INTERVIEW: DAVID GABRIELE, CEO OF 2018 DISRUPT AWARDS WINNER, SWAYY
To help independent hospitality businesses adapt to rapidly changing technology and save them from being made extinct by the ever powerful global chains dominating the race to win the consumer online.
Here, he talks us through his experiences leading up to the award win last year and fills us in on what’s been happening with his innovative hotel and restaurant booking website for digital influencers since then…Tell us why you first decided to apply for a Disrupt Launchpad stand at Travel Technology Europe?
As the influencer booking, campaign, and relationship management tool for the hospitality industry, it was a no-brainer for Swayy to apply.
It’s important for the travel community worldwide to know that they can take back control from social media influencers and manage collaborations in a clear, transparent manner whilst embracing the targeted exposure influencers can offer.“HOTEL MARKETING HAS RAPIDLY EVOLVED.”
Finding, evaluating, booking in and reviewing influencers in an end-to-end tool that even the smallest of venues can use is disruptive by nature given hotels are struggling to adapt quickly enough to the boom of influencers contacting them seeking collaborations.
Accordingly, the Disrupt Launchpad at Travel Technology Europe seemed the appropriate channel through which to amplify our mission: to help independent hospitality businesses adapt to rapidly changing technology and save them from being made extinct by the ever powerful global chains dominating the race to win the consumer online.
We are delighted we decided to apply and would thoroughly recommend it.At what stage where you at in your business when you applied?
We had a fully working product already selling in the market. However, we continue to be focused on iterating the product to best serve hospitality venues’ needs. That is to keep saving time and minimising hassle for any hotel or hospitality business wanting to collaborate with pre-vetted influencers most relevant to their target market of customers.How did being at Travel Technology Europe help your business?
Hotel marketing must adapt and being at the show gave us huge visibility to a relevant audience which every start-up craves.Tell us about the process of entering, being shortlisted for and then winning the Disrupt Awards. What did it mean to you to win?
Throughout the entire process we focused on communicating our mission and relating it to why this is so important for hospitality businesses nowadays.
Social media is ultimately where potential customers are spending their time nowadays (one in every five mobile minutes is spent on Instagram and Facebook worldwide) and long tail social media influencers provide a relevant audience to which hotels and hospitality businesses can outcompete their neighbours.“THE ENTRY PROCESS WAS VERY THOROUGH AND THE COMPETITION WAS FIRST CLASS, WHICH MADE WINNING EVEN MORE IMPORTANT TO US.”
It was fantastic to be recognised as the most disruptive technology start-up in the travel industry in 2018 by the panel of leading travel experts and judges and we have used it as a launchpad to accelerate achieving our mission.How have things progressed since the big win; product and business wise?
The product has evolved significantly since winning the Disrupt Awards, adding additional client-initiated solutions. This includes the ability for venues to upload lists of influencers who contact their property for them to be evaluated and added to the Influencer Relationship Management part of the tool.
This is the first solution of its kind in the industry - echoing the ethos of the Disrupt Awards 2018 - ongoing innovation in hotel marketing and hospitality marketing.
Business wise, we have grown into the US, Africa, and mainland Europe which is very exciting (details of what’s on offer for venues can be found here). We have also expanded two other core areas of the business – helping marketing and PR agencies save time and hassle. We’ve even partnered with some other leading technology companies who offer complimentary services.What insights can you share on today’s travellers?
Today’s travellers are technology-driven, visual learners and spontaneous. Over 2/3rds of the time on the booking journey is spent in the dreaming and planning phases, and 80% of travellers use social networks for travel inspiration.
Accordingly, Swayy is committed to helping hospitality businesses, especially those in need of most help - the smaller independents - adapt to this.
Swayy is now the leading online influencer booking, campaign, and relationship management tool specifically for the hospitality industry. It streamlines the entire collaboration process, putting hotel and restaurant businesses in control from the very beginning, taking away hassle and freeing up valuable time and money. All the tools needed are on one simple to use internal platform using a transparent process.
Swayy’s platform enables individual hotels or independent chains to run multiple campaigns simultaneously and save up to 78% of the time spent on influencer collaborations.
Further details can be found at swayy.me.