  • Guest Experience Path will excite you and your guests with fresh ideas for creative food, packaging and upselling offerings to increase your bottom line and surprise your guests. 


  • Revenue Development Path will challenge your knowledge with updates on the latest in technology and marketing trends to bring guests to your properties at the highest profit.


  • The Forum Sessions are new to the Summit this year and offer an opportunity for open discussion on current topics important to all. 

Back of the House Operations Path


Guestroom and Common Space Makeover Ideas from $50 to $1500
Presented by Megan McCrea, The Hospitality Creator

Transformations to your property CAN be made without breaking the bank! There are many small and subtle ways for you to update and refresh your rooms and common spaces, without spending a ton of money. This session will share practical and creative design ideas that will make a remarkable difference.  


Taming the Feast or Famine Monster: Managing Cash Flow in a Seasonal Business
Presented by Joanne Beck, Beck Bookkeeping Solutions, LLC

Business finances and managing a budget can be intimidating but with the right tools, it is possible! In this session learn how to create a budget and track revenue and expenses on an ongoing basis so that you are running a profitable business.


Exit Strategies
Presented by Peter Scherman, The B&B Team®

This is a session that every property owner should attend!  Your exit strategy should be part of your opening business plan but what do you need to do to plan for exiting your business? From succession planning to sell the business, learn practical solutions for exiting your business.


Managing Inventory & Cost of Goods Sold
Presented by Richard Blum, Blum HD LLC & Durk Johnson, Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals

Cost of goods sold is one of the most important elements of your business to understand. Learn effective strategies to track the cost of goods sold and manage inventory.  


Human Resources 101 (Introductory Level Session)
Presented by Barbara Marcas,
SHRM NM State Council Director

From hiring to firing, this session will cover the tools you need to make sure your HR process is both efficient and compliant.  


Defining Compensation Plans for My Team (Advanced Level Session)
Presented by Linda Hayes, ijk Partners/an Affiliate of the B&B Team with Richard Blum, Blum HD LLC & Jeff Clegg, Redfish Lake Lodge

How do you pay your staff well without breaking the bank?  This session will share how to create effective compensation plans for managers, assistant innkeepers, housekeeping, and more.


Creating Contracts that Protect Your Business
Presented by Audra Clegg, Redfish Lake Lodge

No matter the size of the events that you are hosting, a contract is critical to protect your business! But what are the guidelines for creating a legal contract? Learn what details and provisions you should be including in your contract as well as checklists and timelines to guarantee that your events go off without a hitch!  


ADA Compliance for Your Property
Presented by Sam Lillard, Fisher & Phillips, LLP

This session will cover need to know requirements for both your physical property and your properties website, including property accessibility, website accessibility, service animals and disability compliance.  


Best Practices on Cleaning, Laundry and Other Guest Services
Presented by Durk Johnson, Housekeeping Solutions Team

How do you know that your property is truly clean and that your staff is maintaining up to date standards and exercising sanitary practices?  This session will share strategies for efficient housekeeping practices as well as tips on the best products to use.


Self-Care for the Hospitality Professional
Presented by Ellen Grinsfelder, Chief Executive Boards International & Innward Consulting

Is life/work balance really achievable?  This session will share tips on developing personal, business and financial goals as well as how to maintain a balance in your work and life.


Guest Experience Path


2020 Food Trends
Presented by Paul Jensen, The Dotted Lime

Breakfast is an important part of the guest experience but how do you keep it fresh and impressive? Watch simple demos of the latest food and beverage trends and learn tips & techniques to create five-star ratings for your food. 

Revamp, Refresh, Renew: Smart Ideas for Winning Room Design
Presented by Joanne Pearson, Fair Haven Photographs

Just because it's the latest design fad doesn't mean it will translate to great guest experience. Learn what decor updates you can make that are not only beneficial to how you present your property but will also increase the guest experience.


Handling Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions on Your Property
Presented by Ross Moskwa and Laura Moskwa, The Bradley Inn

Food allergies and preferences are at an all-time high! This session will address tips for keeping your food fabulous while adapting to guests with a dietary restriction. In addition, the session will cover cross contamination and the important steps you should take to address allergy food preparation in your kitchen.


Minimizing Your Impact on the Environment
Presented by Amanda Stultz, Sítrónu

It has become a priority for lodging properties to be environmentally conscious and reduce waste in order to minimize their impact on the environment. Many green initiatives are not expensive to implement and provide substantial benefits to the business!  Learn what some of these initiatives are and the steps to take to reduce your property's impact on the environment. 

Incorporating Wellness Tourism into Your Lodging Property
Presented by Julie Pankey, JM Pankey Partners with Deb Riegel, Hermann Hill & Lucy Lewand, Camellia Inn & Andrea Bushweiler, The Lakehouse Inn

In this session learn about past, present and future trends in the wellness tourism industry as well as the key performance indicators that have contributed to making this one of the fastest-growing segments of the global wellness economy. Learn from this candid conversation with a global wellness tourism expert and a group of your peers how you can easily incorporate these spa and wellness strategies into your business. 


Staying a Click Ahead of Your Guests

In this technology-driven world, what are your guests looking for when they visit your Inn?  Are strong WIFI and multiple outlets enough or are they expecting more? Since every Inn and every guest is different, how do you determine what works best for your Inn and your guests?  Hear from a panel of Innkeepers, from both ends of the technology spectrum, on what they have done and the feedback they have received from their guests.


Revenue Development Path


AIHP 2020 Profitability Panel

Join a distinguished panel of industry experts to discuss three important issues facing small lodging today. Get tips on ways to better manage your relationship with Online Travel Agents like and Expedia, why you should be using Yield Management to increase your bottom line, and how to market your business to get eyes on your property. 


Google 2020 (Advanced Level Session)
Presented by Lisa Kolb, Acorn Internet Services

What happened to my listing? It’s important for all hospitality professionals to be comfortable with maneuvering their way through Google’s ever-changing display results. Come to this session to learn where, when and why Google is displaying your Website where they do in their result pages on both Desktop and Mobile. This session will prepare you for how these changes may affect your business in 2020. 


Have Your Way with the OTAs (Advanced Level Session)
Presented by E. Scot Fuller Beatty,
The Chadwick Bed & Breakfast and Think Reservations

Back by popular demand! 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. 


TripAdvisor Training for Today's Hospitality Professionals
Presented by Pat McCauley, Inside Out Solutions Inc. and Lisa Kolb, Acorn Internet Services

Have you noticed a dip or an increase in your TripAdvisor referrals? It may be a result of the ongoing changes to the way TripAdvisor shares your information. Join us in this session to learn how and why guests use TripAdvisor starting with reading your reviews all the way through booking a room. We will also touch on the different paid advertising options for Hotels, Bed and Breakfast Inns and Vacation Rentals. Learn from your peers how they are making TripAdvisor work for them!


Just How Important is Google My Business?
Presented by Pat McCauley, Inside Out Solutions Inc.

Google My Business (GMB) has become a business professional’s secondary website. It’s the primary starting location for Google Maps and Local listings on your guests’ phone! This information needs to be constantly updated with fresh information that Google wants and uses to help expand exposure to your audience. Learn what types of hospitality providers do and do not have access to these various tools. INCLUDING! Google Hotel Ads: Is this a competitive add-on to include in your Paid Marketing Toolbox? Come to this session to learn all about how Google is marketing your business with or without a website!


Instagram Marketing 101  (Introductory Level Session)
Presented by
Tyann Marcink, Branson Family Retreats and Touch Stay

Are your target guests on Instagram? Most likely! Learn how to use Instagram to market to your target audience. We will cover the basics of hashtags, best practices, location tagging, creating and editing photos and videos, setting up a business account, learning from your stats, and how to create stories. You'll walk away with a solid foundation to build and grow Instagram as a marketing avenue.


How to Write a Blog that Attracts Guests (Introductory Level Session)
Presented by Jessica Vozel, Guest Hook

Top-notch focused content is a strong magnet for guests searching for a getaway. Learn how to write a compelling blog focused on your target guest while weaving in SEO to bring your website to the top of your ideal guests' search results. You'll learn exactly how to determine the best keywords, how to choose photos, and how to stay ADA compliant.


Pro Tips for Mobile Photography to Elevate your Social Media Game
Presented by Marcus Berg & Kory Klopp, Unique Angles Photography

Bring your smartphone! Bring your smartphone! This session will cover pro tips that you can apply to your smartphone photography to help elevate your social media images to the next level. You'll get simple, easy to implement techniques for more compelling photography for your social media and blog posts.


Improving Your Website's Performance (Advanced Level Session)
Presented by Matt Bare, Q4 Launch

In this session, attendees will learn about recent changes in website design and how they need to respond proactively.  As well as the top 10 action items for improving your properties website, conversion rate optimization best practices, and a live website review of three audience volunteers.


Marketing Budgets for 21st Century Lodging Properties
Moderated by Ben Lloyd, Odysys and presented by Carol Edmondson, Inn Advisors, Cindy Bachmann, Innkeepers Advantage and Stephen Fofanoff, Odysys

A high-level look at where to put your limited resources (time and money) to get maximum results! Using the data you already have (analytics) to make marketing decisions and spend marketing dollars more effectively. Will cover managing OTA partnerships for better results; Dealing with the changing search engine landscape; Marketing trends and practical advice from helping hundreds of properties at all levels.


How to Get More "Bang for Your Buck" from Your Associations & Networking Groups
Moderated by Stephen Fofanoff, Odysys and presented by Ellen Grinsfelder, Chief Executive Boards International, Julie McAferty, Greenlake Guest House and Rob Fulton, CEO AIHP

A panel discussion with audience participation to discuss how associations and other business networks play a crucial role for independent properties who can use them in innovative ways to help lower costs, increase revenue, and stay ahead in a changing market.


Make More Hay in 2020!
Moderated by Yvonne Martin, White Oak Inn and presented by Monique Greenwood, Akwaaba Inns, Lucy Lewand, Camillia Inn, and Dan Clark, Inn of the Turquoise Bear

Hear from industry experts on how to increase your revenue. You've already got a property, a website, a booking engine, guests, etc. Are you maximizing your revenue? Get creative ideas for ways to earn more revenue from what you've already got in place.


Effective New Ways to Increase Your 2020 Occupancy, Revenue, and Profits-Advanced Level Session (Advanced Level Session)
Presented by Terry Hammer, Hermann Hill

In 2019, Hermann Hill introduced "Stay Your Way" and 2:1 pricing as a way to increase occupancy, revenue, and profits. The results are in and it worked, with record ADR and RevPar numbers! In this session, Terry will share how he has improved his bottom line by using different amenity levels and aggressive pricing strategies, reducing unoccupied rooms costs and increasing mid-week occupancy.  Attendees will also receive a 20 step plan to increase 2020 occupancy for both weekdays and weekends as well as Hermann Hill 2019 financials, yield management pricing charts, and a list of operational ideas that should help make 2020 your best year ever.


Implementing your 2020 Direct Booking Strategy
Presented by Janice Hurley, bnbfinder

This session will evaluate and identify 5 strategies you can implement right now to drive more direct bookings than ever before. Dive into the effectiveness of directories, social media, reviews, reward programs, and delivering unforgettable guest experiences.


Lodging and Consumer Trends among Independent Properties
Presented by Lyse Perrigo, Smith Travel Research

STR has been the industry standard for hotel data for the past three decades. We will give an overview of the importance of revenue management, how consumer preferences have changed, and the overall status of the hotel industry. Data is critical to all attendees in understanding where the independent travel and tourism sector stands in relation to the rest of the industry.


Creating Success on the Airbnb/Hotel Tonight Platforms
Presented by Jori Goodman, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Hotel Tonight

  •       Learn about Airbnb/Hotel Tonight’s program for independent lodging and hotels
  •       Learn about Airbnb’s integration with Hotel Tonight
  •       What to expect in the coming year?
  •       How can independent lodging and hotels be effective and successful on the platforms?
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