Keynote speakers at the Social Travel Summit in Kitzbuehel

With less than two months to go until #STSKitzbuehel begins, we wanted to share some more information about our keynote speakers. All our keynote speakers are experts in their fields, be it digital and influencer marketing or travel market trends, and their presentations promise to inspire and educate all our delegates.

Read on to find out more about three speakers we can’t wait to hear more from in Kitzbühel, Austria on 18th – 20th September. And in case you haven’t yet booked your place at the Social Travel Summit,  there are still some tickets available, check out this page for more information.

Nick Westergaard

No stranger to the Social Travel Summit, Nick Westergaard opened up the conference at the first STS back in Leipzig, Germany, in 2014, and we are delighted he is joining us again this year in Austria. Nick is an expert in digital branding, a highly sought-after professional speaker, and the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital. We spoke with Nick recently to find out what he was looking forward to in Kitzbühel:

“I am so excited to be returning to the Social Travel Summit! This is such a great community of bloggers, content creators, and adventurers! This year, I’m doing both a keynote and a workshop. The keynote is looking at What’s Next when it comes to social, digital, and content. More than just a trend talk, we’re going to take a look at what’s on the horizon and, more importantly, what you can do to be ready. My workshop is based on my book, Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. During this session we’ll answer the question that many small, scrappy brands face: How can I do more with less? I will discuss strategy (in a painless and actionable way) and look at some of the tips and tricks you can do to simplify your digital marketing. This will be my first time in Kitzbühel and I can’t wait! I’m really looking forward to getting social together!”

You can read more about Nick and his keynote, What’s Next and What You Can Do to Be Ready, below.

Bio: Nick Westergaard

Nick Westergaard is a strategist, speaker, author, and educator. As Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, he helps build better brands at organizations of all sizes — from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Nick is the author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. Nick is a contributor to the Harvard Business Review and host of the popular On Brand podcast. His thoughts have been featured in news sources such as US News & World Report, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Mashable, and more. He teaches at the University of Iowa, where he sits on the Advisory Council of the Marketing Institute at the Tippie College of Business and the Professional Advisory Board for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is also organizer and host of the Social Brand Forum and a mentor at the Iowa Startup Accelerator.

Keynote: What’s Next and What You Can Do to Be Ready

With over a billion users on Facebook and half of U.S. teens creating and consuming content on Snapchat, it’s safe to say that social media and new forms of content continue to dominate our marketing. As new networks emerge and existing platforms add even more features, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of these rapid shifts. In this insightful and engaging keynote, Nick Westergaard takes a look at seven digital marketing trends that need to be on your radar, what they mean, and what you can do to prepare for them.

Simon Lehmann

Earlier this year, iambassador launched a media partnership with Phocuswright, the world’s leading research authority for the travel market. With their fingers on all the relevant pulses when it comes to travel market trends, developments and news, Phocuswright is a company that all players in the travel industry should keep a close eye on, and #STSKitzbuehel is looking forward to welcoming Phocuswright’s Senior Analyst, Simon Lehmann to Austria. In his keynote, Destination Unknown: How Travelers Decide Where to Go, delegates will gain exlcusive insights into the travel consumer, the trends shaping their decisions and more.

Here’s what Simon told us about how he’s looking forward to #STSKitzbuehel and how Phocuswright can help STS delegates.

“I’m really looking forward to attending the Social Travel Summit in Kitzbuehel, Austria. Phocuswright is the travel industry’s most influential source for market intelligence. We synthesize our data into rigorous research & world-class strategic events. Our goal is to help companies understand traveler inspiration and provide actionable insight. We also use our research to inform audiences around the world at events like STS.

Today’s travel industry is situated in a period of perpetual evolution. Fierce competition, never-ending growth opportunities and a constant influx of new technologies and business models make navigating this dynamic marketplace more challenging than ever. It is now more important than ever to understand consumer behavior and trends as they navigate the travel life-cycle: search, shop, book, experience, share.

My time on stage will uncover how travelers in the U.S. and Europe select destinations, their motivating factors (like the influence of peer/family recommendations vs. a desire to get away vs. natural/cultural attractions), preferences for online vs offline channels, travel incidence, frequency, duration and other travel decisions.”

Read more about Simon and his talk below.

Bio: Simon Lehmann

Simon was previously the CEO of Biketec AG, the producer of the FLYER E-bikes located in Huttwil, and CEO of Interhome, the European market leader in placing more than 32,000 vacation apartments, vacation homes, and chalets in 29 countries. His past experience also includes holding the position of deputy CEO of the Hotelplan-Gruppe in 2012, where he was responsible for the Travel Related & Online Services Division (including Interhome and the online travel agency Over the years, Simon made a name for himself beyond the Swiss borders as an online expert on the travel industry in general, but especially in the vacation rental industry. Simon Lehmann is frequently invited as a speaker for online travel events worldwide and is asked on board as a consultant for startups. He was also a non-executive board member with HomeAway until they were sold to Expedia. Prior to his time at Interhome, Simon was active in various top management positions at Swissport International, a worldwide leading company in the area of airport ground handling and former Swissair Group company.

Keynote: Destination Unknown: How Travelers Decide Where to Go

Taking a deep dive into the leisure travel destination selection process, Simon will provide insights into how US and European travelers decide where to go. He will reveal key motivating factors, preferences regarding offline and online information sources, and websites and apps used by travelers in the US, France, Germany, and the UK. Topics include overall consumer travel trends including travel incidence, frequency and duration of trips, and destination selection patterns. Simon will also look at the point at which travelers choose their destinations, the specialized process that sets destination selection apart from other travel decisions, as well as motivators for selecting a travel destination and specific sources of influence, information, and websites used.

Kieran Morris

We’re very excited to be welcoming Kieran Morris to the Social Travel Summit this year, and we know he and his talk will bring some informative and exciting insghts about influencer marketing to our delegates in his keynote, What’s Happening to Influencer Marketing.

As head of all client accounts at Slingshot Sponsorship, a forward-thinking marketing agency that specialises in innovative brand sponsorship campaigns, Kieran has plenty of experience with both clients and influencers. We look forward to hearing more about this and his own predictions for the future of influencer marketing.

Kieran explains what he is excited to experience at #STSKitzbuehel:

“The Social Travel Summit is the most exciting influencer conference to attend, with such a strong and leading community of content creators, travellers and brands. I am thrilled to be delivering a keynote this year talking about my expertise from Slingshot Sponsorship, on how to drive an ROI for both sides – rights holders and brands. My keynote will focus on identifying what influencer marketing actually is, the battle between influencers and micro influencers, which platforms should be utilised to drive commercial value in partnerships and also how to drive long-term partnerships. Using my knowledge of negotiating, developing and activating global partnerships across multiple industries this should give all watching many ideas to drive revenue and develop long term commercial partnerships!”

Read more in his bio and an overview of his keynote talk below.

Bio: Kieran Morris

Kieran is responsible for the management of all client accounts across Slingshot Sponsorship’s portfolio. He plays a key role in the strategy and sales phase through to the delivery and management of successful sponsorship activation. With a focus on creating groundbreaking partnerships with Slingshot’s rights holder clients, Kieran has worked to drive the true commercial potential of sponsorship with a number of properties including sports teams, charitable causes, entertainment events, digital applications, and venues.

Keynote: What’s Happening to Influencer Marketing

With headlines like “Has Influencer Marketing Effectively Become Clickbait?”, one has to wonder, what’s happening to influencer marketing? There are many genuine, ethical, professional influencers operating on the principal of simultaneously creating value for their audience and their clients. However, with the barrier to entry low and the ability to game algorithms high, there are others using the title “influencer”, who are nowhere near the same caliber. This session will explore: the meaning of influencer by defining what it is to be a rights holder; where the true value lies in blogs and social platforms; the commercial value of micro-influencers; how relationships between brands and influencers can be forged to generate true, long-term ROI for both sides; and the future of influencer marketing?