Customers from Open Destinations recently proved that in-person conferences still play an important role in the world of technology. The company recently hosted its first ever user conference in London, where customers took time away from the usual conference calls to hear the latest technology news and participate in open forums.
The conference was attended by more than 50 delegates, with tour operators and wholesalers from Europe that included Abercrombie & Kent, Abreu and JAC Travel, as well as operators such as Creative Holidays and Rocky Mountaineer Vacations, who travelled from as far as Australia and Canada, respectively.
‘We spend a great deal of time on-site with our customers and in regular video conferences, however we do not always get ample opportunity for open discussion,’ says Kevin O’Sullivan, CEO of Open Destinations. ‘We wanted to create a setting where we could share the collective knowledge of all of our staff across the organisation, as well as elicit feedback from our customers for future development of our product strategy.’
Customers got to choose from 17 different workshops over the two days, with a range of topics that included the future of GDS technology, managing API relationships for e-commerce and best practices for reporting, financial interfaces and business process outsourcing.
The sessions were facilitated by the senior management team from Open Destinations in both the London and Goa offices, as well as guest speakers from Galileo, Amadeus and JAC Travel who presented case studies and recent news. Customers were also invited to participate in open forums around the topics of development, support, product roadmap, technology and architecture.
The hot topic of the conference proved to be the presentation of the latest version of Travel Studio, the company’s flagship software. The new browser-based software, aptly named Travel Studio 2.0, utilises modern techniques, resulting in an interactive, quick presentation in real time. Users of the software will be able to use widgets to customise the display of their screens, with a similar view to a modern day smartphone or tablet. Travel Studio 2.0 also provides a deeper GDS integration, enhanced multi-lingual functionality and new interfaces for car hire, hotels and airlines.
Feedback from customers has been very positive regarding the conference, with increased interest in hearing more case studies on Travel Studio from other customers. Open Destinations plans to host the next user conference in late 2013.