2020 X-TALKS

X-TALKS are another unique feature of GNEX Conferences; introducing high impact solo presentations that are just 10 minutes long each. These sessions enable us to provide a wide variety of session topics, packed with useful information without the waffle. Each speaker is carefully selected for their XpertiseXperience, or Xcellence regarding the topic they will speak about, hence X-TALKS. Attendees can easily drop in and out of the main conference room to see just the ones that interest them most, leaving more time for networking and planned meetings.

Our 2020 Speakers will be revealed soon – in the meantime, scroll down to view videos of previous X-TALKS.


Nothing beats being there in person and networking with senior-level execs, but check out the videos below of our X-TALKS from 2019. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to be updated when new videos are released.

A Brand New World
Gaetan Babin, Director, Wyndham Reef Resort

Gaetan Babin, Director, Wyndham Reef ResortHow did a non-branded resort become #1 in Quality for all Wyndham Resorts worldwide? We learn of the success of Wyndham Reef Resort, Grand Cayman and the steps taken to integrate a new culture while maintaining a successful sales operation as they became part of the largest hotel brand in the world. Plus a look at the need for developers to take responsibility in assisting members who wish to sell, and how to do it effectively.

How Could Neuroscience (Brain Hacking) Impact Vacation Ownership Sales Performance?
Michael J. Tolan, Director, World Class Institute

Michael Tolan, Director, World Class InstituteWorking with top experts in Neuroscience on the effects of Micro- Trauma, it’s found that the emotions that Sales Reps and Lead Generators face a on a daily basis causes a FEAR OF REJECTION that negatively impacts the bottom line of a company. This session will explore two dimensions of our research… The First – How to deploy Artificial Intelligence to feed real time info to sales teams on the emotional detection of their clients… and Second – How to leverage some of the tools of neuroscience to hack the negative mind into becoming more automatically resilient and productive; reducing the costs of staff turn over, and improving efficiencies and revenue.

The Industry’s Expansion Into Destination Resort Marketing
Eliana Jones, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Eliana Jones, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Hotel Xcaret MexicoMexico is continuing to push boundaries in experiential vacations and vacation ownership is at the forefront as a core component. This session looks at the success of incorporating vacation club sales and marketing into one of Cancun / Riviera Maya’s most famous attractions – Xcaret. Hotel Xcaret opened in 2107 and redefines the all-inclusive concept with access to eco-parks and more, providing an unrivaled “experience” – so how is this type of extended product incorporated into the vacation ownership offering, and is this a glimpse of the future for our industry?

How To Win Members & Influence People
Duane Lee, CEO, Vacation SafeGuard

Duane Lee, CEO, VacationSafeGuardWith competition from inside and outside of the industry for your customer’s vacation dollars, loyalty and value proposition are key to growing your business. This session looks at the plethora of vacation club product variations now available to try to attract and keep new customers, plus the common ways companies grow loyalty – asking the question, what do customers value most?

Going Digital: Essential Technologies To Help You Reach The Millennial Buyers With The Right Timeshare Product Via The Right Channel
Sri Raghavan, CEO, Biz Sciences

Sri Raghavan, CEO, Biz SciencesThe Next Generation of Timeshare Buyers is here! Are you reconfiguring your timeshare offering to meet their needs? Are you able to acquire and engage them via Social Media? This talk will help you understand the Millennial Customer and the Digital Strategies that you need to deploy now to future proof your offering. We will explore some big ideas on how to leverage Blockchain Technology and networking with partners via API’s in a connected world. Last but not least, we will talk about how to harness the power of Big Data tools and AI to prospect, sell and upgrade timeshare customers.

Reputation Management – A 360° View
Peter Roth, Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Industry Relations, ARDA

Peter Roth, Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Industry Relations, ARDAReputation Management – everyone is talking about it and many companies now have a Chief Reputation Officer (CRO) in their C-Suite. Many people think of Reputation Management as a function of Public Relations, however if implemented correctly, it should be woven into the fabric of your entire business. We will take a practical look at some of the areas you can focus on to improve the effectiveness of your reputational management programs.This X Talk will help you identify the difference between a business challenge and a communications challenge, learn ways to build a team to address a specific reputational issue, and finally help to identify the different stakeholders involved and how to successfully influence or shape their perceptions in order to shift their opinions.

The Power Of Film
Steve Pentland, CEO, Light

Steve Pentland, CEO, LightWhy is film the right media for today? How can film lift marketing and lift sales? What makes some films feel three hours long and some just three minutes? This session will last ten minutes, will feel like five and give you many times that in food for thought.

Don’t Go It Alone
Ericka Schwarm, Director of Client Development, Equiant

Ericka Schwarm, Director of Client Development, EquiantExperience improved Portfolio Performance, be Compliant, improve Efficiency and have Unparalleled Support when utilizing a third-party servicing platform! Handling the maintenance and administration of these systems on your own may be complicated, expensive and extremely time consuming. A third-party service provider is often the best option to ensure that you maximize your system benefits!

Creating Stickiness With Ownership Benefits Programs
Barry Landsberg, Vice President, Residential Development Americas & Owner Benefits, AccorHotels

Barry Landsberg, Vice President, Residential Development Americas & Owner Benefits, AccorHotelsIt may be the F-word of the vacation ownership industry but fractional ownership can work by creating meaningful on-going value through your ownership benefits offering.  And why stop there? Create more resilient projects by successfully mixing fractional and whole-ownership products and ownership benefits.

5 Things That Successful Experiential Marketers Will Be Doing In 2019
Simon Crawford-Welch, Chief Operating Officer, Seychelle Media

Simon Crawford-Welch, COO, Seychelle MediaFrom chatbots to artificial intelligence; from video, voice & augmented reality advertising to click funnels; from scaling walled gardens to data privacy…. all are essential to optimizing your return on advertising spend (“ROAS”) in a dynamic, fluid & often agnostic marketing environment.


Nothing beats being there in person and networking with senior-level execs, but check out the videos below of our X-TALKS from 2018. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to be updated when new videos are released.

Building a Culture of Success: An Entrepreneurs Guide to Leadership
Mark Waltrip, Chief Operating Officer, Westgate Resorts

Mark Waltrip, COO, Westgate ResortsThink long and hard about how you would answer this question: “Do you love your job?” This is a pretty simple yet very important question, and one that employers rarely think to ask their employees. While most people might not tell you the truth, studies have shown that the majority of U.S. workers hate their jobs. This is especially profound when you consider that most industries are totally reliant on the quality of their workforce. In order to achieve a culture of success, everyone must be on the same page with the leader of the organization. There must be a complete understanding and buy-in of the leader’s vision, goals and objectives for the organization. Likewise, to motivate a team to achieve great things, the leaders vision, goals and objectives must include core values that the team members can believe in.

Boosting Your Bottom Line Through Customer Engagement
Don Eastvold, Corporate Director of Marketing & New Business Development, Unlimited Vacation Club by AMResorts

Don Eastvold, Corporate Director of Marketing & New Business Development, Unlimited Vacation Club by AMResortsWant more revenue? Then pay attention to your customer satisfaction scores. Move the needle on those and you’ll move the needle on your bottom line. This session takes a look at a resort operator’s experience of the positive impact an effective reputation management strategy has on revenue, and just how much of a team effort it requires. Plus, while the resort benefits from increased bookings, see how the sales teams capitalize on positive reviews to close more business.

Generating Leads Through Celebrity Endorsements & Sponsorships
Erika Garcia, Chief Executive Officer, Blue Strawberry Resorts

Erika Garcia, CEO, Bluestrawberry ResortsSales strategies have changed, and innovation is now elemental to achieving success. The need to adapt to new trends and create ways to reach new audiences is obvious. What better way to generate new leads and boost brand recognition than to sponsor celebrity endorsed charitable foundations, that allow you to generate leads and leverage popular icons, who have a huge fan base that want to be in the same places and do the same things as their favorite artists. This session looks at how to do it, and how it positively impacts not only the advertising campaigns, but vacation club sales, and member satisfaction.

How To Design A Competitive Product In An Ever Changing Marketplace
Curtis Knipe, VP, Sales & Marketing, El Cid Vacations Club

Curtis Knipe, VP, Sales & Marketing, El Cid Vacations ClubThe travel and hospitality industry is expanding and is more customer-centric than ever. Vacationers are now in the driving seat and demanding more experiences, more choices and more service than ever before. So where does the timeshare / vacation club industry fit now in the larger vacation industry picture? With an explosion of new product types attempting to gain marketshare and retain existing customer interest, how do you design a product for the next decade that will be competitive, and how will it be sold?

“Busting the Myths” – Working Together with Data
Howard Nusbaum, President, ARDA

Howard Nusbaum, President, ARDAThe year 2018 is all about taking control of our industry narrative and “busting the myths” that denigrate our product and the owner experience. This session will look at multiple timeshare myths and the facts that debunk them—in short, “how do we best tell our story using the data we collect from our owners to restate reality and strengthen our position?” Howard will challenge you to arm yourselves with AIF data for the next time you are talking to a reporter, colleague, neighbor, or drafting a communications strategy. So, let’s collectively tell our true story!

Leveraging Social Media’s Partnership with Big Data
Jason Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer, Seychelle Media

Jason Tremblay, CEO, Seychelle MediaFacebook, Instagram and other major social media platforms have been quietly partnering with Big Data. From Acxiom, Epsilon, Equifax and scores of others, this partnership has enabled marketers to target prospective customers in ways that were not possible just a couple of years ago. Whether it be by behaviors, interests, affinities, demographics, deep financial attributes, connections, age, languages, micro-locations or more, the opportunity for granular targeting is downright jaw-dropping. Jason Tremblay, one of timeshare’s most respected and innovative lead generators will describe how to leverage this profound marketing opportunity to produce unprecedented VPG’s and portfolio performance.

What Will The New Timeshare Landscape Look Like?
David Waller, Founder, Waller Law

David Waller, Founder, Waller LawWill points overlay programs redefine the timeshare industry? This session looks at what fuels point overlays, how they disrupt common industry assumptions, and their potential impact on the industry going forward. Can developers better leverage excess inventory while providing shorter term products, and how are these types of programs structured?

The Four Most Dangerous Words: Predicting the Next Crisis for the U.S. Economy
Shawn Brydge, Executive Vice President, Wellington Financial

Shawn Brydge, EVP, Wellington FinancialThe U.S. economy has just started booming, but history tells us we’re due for a recession. We’ll look at current economic trends and identify soft spots in the market that could be the next to fail. Is this the beginning of a bull market, or the next bubble about to burst?

Active Entertainment is the New Black
Ivaylo Soritov, Chief Executive Officer, Walltopia Adventure USA

Ivaylo Sotirov, CEO, Walltopia Adventure USAJust as black is always in style in the fashion industry, Active Entertainment is now becoming the hottest new thing in the Entertainment Industry. And there is a reason for that. Actually, three main reasons, to be more specific – it is engaging, trendy and profitable. Join us for a discussion on how Active Entertainment becomes a great addition and alternative to both new and existing leisure zones in resorts. Maximum space utilization, innovative design, great capacity and most of all breath-taking thrills – this is how Active Entertainment creates emotions. And emotions keep visitors coming back. The top new amenity that delivers memorable experiences in the hotel, resort and time-sharing industry is here and it’s called Active Entertainment.

To Rent or Not to Rent: Timeshare’s Future in the World of OTA’s
Caleb Dixon, Corporate Revenue & Reservations Manager, QM Resorts

Caleb Dixon, Corporate Revenue & Reservations Manager, QM ResortsDoes the industry need to change its business model or face imminent failure? Timeshare is still relevant and thriving for now, but the significantly larger growth in other travel segments, technology and customer behavior could have a devastating impact on the future if the industry doesn’t adapt. This session looks at the advantages that come with adopting a successful OTA strategy, and how to integrate that into your business model.

Workplace Strategies: From Compliance To Competitive Advantage
Sarah King, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Darden Restaurants

Sarah King, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Darden RestaurantsIn today’s increasing regulated environment, creating an inclusive workplace is more than a compliance issue. It is also a competitive advantage to attract and retain top talent as well as an expectation from many consumers, especially emerging generations. Get some tips on how to develop and measure workplace strategies that will enhance your culture and protect your business and employees.

Why Companies Must Measure Their People To Accelerate The Top And Bottom Line Growth
William Jameson, Business Consultant, Culture Index

William Jameson, Business Consultant, Culture IndexWhy do most companies make so many mistakes when it comes to getting the right people in the right seats of an organization when people are your number one resource?  Understand how using applied behavioral analytics “people data” to make objective people decisions will lead to accelerating growing your companies top and bottom line.  Why you need to give your executives the knowledge, data and control on people decisions to fast track growth and productivity. 

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Vacation Innovations
Lloydshare Limited Incorporated
Concord Servicing
GuestView Guide by Sharp NEC
JJS Global
SPI Software
TRADEX TruCash Group of Companies Towel Tracker Vacation Ownership Advisor
Ski and Sea Resort Data Processing
Canadian Resort & Travel Association
Resort Trades