KigoWorld 2019 review and insights

Spain: The latest annual edition of the property management conference KigoWorld took place in Barcelona this week.
The event brought together industry professionals from all around the world for a two-day conference, which coincided with Vacation Rental Tech Week in the same city
With sessions led by a number of notable keynote speakers from the industry, Kigo was aiming to push the boundaries of the vacation rental space and bring in fresh insights and information that could be used by the various property managers that attended the conference.
Some of the essential topics discussed at KigoWorld included:
  • Disruptions in the vacation rental industry that affect property managers directly
  • Adopting the most secure online payment processing technologies
  • Minimising asset risk with insurance and other tools
  • Creative ways to build supply acquisition strategies
  • How to create exceptional guest experiences
  • Overcoming your brand identity crisis
  • Why revenue management matters to small businesses

The first day of KigoWorld kicked off with an introduction from Kigo’s head of short-term rental, Matt Hoffman, who outlined his objectives for the event and explained how the property managers could benefit from the selection of concurrent sessions and panel discussions to utilise the insights discussed to implement in their own businesses.

Following that, the audience was treated to a keynote speech by WIRED magazine editor Jeremy White, in which he laid out the impact of AI and machine learning on a number of industries, including how the short-term rental industry would be affected by such innovations.

Hoffman and Kigo product manager Matt Willis used their platform to introduce the company’s latest product innovations, such as the recently-launched Kigo Marketplace. The innovation claims to be an all-in-one platform that has been designed to streamline the booking process and enhance the guest experience with the intention of driving better returns.
 
The day’s principal highlight, however, was the presentation by vacation rental industry thought-leader and Vacation Rental Marketing Blog (VRMB) founder, Matt Landau.
The purpose of Landau’s presentation was to share his five core models, or “concepts”, that he said would “unlock true and sustained vacation rental independence”.
While the first day placed a focus on Kigo’s own ambitions for the vacation rental industry, the second day presented the invited guests with more opportunities to absorb ideas and suggestions from industry professionals in the various concurrent sessions.
In one of these, senior sales and supply director at HomeAway, James Cassidy, led a “Future of Travel” panel discussion, where he and representatives from Kigo and 2BEAPART debated the extent to which technological innovations such as robots and virtual tours would become integrated in vacation rentals of the future.
HomeAway’s Sandra Garcia del Rio said: “Today’s luxury is going to become tomorrow’s expectation.”
After a busy two days of talks and sessions, the audience settled down for the concluding discussion, led by AJL Consulting’s Simon Lehmann. In it, the selected panellists from RealPage, VTrips and Halldis used their expertise of the space to provide their predictions for the upcoming year in an already fragmented short-term rental industry.