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Join me at ‘Loyalty Summit’ in London on Thursday 22nd September

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If you work in the loyalty industry, I’d like to invite you to register for the one-day ‘Loyalty Summit’ conference which is returning to The May Fair hotel in London on Thursday 22nd September.

Head for Points is the Official Media Partner for the conference. I will be speaking on a panel and around all day, and it would be great to catch-up with as many of our industry contacts as possible. Sinead will also be there – unsurprisingly Rhys will be travelling!

If you work in the travel loyalty industry, registration for HfP readers is $99 (usually $149) if you sign up before this Saturday, 10th September. You need to use the coupon code below. Anyone else can register for $199 (usually $799!).

EDIT: The $199 tickets are sold out. Some $99 tickets remain.

You can also attend a gala dinner in the evening for no extra charge.

Loyalty Summit 2022 London

This is the fourth time that the European version of ‘Loyalty Summit’ has taken place. It is the only loyalty conference that I ensure I attend each year because it manages to pack a lot of content into a single day in a handy Central London location.

In truth, I am pretty low in the status pecking order compared to the other speakers who are lined up. Speakers include:

  • Luc Bondar – President, United MileagePlus – United Airlines
  • Christopher Siegloch – Senior Director Loyalty – Miles & More
  • Ben Lipsey – SVP Customer Loyalty, Flying Blue – Air France-KLM
  • James Curry – VP Product & Member Engagement, Loyalty – Emirates Skywards
  • Elias Mandroukas – Director Digital and Loyalty – Aegean Airlines
  • Peter Gerstle – Group Head of Travel Product & Loyalty – Collinson
  • Piotr Kozlowski – VP Consulting, Loyalty Solutions – Comarch
  • Len Covello – CTO – Engage People
  • Teresa Comparato – Group Manager CRM Strategy & Relationship – Euroconsumers
  • David Canty – Head of Loyalty – Bilt Technologies
  • Mark Ross Smith – Founder – StatusMatch.com
  • Iain Pringle – Managing Partner – New World Loyalty (and formerly Avios)
  • Denis Hure – CEO – Reward the World
  • Brede Huser – Chief Financial Officer – Flyr
  • Harald Deprosse – Partner – Envolved & Fmr Managing Director – Miles & More
  • Michael Covey – Managing Director – United MileagePlus Premier Programs
  • Rob MacLean – CEO and Founder – Points International

The full agenda for the day can be found here.

Attend the Frequent Traveller Awards dinner too

All attendees get free optional entry to the Frequent Traveller Awards dinner and presentation ceremony in the evening. This includes food and drinks, which makes the $99 fee for the day laughably good value.

Here is the timetable for the evening. The dinner is also at The May Fair hotel. You don’t need to dress up – ‘smart casual’ is fine.

6:30pm – Welcome reception. Enjoy canapes and drinks. Mingle with your industry peers and friends.

7:30pm – Dinner is served

7:45pm – The award ceremony begins

9:15pm – The event concludes

You will be contacted separately about whether you wish to attend the Frequent Traveller Awards dinner once you have booked your conference ticket.

How to attend

Promoted as ‘the biggest conversation in loyalty’, ‘Loyalty Summit’ is designed to be a PowerPoint-free zone where discussions replace traditional presentations.

Registration for ‘Loyalty Summit’ is only $99 (usually $149) for HfP readers if you work in the travel loyalty industry. This includes breakfast, lunch and the optional Frequent Traveller Awards reception and dinner. You need to use the coupon code ‘HFPI’. You must register using your work email address – Gmail etc addresses will not be accepted.

Note that there are only a limited number of tickets available at this price.

You can sign up, or find out more, via the ‘Loyalty Summit’ website here.

Sinead and I look forward to seeing you at The May Fair hotel on Thursday 22nd September.

Comments (39)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    Hmmm….where are Avios and Virgin Miles??

  • Dee says:

    So….. You’re speaking at a conference where out of 17 speakers you list just *one* is a woman? Not a great look for you or for the conference organisers.

    • Rob says:

      You’re talking to the wrong person. Last time I ran a panel at Loyalty Summit, I only agreed to do it if it was majority female and everyone was under 35 – which it was, because I chose the people myself (Sinead was actually on it when she worked at Virgin).

      I think my last line was ‘You can now get a cup of coffee, please be back in 15 minutes to hear from some middle age white guys.”

      The organisers are fully aware of my position but I am not running a panel this year, I am just sitting on one. I accept that I also don’t exactly help reduce the number of white middle aged guys at the event!

      The issue is that the organisers are based in the US and therefore don’t have the network in the UK to reach down to the mid level ranks in the programmes to find speakers which is where you find the leading women in the industry. The people they know are the people who run programmes and they tend to be male (Avios has not had a female CEO since Wanda Goldwag in the mid 1990s). Last year, to be fair, they had Kim who runs Etihad Guest and Ruth from Accor who runs EMEA loyalty is in the picture at the top.

      • Dee says:

        Really appreciate your response Rob and great to see your position on this topic.
        For further reference, the “no Manel” pledge is not just about not organising panels where all speakers are male, it also extends to using your influence in the industry not to agree to participate in panels/events without adequate female representation.
        I know it’s not your call to make, but the “we don’t have the contacts for women speakers” is an old and tired excuse. Organisers could ask the contacts they do have to recommend female speakers (not to mention POC, I looked at the website, not a single visibly POC in the whole lineup), and where they don’t step up to do that, that’s where invited speakers such as yourself can use your voice to demand better.
        I hope it’s a great conference and perhaps you would consider leveraging your attendance to broach this topic further with organisers and fellow speakers to all take the “no manels” pledge.
        With the utmost respect from an avid female reader.

        • KP says:

          Is it more important to ensure that the right kind of speakers with experience etc are chosen or simply to pick based on gender ?

          • Rob says:

            Whilst clearly OK if, for example, you are talking about a specific event (eg Qatar adopting Avios) and the key people who led that were male, the majority of conference topics are chat alongs on very broad topics which anyone can cover. You don’t think having a bunch of old guys discussing how to get Generation Z more interested in loyalty is a bit odd?

            The generalist nature of these conference also means that, in reality, anyone senior in the organisation should be able to add valuable insight. You seriously don’t think that the No 2, No 3 or even No 10 at Avios couldn’t give a speech on ‘current trends in travel loyalty’?

        • Sinead says:

          Hi Dee, I just wanted to chime in, as it’s a hugely important subject to me too. We felt the best way of addressing this was for Rob to agree to take part but to directly ask the organisers to have a more representative audience. We also have offered to make intros to relevant people in the industry, which the organisers had every opportunity to take.
          Maybe naively, having seen a better gender balance at last year’s event, and knowing that the line-up evolved closer to the day, I think we assumed this would improve. However, your suggestions are valid and perhaps we will think/act differently in the future.

          • Dee says:

            Thanks for your input Sinead, it’s great to see that it is in fact something the hfp team are actively thinking about.

        • Dominic says:

          Dee – completely agree with your point on representation, but seems to me that you are forgetting the vitally important aspect of economic representation (alongside the frankly racist ‘POC’ terminology that needs to be scrapped).

          You can have a panel of 50% women and 50% men – worth checking how many went to state school, had free school meals etc… it’s time we stop looking at diversity solely based on visible identifiers.

    • luda says:

      Are you assuming peoples’ genders?

      • His Holyness says:

        That seems a bit extreme actually. We don’t know their genders and it’s very 1975 to look at someone and say “oh that’s a man” “that’s a woman”. Take Mumsnet, it’s exclusionary just in the name, what about for families that consist of two men and their children?

        A lot of LGBTQIA2K+ people work in the travel industry, perhaps they’re over-represented on the panel vs the wider population.

        Therefore it’s just swings and roundabouts.

        • Callum says:

          “Overrepresentation” of one minority doesn’t make it fine to underrepresent others…

          And no, I don’t think it’s remotely “1975” to assume someone who looks male, dresses male and uses a male name is a male.

          To deny they could be female if they believe they are is “very 1975” (though increasingly very 2022…), but to have the baseline assumption that they’re not is merely commonsense.

          • His Holyness says:

            You can’t “see” gender fluidity, and non-binary is something you declare it’s not something you necessarily notice.

            I don’t see much complaining about the lack of BAME people in these events. I find that odd. So yes, it does read very 1975 when people only focus on a lack of women, things have moved on a lot since then.

            However I suppose middle aged white men would only notice that characteristic, being from that generation. If you can remember Thatcher, you’re too old!

          • Callum says:

            Perhaps I’m blinded by my own anecdotal experiences, but every “officially male” (for want of a better word) man I’ve known/met who wanted to be referred to as a woman made a visible effort to look more stereotypically female. I didn’t say you can always see it, I said the cases where you can’t are so rare that it’s reasonable to make such an assumption.

            Well that’s a very different point to the point you made when referring to it being “very 1975”.

  • Doc says:

    Wow. I’ve worked my entire career in the U.K. Travel industry, mainly at Executive level for blue chip airlines and tour operators and I’m shocked at your response. I’m now retired and use my wealth of experience and MBA to consult. For with age comes knowledge but by your definition, I’m not even a “middle aged white guy” so presumably have no value! I say again, a shocking response.

    • Rob says:

      It is a serious problem that too much of the UK conference industry involves presentations by middle aged white guys, especially in travel loyalty where I would imagine that the majority of staff are female. Hilton Honors and Accor both have women running their EMEA loyalty operations, for example. As people use conference speeches to basically pitch themselves for their next job or promotion, not ensuring that speakers are representative of their industry means that you are not giving people an equal chance of progressing.

      A lot of men will now refuse to sit on conference panels unless the panel is 50% female.

      If your comment is basically saying ‘Don’t people want to keep hearing from the same white men who have been doing the rounds at the same industry conferences for the last 20 years?’ then, actually, the answer is ‘no’.

      It’s also bad business sense, since I doubt the 30-35 year old women who make up the majority of the travel loyalty industry are desperate to pay to spend a day being told what to do by some old guys.

      • jk says:

        Great answer Rob, very happy to see your support.

      • Doc says:

        I’ve been on top of my brief ever since I started work and I have progressed by being so. Technology is a major driver of the travel industry so keeping on top of every development has been essential Rob. You have spectacularly missed the point because the “old guys” compete in this industry on an equal footing with incredible women- if we want to be the best, we competed- age and gender are irrelevant because any Chief Executive recruiting someone in middle or senior management to play a major role in loyalty or any CRM role I would argue, needs to get the right person regardless of age or gender. With age comes experience which resides in the individual. It is therefore inimitable so if you get the right old fart- you might as well go the whole hog here- you’re onto a winner. Open your mind. And by the way, middle managers of either or any gender often don’t attend seminars because they are expensive and they don’t have the budget.

        • Rob says:

          That’s why we’re doing this for $99 🙂

          I think you’re forgetting that I’m a 50+ white male myself, very much top of my game (probably!). At this point of my life, however, I’ve got all the money and status I need and I get more pleasure out of helping others develop than blowing my own trumpet. I get daily lessons on this from my teenage daughter.

          • Doc says:

            Not sure what your point is here Rob. Just in case you were inferring that I’m “blowing my own trumpet”, I’ve mentored all my working life as I do now; it’s simply that I won’t tolerate ill chosen throw away offensive comments which denigrate the knowledge of others- just not cricket. By your logic, Her Majesty should be put out to grass and replaced by a Millenial, currently employed by Beta. Choose your words more carefully please. Other than that customer feedback, I enjoy your posts.

          • s says:

            Blowing your own trumpet (“I’ve got all the money and status”) whilst in the same sentence claiming to not enjoy blowing your own trumpet is quite funny. Only made funnier by the fact that its not even being relevant to the comment you’re replying to.

      • SAS says:

        Old “white” guys. Don’t forget the “white” its important

        • His Holyness says:

          Just following on from Ron’s comment on whiteness. Despite HfP being based in London, I can’t recall there ever being any BAME staffers?

          Are BAME persons not especially interested in loyalty or is it discrimination on the part of employers?

          • His Holyness says:

            *Rob, I see I’m not the only one to suffer that autocorrect today!

  • Greenpen says:

    Not all old people died off during covid so there are some still around! The very usual and very strong bias against them seems to to prevalent in this thread. Why do some people think they can say awful things about the old, things that would get them into a lot of trouble if said about other groups?

    • Dee says:

      What bias is there when literally the entire conference speaker list is almost exclusively that demographic? How do you manage to see an anti-age bias when the reality is quite literally the opposite and has thus been pointed out as such?

    • Doc says:

      Absolutely right which is why I’ve raised the issue and continued with it. It’s all about Emotional Intelligence really. Goleman et al write about it and some people in our world would benefit from picking up a book once in a while, otherwise we are in to Groupthink territory.

    • Callum says:

      It’s a real shame that so many people like you think equal representation = discrimination against white men.

      Is it because for most of your life you’ve been in a position of privilege and you’re not used to being treated equally?

      Given no one has actually said anything remotely awful that I can see (unless I’ve missed something?), you seem rather hysterical. And I’d assume the reason why people say certain things about “old people” that wouldn’t be appropriate to say about other groups is context.

  • David S says:

    Do BAEC and Virgin ever attend ? It’s on their home turf and their absence looks bad

    • Rob says:

      IAG seems to have a ‘no conference speeches’ policy for its staff. Not sure about Virgin – Anthony Woodman who runs Flying Club is speaking at World Aviation Festival in October and also spoke there last year.

      • Mark says:

        Shame Virgin Voyages aren’t attending to shout about their new loyalty programme.

        Although I qualify for their Sea Blazer status having cruised 3 times in the first year I haven’t heard a thing from them!

  • Brian78 says:

    It should be held in Middlesbrough.

    Something about levelling up

    • Rob says:

      World Aviation Festival has decamped to Amsterdam this year after being in London every year since it launched, to level up there. Apparently the global mix of attendees was having too many issues with UK entry.

    • Lady London says:

      @Brian78 why are you here? I would genuinely like to know what your desire is, to.achieve in your time on HfP

  • Doommonger says:

    Sounds like a yawn quite frankly. Full of middle aged white males, give me a millennial, virtue signalling wokie, preferably trans, of mixed race and vegan any day.

    Doomster

  • Dave says:

    Genuine question as we are talking about BAME.
    Do you class someone who is jewish as BAME?

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