Confirmed Speakers


We've assembled some of the finest names across Europe advocating the #BookDirect movement.

These passionate thought leaders all have vast experience in the short-term rental industry, and we are delighted to bring them to the More Bookings Direct Conference.

Chris Maughan - Speaker at the More Bookings Direct Conference

Chris’s journey began in a small studio in the South of France. However, 20 phenomenal years since, and he has become a leading professional in the short-term rental sector.

Chris's company and experienced team at AES GROUP now manages close to 250 properties on the French Riviera, some of which are the most sought after properties in the world. His luxury rental accommodation and events company provides corporate services for global brands including Google, Spotify, Disney, Fox, IPG, Twitter, Microsoft, and Apple. It comes as no surprise that the company itself (AES GROUP) has become an industry-leader in Cannes and for its high-end global clientele.

When many other industry professionals would have paused to enjoy the fruits of their labour, Chris in fact, continued to make a positive impact. In 2016,  Chris founded I-PRAC, and his vision to protect travellers from rental fraud finally came to life. I-PRAC is a global verification platform for short-term rental agencies and property owners, and is proving to disrupt the sector, for the better.

Chris’s long-span career speaks volumes about his tenacity, attention to detail and understanding of future industry trends. He promises invaluable insights and take-aways that will guarantee business growth and retention.


Exclusive deal for all attendees - Sign up for one year on the I-PRAC verification platform and get the second year completely free.

Ammar Shaer of Zeevou will be speaking at the More Bookings Direct Conference

Having been around the hospitality business for over 10 years now and with an educational background in civil engineering Ammar has developed a special interest in the property/hospitality businesses.

He joined the SA market as the Business Development Manager at Peymans, a nation wide SA operator, which got him very familiar with the day to day operations and struggles faced by landlords, property managers and fellow operators in addition to all the different aspects of the industry.

During Peymans search for every software out there; they were unable to find a single product to satisfy their needs as SA operators. The reason why they launched the most revolutionary product - Zeevou of which Ammar acts as the Chief Strategist.

WebsiteTwitterFacebook • Pinterest • LinkedIn

Exclusive to all attendees - Zeevou will be offering one lucky attendee a free six-month subscription to Zeevou's PMS and channel manager. Just leave your business card with Ammar and opt-in to the Zeevou Newsletter.

Alan Egan will be speaking about SEO at the More Bookings Direct Conference

I have worked in the vacation rental space for 16 years.

I started by building a rental agency and villa photography company in The Algarve back in 2003.

I’ve been creating rental websites ever since. But I don’t build websites for rental owners, I build sites for site visitors and this is why my sites convert at a much higher rate than others in the same space.

They are local information hubs, with places to stay as opposed to plain property showcases.

I am co-founder of - A site that connects VR websites together and collates and syndicates content published by owners bringing much greater exposure to all our subscribers.

I’ve presented at all 5 vacation rental world summits, a number of VRMA events and VRM Intel London.
These presentations have covered vacation rental marketing, social marketing, the future of vacation rental websites and vacation rental photography.


Exclusive deal for all attendees - Receive both of Alan's 'The Vacation Rental Photography And Staging Bible' and 'Vacation Rental Photography - A totally different focus' video free.

Louise Brace - Speaker at the More bookings direct Conference

Louise Brace is a holiday rental and destination marketing expert and one of the leading sources on short-term rental regulations in Spain. She has lived in Spain for 18 years. 

A travel content writer and digital marketer, Louise works with rental businesses across the globe to create meaningful brands, which engage with guests through authentic and compelling written and visual content. Holiday experiences, not holiday rentals, is Louise’s motto! 


Exclusive deal for all attendees - Receive Louise's Wow Factor Copywriting ebook. Normally priced at $70, this will be free to all attendees.

Deborah Labi - Speaker at the More Bookings Direct conference

Deborah has been a vacation rental Property Manager and Owner for over 13 years. During this time she became aware of problems in the industry and her newly launched company, Have You Got, comes just at the right time.

Wanting to think differently, she designed Have You Got as the first Book Direct Meta-No-Search Platform offering Guests the first No-Search Accommodation Service while ensuring Managers and Owners complete independence.

Integrity, unity and collaboration are the driving forces behind her business. The small fragments of this fragmented industry come together on Have You Got.

It is the first global network of independent Managers and Owners, who benefit from an automated platform for both bookings and commissions from successful guest referrals.


Exclusive deal for all attendees - Get your first three bookings commission-free when listing on the Have You Got Network.

Mark Simpson - Speaker at the More Bookings Direct Conferene

Mark is recognised as an expert in Short Stay Accommodation Marketing and has been featured on BBC News, BBC Five Live and the Hotel Owner Magazine.

Mark founded Boostly in 2016 and has been working with Accommodation Owners and Property Managers from all over the world to boost their direct bookings and cut down on the amount of time it takes to do so.

His Boostly Academy is one of the largest training programmes for hospitality businesses all over the world and the Hospitality Community Facebook Group is regarded as one of the best and most engaged online support forums.

This is one of only two speaking gigs that Mark will be attending in 2020 and he’s promised to leave everyone with actionable email templates that any delegate can put into practice and start doubling their direct bookings before they leave the event!

Website • FacebookLinkedInInstagramYouTube

Exclusive deal for all attendees - Mark will be giving delegates his email marketing template designed to increase direct and repeat bookings.

Moriya Rockman - Speaker at the More Bookings Direct Conference

Moriya Rockman is the founder and CMO of Smiling House Luxury in Switzerland, managing over 1.200 properties worldwide.

As a Media creative and PR expert, Moriya has been involved in the business development of many companies.

3 years ago, together with her husband Ira, she founded Smiling House and Smiling Flats Holiday Rentals.

Both companies are busy creating a bridge between the new age of travelling and legacy travel companies.

Another angle is developing the concept of Rent-to-Buy and Buy-to-Rent – vacation rental properties as Real Estate assets.
Moriya is a specialist of the sharing economy and a keynote speaker.

She is an active partner of Weconomize, a group of professionals leading transforming processes in big organisations using the shared economy.


Exclusive deal for all attendees - Get your free guide on 'How to make your place more Instagramable'.

Phil Tester - Speaker at the More Bookings Direct Conference

Phil originally qualified as an Avionics Engineer with British Airways, but moved on to work in their Revenue Management and Crew Planning Departments. During that time he first worked with web analytics, looking at the look to book ratios of thousands of flights and analysing demand and price elasticity. Having created websites since before Google was even invented he’s seen web design and SEO change out of all recognition.

On leaving BA, Phil bought a B&B with his wife Helen and also created Laurels Tech Web Design. This has allowed him to work closely with the hospitality community, providing them with websites, SEO and 360 degree virtual tours, thereby growing their exposure and increasing bookings. Phil’s mission is to help educate as many people as he can so they’re not taken in by techno speak and conned into spending money they don’t need to by unscrupulous companies. In fact, only this month he helped save a chalet owner nearly £5,000 on SEO work they’d been charged for, but had never actually been carried out.


Exclusive deal for all attendees - Get 25% off any 360 degree Virtual Tour over 100 sqM (*conditions & exclusions apply).

Yvonne Halling - Speaker at the More Bookings Direct Conference
Yvonne Halling ran her own B&B in the champagne region of France initially as a hobby, but then after a series of catastrophic events where the B&B had suddenly become the only source of income for her family, in less than 2 years she grew it from a €10k a year hobby into a professional, profitable and sustainable business making over €100k a year with just 4 rooms and no “help” from online travel agents.

Yvonne is now an international speaker, trainer, coach, mentor and award-winning online marketer at Bed and Breakfast which she set up in 2013. 

She created the Bed and Breakfast Business Transformation Program in 2014 and now shares her proven strategies and philosophy with her international client base of bed and breakfasts, guest houses, inns and boutique hotels

Her clients typically add between 20% and 100% to their businesses in one season, and enjoy the unexpected side benefits of increased confidence, happiness and peace of mind.


Exclusive deal for all attendees - Get a free copy of Yvonne Halling's book 'How to Add At Least 25% to Your Revenue in Just One Season' (PDF Version).

Steve Kopandy - Speakers at the More Bookings Direct Conference

Steve is the Director of the Cycle Cities Network, and the creator of the #bookdirect Symposium

Cycle Cities is the world's first partnership of city bike tour operators, with partners in 40 different cities globally. Cycle Cities is a marketing, cross-promotion and knowledge sharing partnership, that is best showcased at it's yearly 'Symposium' conference, running since 2015.

The #bookdirect Symposium is a meeting of marketing minds from across the tourism and hospitality industry, and will be held in Athens, Greece from 18-20 Feb, 2020. Participants will learn how to best attract a direct audience and control their customer channels in the face of a changing online sales environment.

When he's not pushing recreational cycling and tourism marketing, Steve writes songs and tours in the UK's best Take That tribute band, the Take That Experience.


Carlos Villaro Lassen EHHA

Carlos is the Secretary General of the EHHA.

The European Holiday Home Association (EHHA) was founded in 2013 by some of the biggest holiday home rental industry players in Europe. EHHA members are online short-term rental platforms as well as national trade associations that represent professionally managed serviced apartments, property managers and property owners in Europe.

As a united voice for short-term rentals, EHHA actively works and calls for decision-makers across the EU to better-understand the sector’s specificities and impact, and to cooperate more proactively to ensure a balanced development of short-term rental services for the benefit of all stakeholders, i.e., hosts, travelers, industry and society at large.

EHHA supports the need to overcome regulatory fragmentation through the establishment of a harmonized framework and remains committed to working constructively with EU and local authorities to ensure the introduction of short-term rental rules which are in accordance with the existing EU regulatory framework. In addition to its policy work, every year EHHA announces the Holiday Home Awards in order to showcase the great quality and enormous diversity of the short-term holiday home rental industry.

EHHA Affiliated Membership Terms and Benefits

EHHA Membership Form


James Mitchell wil be speaking at the More Bookings Direct conference

James started his Service Accommodation business back in early 2018 and grown his owned, R2SA and management business to over 35 units including a guest house.

His focus was to make his business fully systemised and automated and now only spends 30 minutes every few days to check in on progress.

We have all our units in one place to its very important to focus on direct bookings so we have developed a few cheeky ways to get those companies booking with us!


Exclusive deal for all attendees - Get 50% off my systems and automation online course.



Richard Vaughton

Richard is a short-term rental veteran and advisor to a small number of well known companies, such as Stay Alfred and OVO Network. both in the short term urban and vacation rental sector.

He is also the co-founder of Rentivo, a Saas service for owners and managers providing web platforms and data driven solutions for vacation rental agencies and other technology partners.

In a previous existence Richard was the MD an owner of a 100+ property holiday lettings business in the UK and co-owner of a European business which grew to more than 900 contracted properties.

Emma Mills of I-PRAC will be a panelist at the More Bookings Direct Conference

Over the past decade, Emma has owned and run several businesses, with a special focus on outsourced PA and call handling services. This experience is now helping her manage I-PRAC’s growth and operational strategy.

Having seen the damage that can be caused by rental fraud, Emma is committed to making I-PRAC a trusted name for anyone looking to book a holiday or business rental.

Emma heads up I-PRAC’s application centre and the ever-growing approvals team, which conducts the rigorous checks involved in approving property owners and agencies as I-PRAC members. She also looks after the media centre, liaising with journalists and sharing all the latest news on I-PRAC and rental fraud.

Henry Bennet of Your Welcome will be a panelist at the More Bookings Direct Conference

Henry is CEO of YourWelcome, the fastest growing short term rental guest engagement platform. YourWelcome launched in 2017, with a smart tablet for vacation rentals that enabled owners to add a service layer to their business.

YourWelcome has grown to to be the most used guest app globally, with the tablets installed in over 18,000 properties globally.

Robert Nunez of CoHost Expert will be a panelist at the More Bookings Direct Conference

Tara Scott of Click Book Staywill be a panelist at the More Bookings Direct Conference

With a tourism focused career spanning three decades, Tara first stepped into the world of hospitality and tourism at the age of 13 and hasn’t looked back. Not only does she hold a BTEC National Diploma in Travel & Tourism and a BA in Hospitality (Tourism) Management, but she also has extensive experience across the sector including working as an aircraft despatcher, travel agent and managing director of a 5 star holiday estate.

Tara now runs a successful holiday home rental agency, Click Book Stay, and is Vice Chair of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers. She’s passionate about improving standards, offering good old- fashioned hospitality and working together with other likeminded businesses to create a visitor experience that’s second to none.