BEYOND COVID 19 - an industry seeking a vaccine

EMEA - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 

Detailed Agenda

(All Times in CET)

3:00PM - Welcome

Introduce the day and structure

3:05PM - POST COVID BUSINESS TRAVEL – Can managed travel survive?

Can managed Travel Survive? Business needs to get done. You can’t use video chats as the sole way of meeting business partners. We will examine how business travel and face to face meetings will now be utilized to support your growth initiatives, while keeping travelers safe and costs under control. The post crisis phase also means we are shifting from a suppliers market to a buyer market resulting in new procurement strategies. Review how the managed travel industry will survive so you can make your plans and update your travel and procurement strategies.

Greeley Koch (HRS Group)


Business travel as we knew it has now changed. Travelers will need confidence that they will be safe in order to get on a much different looking business travel journey. Gone are the hourly, or even daily, flights between major business centers and with easily finding a hotel that meets the needs.

Let's debate the issues of today's managed business travel set up. Get direct insights into what the crisis did to the idea of a managed travel program and how to keep travelers safe. Take away lessons on the set-up of a new and innovative travel program that focuses on:

  • Supplier strategy - reviewing the travel supply chain, what is best to outsource and where to adopt new procurement strategies
  • Mitigating risk - payments, supplier viability, cancellation fees
  • Contactless travel - hotel hygiene, easy check-in/out, payment and hotel invoice processing
  • Predictive data - for supplier negotiations, traveler tracking and stronger compliance

3:55PM - Questions & Answers

Audience engagement with the speakers and oppurtunity to ask any questions.

4:15PM - BREAK

Coffee break or use this oppurtunity to explore the HRS virtual booth.

4:25PM - THE GLOBAL HOTEL LANDSCAPE – A view on supply, brands and standards post-crisis

The Covid 19 Pandemic is impacting the hospitality industry and the growth of brands and properties around the world.  Business travelers, and the companies sending them on the road, have become used to a wide selection of hotels to review that provides them conveniences, such as favorable locations of hotels to their business needs and many brands and price points.

We will explore how large brands, property owners and independent hotels are reviewing their portfolios for any needed adjustments, given lower expected travel volumes over the next two years and how this will affect the business traveler.

Also, business travelers are impacted by the new hotel cleaning and onsite procedures.  Will this give confidence for companies to send their travelers on the road again? Then we will review the usage of alternative accommodations (such as Airbnb) in a new hygienic environment and how restrictions impact their business model.

This session will assist in developing your preferred hotel strategy to recognize the new landscape that can make the journey safe for your travelers.

4:55PM - THE NEW ROAD WARRIOR - Contactless, safe and productive

Road warriors will want confidence that they can safely and efficiently travel again. Companies will want to make sure their traveler's journey is safe and minimizes the risk of infections and lost funds. We will explore how the hotel and payments industry are responding to the new normal from clean hotels to contactless check-in and check-out along with electronic payments and how the lodging industry will go through a fundamental review of its business models.

Walk away with ideas on how to make the journey for the road warrior safe and contactless from check-in to check-out and with the payment at hotels, restaurants and elsewhere. Also, develop an updated payment strategy which streamlines productivity, reduces risks for the company and traveler and increases compliance and return to the company.

5:25PM - Closing Remark and Industry Outlook: Prediction on Business Travel

Recap of the day and information where to find the resource center.

5:35PM - Deepdives

Break Out Session for Q&A for dedicated Solutions:

  • Lodging as a Service – Platform (Martin Biermann)
  • Payment (Maximilian Waldmann)
  • Sourcing (Philipp Morawietz)
  • Meetins & Groups (Emmanuel Ebray)

Event Speaker

Max C. Luscher MRICS | CEO Northern & Central Europe | B&B HOTELS

Max C. Luscher MRICS has joined B&B HOTELS in 2016 as Director Development & Asset Management and was promoted to Managing Director by January 2017 for Germany, Austria and Czech Republic. Since January 2020 he has been CEO Northern and Central Europe - responsible for the Nordic Countries, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland.

His career is closely associated with the hotel industry. After graduating from high school he completed his training and qualified in hotel management before taking up positions in the international hotel industry (i. a. UK, Ireland, USA, Cayman Islands). The native of Stuttgart then studied business administration and hospitality management at the University of Munich. He followed this by establishing a hotel real estate and hotel management consultancy at KPMG, which he directed as a company officer and senior manager. In addition, he completed the vocational course in real estate investment management at the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel.

Max is married and has three children.

Panel 2: THE HOTEL LANDSCAPE - A future of cleaner and fewer hotels for business travelers


Thorsten Eicke | Vice President Category Global Mobility Services | Siemens AG

Thorsten Eicke, born 1963, started his career in Hamburg within the travel management company area. He worked as a manager at some Thomas Cook travel agencies. After other management positions at smaller TMCs, he changed to American Express, where he worked in the TMC and credit card area in several roles. He worked on international level within American Express.

Then he changed into the management position as a travel manager at the consulting company Ernst & Young /Andersern in Eschborn/Frankfurt. He was responsible for the countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He took a global role in travel management at company mg technologies/Gea Group afterwards.

Part of his duties was the TMC consolidation, worldwide hotel negotiation, car rental and policy set-up and strategic process owner for all interfaces within the travel area (e.g. expense management systems). He also had owned responsibility for the global car fleet area within the Linde Group. In this role he looked after the negotiations with lease suppliers, car manufactures and fleet provider and works on the strategic process set-up for the relevant countries. He drove make or buy decisions globally.

Since April 2014 Mr. Eicke is leading the category Global Mobility Services on global level at SIEMENS AG in Munich as Vice President Global Mobility Services. In this role, he is responsible for the commodities Travel Management, Fleet Management and Events and Fairs. In addition, topics as Corporate Credit Card and E2E Solutions are part of his responsibility. The strategic set-up for those commodities within the Global Supply Chain is focused together with his commodity managers. He is leading a global team with more than 80 people.


Scott Solombrino | CEO | GBTA

Scott Solombrino is the Chief Executive Office of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Scott was appointed to the role on May 1, 2019. Scott was involved with GBTA for 43 years as a member, a committee member, a Board member, and the President of the Allied Leadership Council for 20 years. In 2007, Scott was awarded the GBTA association’s Industry Icon Award.

Previously, Solombrino was the President and CEO of the Dav El | Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network. The company is the country’s largest privately held Chauffeured Transportation Company.

Scott started his career in 1978, while a freshman at Suffolk University he founded his first company, Fifth Avenue Limousine Services in Boston. He graduated from Suffolk University in Boston in 1982. Scott has a degree in Government and Communications and is currently a member of the Suffolk University Dean’s Advisory Board for the Sawyer School of Business.

He is a past member of the Board of the Trustees of Reservations, the oldest land conservation group in the United States. He is also a past Board member for the Mass Sports and Entertainment, Massachusetts Film Bureau, and a past Board member of the Business Leadership Council for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is a current member of the Board of the Voice Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In 1978 he founded the Massachusetts Limousine Owners Association and served as its long time President and Director. In 1984, Scott was one of the original founders of the National Limousine Association and has since served four consecutive terms as President. In 2006, he was awarded the Life Time Achievement Award from National Limousine Association. Scott is a 2-time recipient of the Allied Member of the Year Award for the Global Business Travel Association.

In 2004, Scott was also awarded the Award of Professional Excellence for the New England Business Travel Association. Scott was also a member of the former Industry Advisory Council for the Institute of Business Travel Management. He was also the recipient of the award for the most Dedicated Association Executive in honor of his commitment to the industry.



Demian Horadi | Associate Professor of Strategic Management at EHL, Lausanne and Co- host of the Hospitality Web Show, RISE

Demian Hodari is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Ecole hôtelière Lausanne (EHL) where he is responsible for courses in the school’s Bachelors, Masters and Digital programs. In 2020 he co-created and co-hosts RISE, a web show for and with the hospitality and travel industries.

Demian is an award-winning researcher who studies the evolving roles and strategies of hotel owners and management companies. He frequently speaks at industry and corporate conferences, runs strategic planning sessions for companies and properties, and has provided executive education to over 1,000 industry professionals over the past two years.

Prior to joining academia, Demian spent over a decade working in the hotel industry, including as president of an independent hotel management company. When not working, Demian can be found coaching his son’s baseball team, crafting experimental smoothies for his daughters, or running (far too slowly) in his beloved alps.

Panel 2: THE HOTEL LANDSCAPE - A future of cleaner and fewer hotels for business travelers

Eric De Neef - Executive VP & CCO (Radisson Hotel Group)

Eric De Neef is Executive Vice President & Global Chief Commercial Officer of Radisson Hotel Group (RHG) and leads the Commercial and Branding organization for the group worldwide.

In his role, Eric supports Radisson Hotel Group’s ambition and vision to become the hospitality company of choice for guests, business partners and employees. Eric is charged with developing the global Branding, Guest Experience, Marketing and Revenue Generation strategy focused on increasing guest engagement and loyalty. His role includes Sales, Distribution and Revenue Optimization, to cover the full scope of RHG’s Commercial and Brand business.

Eric, a Belgian National, is a strategic, pro-active and visionary leader with a 30+ years track record within the international hospitality industry. He joined RHG in February 2011 as Senior Vice President for Park Inn by Radisson. Prior to that, Eric served as Managing Director for Accor’s All Seasons, Mercure and M Gallery Hotel brands in France.



Prof. Dr. h.c. Stephan Gerhard - Founder & Partner, Treugast//CEO Solutions Holding GmbH

Prof. Dr. h.c. Stephan Gerhard founded the TREUGAST Solutions Group more than 30 years ago and is still its partner. He has been the owner of Solutions Holding for 15 years now. The Solutions Holding manages investments and participations in innovative hotel projects and groups such as 25hours, MASEVEN or Grätzl, but also in "classics" such as Arcona or Fidelity. With more than 30 years of consulting experience in the hotel and tourism industry and as a certified rating advisor, Stephan Gerhard is a recognized industry expert, especially in German-speaking countries.

He started his career in 1974 with an apprenticeship as a hotel clerk and, after several years of training and traveling in the hotel industry, studied business administration until 1982. During this time he became aware of the need for specialized and independent consulting services for the industry. In 1985 he first founded the TREUGAST Unternehmensberatungsgesellschaft mbH, which in 2006 became a major business in the TREUGAST Solutions Group.

Based on his expertise, Stephan Gerhard was appointed full professor for "Hospitality Development" at the University of Applied Sciences for medium-sized enterprises, Campus Berlin and Schwerin. In addition, he has been an active member of various industry-relevant institutions for a long time, including:

  • Member of the FBMA Board of Trustees (Food & Beverage Management Association e.V.)
  • Lecturer for the master's degree in “International Real Estate Management” at the Bauakademie Biberach
  • Visiting professor at Batumi State University, where he was also awarded an honorary doctorate in 2019
  • Advisory board of the IUBH (Internationale Hochschule Bad Honnef)
  • Board of Trustees of the FBMA Foundation
  • Advisory Board Servitex
  • And co-author of numerous management manuals and industry-relevant publications.

In honor of the “outstanding performance for the hotel industry”, Stephan Gerhard, as managing director of the TREUGAST Solutions Group, received the “Special Award Hotelier of the Year 2011” from the German specialist publisher and the AHGZ. Besides that, the TREUGAST Solutions Group was the first consulting company worldwide to receive the Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

Panel 2: THE HOTEL LANDSCAPE - A future of cleaner and fewer hotels for business travelers

Oliver Wagner | CEO of AirPlus International

Oliver began his professional career as a management consultant at Ernst & Young. In 1995 he joined the Lufthansa Group. Since then, he has held senior positions within the Group, including Head of the Miles & More frequent flyer programme from the year 2000 to 2004, and several years in a leadership role within fleet management at Lufthansa Passenger Airlines. In November 2011, Oliver was appointed to the Executive Board of Germanwings GmbH. From November 2015 to December 2019, he was Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and a member of the Management Boards of Eurowings GmbH and Eurowings Aviation GmbH.

He joined AirPlus International in January 2020. As Chairman of the AirPlus Board (CEO), he is responsible for Marketing, Sales, HR, Strategy and Transformation, and thus for the international expansion of all operations.

Panel 3: THE NEW ROAD WARRIOR - Contactless, safe and productive


Elie Younes | Executive Vice President & Chief Develeopment Officer | Radisson Hotel Group

Elie Younes is the Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer at Radisson Hotel Group (RHG) – he leads the company’s expansion across Europe, the Middle East & Africa. He builds and supports teams at 8 development offices in EMEA. Under his leadership, the group launched and delivered an active asset light then asset right strategy – transacted around 200 hotels and opened around 130; while Radisson Blu continues to be the largest upper upscale brand in Europe.

A Lebanese national and English citizen, Elie began his career in managerial roles in his home country, before joining HVS in London in 2001. He progressed quickly to the position of Director (and a Designate MD) with HVS within 5 years. In 2007, he joined Starwood in London as Senior Director of Acquisitions and Development. His next move took him to Hilton Hotels Worldwide as Vice President Development, based in Dubai, before joining RHG in 2010.

Panel 2: THE HOTEL LANDSCAPE - A future of cleaner and fewer hotels for business travelers

David Keen | CEO | Quo

An evangelist for the power of experiential branding, David Keen is a successful entrepreneur and leading strategist for the travel and hospitality industries. Over the last 20 years, David has published and been interviewed in dozens of publications and has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences, tradeshows and professional events.

David was born in London and educated in New York at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. After embarking on his career in London and the United States, David ventured to Asia as a writer and editor, travelling widely in the region.

Panel 3: THE NEW ROAD WARRIOR - Contactless, safe and productive


Aurélie Krau | Consultant & Public Speaker | FESTIVE ROAD

Aurélie is well known for her #DigitalNomad lifestyle and for driving change in the Business Travel eco-system. She has a passion for technology and how companies can blend the physical and digital together to drive the right result. She is most well known for her event appearances, whether its moderating the latest industry event, delivering a keynote on industry trends or leading a hackathon translating geek into English and vice versa!

Aurélie comes full of energy and passion for success fired by her tagline “Fun is not the enemy of work”. Prior to Festive Road, she worked for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, American Express and acted as Regional Manager for the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in France. She was listed in the Buying Business Travel (UK) Hotlist 2016 as “one to watch”.

Panel 3: THE NEW ROAD WARRIOR - Contactless, safe and productive

Heinz Leonard Hornsby Travel Manager | Deloitte

Lenny Hornsby successfully completed a classic German apprenticeship program to become a certified travel agent. He later became heavily involved with all things around travel technology and was a leading member of an expert team that created one of the world’s leading automation platforms.

Career history include positions at and consulting for BCD Travel, HRG, American Express GBT, travelBrain GmbH and expenseBrain GmbH. Since 2017 Lenny Hornsby is an independent consultant for Travel Management at Deloitte GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft via travelBrain GmbH und is responsible for Air, Lodging and Global Travel Technology (Air NDC, lodging and payments).

Panel 3: THE NEW ROAD WARRIOR - Contactless, safe and productive


Tobias Ragge | CEO | HRS Group

Tobias Ragge has been managing the second-generation, family-owned company since March 2008. He joined HRS as Executive Assistant in 2004 and became Head of Marketing in 2005. In his role as chief executive, Ragge has transformed the HRS Group into a global company, expanding the hotel portal internationally and strengthening its market position with the launch of innovative services for corporate customers.

In 2018, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Europe recognized Ragge as one of the “Top 20” achievers in Europe. In 2014, 2016 and 2018 he was named one of the 25 most influential executives in the business travel industry by the BTN Group, the leading provider of news and information serving the business travel industry.


Rob Hornman | Chief Commercial Officer Hotel Solutions | HRS Group

Rob Hornman oversees the commercial side for the business unit Hotel Solutions and, as Chief Commercial Officer, brings together the worldwide activities of HRS in this field. Prior to this position he was responsible for the activities of the Hotel Solutions division for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

He brings with him decades of expertise in the hotel industry, serving most recently as chief executive of Worldhotels where he oversaw a network of more than 500 individual hotels in 65 countries worldwide. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade with AccorHotels.

Hornman is a respected digitalization consultant and has acted as strategic hospitality advisor and board director for hotel groups and hospitality real estate investors in Europe and Africa.

Panel 2: THE HOTEL LANDSCAPE - A future of cleaner and fewer hotels for business travelers


Maximilian Waldmann | COO Invisible Pay | HRS Group

After studying Business at the University of Bath and the Singapore Management University, Max worked for international companies such as KPMG and Kleinwort Benson. Upon spending a year in Afghanistan, working with the Supreme Group, he decided to seek the opportunities in the digital space.

Max joined a Venture Capital family office and later Rocket Internet, before working for Google in Singapore. Entrepreneurial by nature, Max founded his first employment service company in 2007. In 2014, he launched conichi, an award-winning travel tech company which was acquired by HRS in 2018. In 2019 Max started scaling the BaFin licensed FinTech Invisible Pay which he is currently heading as COO.

Panel 3: THE NEW ROAD WARRIOR - Contactless, safe and productive

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