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Highlights and Takeaways from the DARM Conference: The Emergence and Future of Revenue Management

In what has become many peoples’ favorite industry conference, my fellow co-founders of RevProf and I not only had the privilege of attending the recent DARM Conference in Nashville, but curating and producing the educational content for the Revenue Management tracks. The conference was a melting pot of ideas, innovations, and insights, providing a unique perspective on the current state and future of the discipline of Revenue Management. Here, I share my key takeaways and reflections.

The Need for Standardization and Professional Growth in Revenue Management
As one who has attended each DARM Conference since its inception, one of the most striking revelations was the rapid maturation of the Revenue Management discipline. However, despite this growth, there’s a palpable need for standardization in terms of universally accepted terms, definitions, and processes across various platforms and software. RevProf is dedicated to remaining at the forefront of addressing these challenges.

A notable highlight was an impromptu session spearheaded by RevProf co-founder Emily Pattillo and me. Amy Hinote and Simon Lehmann moderated a panel of pricing automation and market data tools to address the recent challenges following a change in how data is scraped from Airbnb. This session emphasized the benefit of what a unified voice in our industry can accomplish, which RevProf is diligently working to establish.

The Reliance on Data Tools and the Gap in Data Manipulation Skills
The conference illuminated a crucial aspect of our field: revenue managers' heavy reliance on data tools. While these tools are indispensable, a gap in the ability to manipulate and interpret raw data by many was evident. The hands-on workshops by RevProf underscored this point.

This skill gap is not inherently negative but poses a challenge for the future. For instance, issues like the recent data scrape incident might remain undetected if professionals cannot independently verify their data sources. Enhancing these skills is critical for the ongoing development of our field.

The Significance of Community in Revenue Management
Perhaps the most heartening aspect of the conference was the evident need for a strong community among revenue management professionals. The willingness of revenue management professionals to share best practices and transfer knowledge, aligned perfectly with RevProf’s pillars of community and education, and was both encouraging and uplifting.

This community spirit is not just about sharing successes but also about navigating challenges collectively. The sense of camaraderie and mutual support is a testament to the potential growth and resilience of our industry.

The DARM Conference was more than just an event; it was a harbinger of the bright future of Revenue Management. It highlighted the scalable mountains ahead of us and the role organizations like RevProf will play in surmounting them. As we move forward, the focus on community, education, and certification will be pivotal in shaping the industry. I am hopeful that RevProf, as an organization, can bring further structure and professionalization to our industry, and I am eager to witness the transformation it will bring to the Revenue Management landscape.

-Sarah Franzen

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