HomeAway Software®, the most widely used vacation rental software in the industry,
recently held RezFest® 2014, its vacation rental manager annual conference. The show was a tremendous success! Not only did HomeAway announce a new partnership with Expedia.com through their Expanded
Distribution Network, but they also showcased how modern professional vacation rental managers who leverage mobile technology drive incremental revenue.
The conference drew over 800 participants to Nashville, TN. Comments from attendees during the conference also surpassed all expectations! Ron Mote, Sr. Vice President of Operations at Sterling Resorts captured the essence of the show in a few words:
“Just wanted to say THANKS for an amazing RezFest! You guys are really impressive, from top to bottom. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen such an impressive team who cares so deeply about their clients and partners. Not only did I learn a LOT from the breakout sessions and your impressive keynote addresses, but I also learned just as much, if not more, from observing your senior staff, all the way to the development team and relationship managers. Each one of you is pulling in unison in the exact same direction to build the best software and the largest distribution options that benefit vacation rental managers. And, the enthusiasm is contagious! Whatever you guys are doing to grow the category is fantastic for us and the industry at large continues to benefit from your efforts – keep up the good work. Congrats!!!”
Read more about RezFest here
HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples announced the launch of 115,000 professionally managed listings on Expedia.com through HomeAway’s new Expanded Distribution Network. Brian commented that "We’re very excited to have Expedia as the cornerstone partner for a network that will enable vacation rental owners and managers to reach travelers who typically book accommodations on large online travel sites.”
During the Thursday afternoon RezFest general session, Arthur Chapin, vice president of Expedia, presented Expedia’s perspective on vacation rentals and how they provide appealing options for Expedia’s customers.
Read the full story here
In an announcement released as RezFest began, Bill Furlong, Vice President of HomeAway Software, said, “Partnering with Expedia to allow vacation rental managers to expand their reach through one of the largest sites in the U.S. is big news for the travel industry. As we increase the number of participating managers, this new platform is expected to deliver incremental online bookings for years to come.”
On the education front, sponsors, HomeAway staff, and industry experts delivered over 85 interactive sessions over a 3-day period. Topics ranged from industry best practices presented by top minds in property management, new features on Escapia® and V12.NET®, and new product announcements such as e-signature and open APIs.
HomeAway Software also showcased the power of Glad to Have You™, the leading Mobile guest management solution available to vacation rental managers -- even those not using V12.NET and Escapia can use this incredible product. This proven solution is used by hundreds of professional managers to delight guests via smart phones and deliver positive ROI to the manager. They also touted the gladRESPONDER™ tool, an easy-to-use revenue generating auto-responder solution. Clients using either or both glad products raved about them during the event and others who discovered these solutions at RezFest were eager to learn more.
Learn more about these tools here
RezFest wasn’t all about business, though! The welcome reception was a tremendous success with incredible food, entertaining games, and a photobooth. To close, the attendees were treated to a river cruise, which gave 500 friends a chance to enjoy a delicious dinner accompanied by two bands. It was an incredible evening onboard the General Jackson Showboat where every client, staff member and partner was able to further build strong working relationships and friendships.
Thank you to all of the sponsors for playing such an instrumental role in keeping everyone abreast of industry changes and for helping craft such a rich agenda. Sharing your thoughts and best practices with every attendee during educational sessions or in the exhibit hall is the reason why hundreds of professional vacation rental managers attend RezFest year after year.
After months of planning RezFest, it is extremely gratifying to see the show unfold flawlessly where hundreds of clients and partners come together as friends in a work and social environment. RezFest is a time when everyone puts a face to a name, learning and networking is the central theme, and monumental announcements are unveiled to the industry.
Onward and upward we go.
See you in Las Vegas in 2015!
- Stephan de Bernede