Many of my connections and clients current and past, will be heading out to Las Vegas at the end of the month for the annual Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) National. Only this time the vacation rental industry’s most attended ‘meetup’ is going Global. The annual conference has been re-named and re-branded as an International Conference.

Hallelujah for that!

As someone who works internationally, I’m very excited about this expansion in vision and scope for the industry. With more than 1700 vacation rental professionals expected to descend on the MGM Grand to take part in over 60 in-depth educational sessions and networking opportunities – it looks set to be an intense, but deeply rewarding 3 days.

The ‘internationalisation’ by the VRMA of the conference, marks an ambitious, but very timely shift away from a primarily US-centric bubble to opening up the opportunity for members and attendees to develop greater insight, networks and learning from fellow property managers, solution providers and experts operating world-wide. This can only help and enhance an industry which may at its roots be fundamentally local, but which is global in nature.

Looking through the agenda and speaker list, there are two key stand out themes this year. The global market and the practical application of technology. Obviously with the new International Track, there are several presentations focussed on working in a global marketplace, but there are also plenty of options for deeper insight into tech.

I’ll be hoping to catch the panel discussion moderated by Cliff Johnson of, on Going Global: What To Consider When Launching an International Market” This session will be focused on the different ways PMs can launch a new market internationally with the seasoned property manager panel sharing insights into how they launched their businesses in very different markets spanning from Eastern and Western Europe, South America and Africa.

The Updated Great Change: How To Leverage Technology and Embrace Millennials’ Impact on the Global Vacation Rental Industry, a panel of US/European PMs and moderated by Sean Miller from Point Central intends to educate attendees on the similarities and differences of how technology and millennials are impacting North America vs Rest of World vacation rental managers.

I’m also really looking forward to hearing from Yong Liu, CEO of Holidale. Based on statistical data, 10% of all outbound travellers are from China, and 7.3 million Chinese tourists will visit the United States by 2021. Chinese tourists are making a huge impact on the vacation rental industry, and an increasing number of Chinese outbound travelers are starting to prefer centrally-managed properties with full amenities rather than hotels. Yong will cover the impact and opportunity of this growth in The Chinese Market: How to Attract Chinese Travelers.”

Vanessa de Souza Lage, from Rentals United, is also following the theme of globalisation and technology with her presentation on Tech-Enabled Property Managers Around the Globe”. Vanessa will be showcasing tech-enabled, global property managers in order to help her audience learn about the technologies used, how these technologies help managers automate their marketing and operations, and the cost effectiveness it has on their businesses.

As vacation rental regulations continue to evolve globally, with some communities restricting vacation rental activity and others embracing the industry to spur further economic development, VRMA’s Greg Holcombe will be hosting a discussion titled “Vacation Rental Regulations in Today’s World: A Global Perspective”. Greg will be joined by an international panel of property managers and experts who will share insight on working with governments and proactively developing rules policymakers can get behind.

There are many other presentations and panel discussions that I am looking forward to attending at this year’s conference and I’m certain, as with every other VRMA event I have attended, I for one will be coming away inspired, energised and with a whole lot more knowledge than I arrived with.

If you are attending VRMA International and would like to schedule some time with me to discuss how Abode PR could support your business, then do send me a DM or email

About Jessica Gillingham

Jessica is the director of Abode PR, a specialist PR and content marketing agency partnering with clients operating in the international vacation and short-term rental space. Abode PR helps both ‘guest facing’ and B2B brands connect with new audiences through telling their story in the most compelling way and distributing that story through the most effective channels.


Posted in Our Thinking, Short-Term Rental Industry