The countdown to Opticon18 is well underway and we’re only 33 days away from the digital experience optimization conference of the year.
This year, we wanted to bring one lucky winner to Las Vegas to experience Opticon as a VIP and we’re thrilled to announce our winner today! Out of thousands of folks who entered our Win A Trip promotion, Scott Olason, Senior Manager of Digital Experiences at Best Western International, Inc, is this year’s lucky winner!
We had an opportunity to speak with Scott to learn more about Best Western, his role, and what he’s looking forward to most at Opticon18:
Helana: Tell us a bit about Best Western Hotel & Resorts and your role there.
Scott: Best Western is a hotel and resort company that’s been around for about 72 years. We’re actually a membership-based organization, which means we don’t own any of the hotels. Best Western provides marketing support and technology solutions, along with a variety of other services to all of their member hotels. My role as the Senior Manager of Digital Experiences at Best Western is on the E-Commerce team, and I head the consumer experience CX team, which overseas UX/UI and A/B testing. I’ve recently been tasked with setting up a multivariate A/B testing program called the Center of Excellence for Optimization, which is a new initiative at Best Western. We’ve been looking at Optimizely resources and also speaking with folks in the industry to help educate us as we set up our Center of Excellence for Optimization. The Optimizely resources have helped to build and mature my team as we’ve gotten started so that’s been incredibly helpful.
Helana: How is your team incorporating experimentation today?
Scott: We actually just launched the experimentation program on June 6th of this year, so we’re only 2 months in at this point. We’re only testing on the front end right now and working to optimize our booking experience. In the future, we’d love to roll out testing to the loyalty program and possibly our apps and back-end systems as well. I’ve been taking a look at the various sessions at Opticon to see where I can fill in gaps and I can’t wait!
Helana: What are some of the top use cases for experimentation at Best Western?
Scott: We’re testing the booking path on www.bestwestern.com, particularly when it comes to the select hotel, select room, hotel detail, and the review and reserve pages. We have a dedicated hotel details page that’s a bit more robust for the booking experience, and our goal is to increase conversion rates through those pages and also find out which entry pages are working best in order to optimize them for our customers.
Helana: What are you most excited to learn about or experience at Opticon?
Scott: The big thing for me as I’m setting up a center of excellence at Best Western is that everyone has a tool of choice for multivariate testing and a million different strategies, but organizationally, how do you communicate out what you’re doing and share best practices and results. This is an area I’d love to learn how to do and pick up some best practices on.
As our team continues to put the finishing touches on this year’s Opticon experience (one that you don’t want to miss!), we are looking forward to meeting all of you who will be attending! Once we’re all on-site, be sure to rely on the Optimizely team members and your account teams to help facilitate insightful conversations around experimentation and to help connect you with others in similar roles or industries to share best practices, learnings, and maybe even some experimentation war stories.
If you aren’t registered for Opticon18 just yet, you’ve still got time! Buy your ticket here and join us at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas from September 11th to 13th. See you next month!