Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Sheridan

Martha Sheridan

President & CEO, Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

Martha Sheridan is president and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB). In her role she leads an organization whose mission is to create vibrant growth for the local hospitality economy by promoting, developing, and expanding a united visitor industry. She oversees all day to day operations at the PWCVB, leading a staff of 20 destination sales and marketing professionals. In 2010 Ms. Sheridan spearheaded efforts to form the Rhode Island Sports Commission, now a division of the PWCVB. Ms. Sheridan has over 25 years experience in destination marketing. Prior to her current position she served as Vice President of Sales at the Newport County (RI) Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was recently named one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry by Successful Meetings magazine. Ms. Sheridan just completed a term as Chair of the Destination Marketing Association International, the world's largest association of destination marketing professionals. She has held leadership positions with several local, regional and national organizations including the RI Hospitality and Tourism Association Education Foundation, Meeting Professionals International New England Chapter (MPINE) and the New England Society of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Ms. Sheridan is the recipient of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association's (RIHA) Mary Brennan Tourism Award for outstanding achievement in tourism promotion and in 2010 was named RIHA Woman of the Year. She is also the recipient of the MPINE President's Award and the MPINE Supplier of the Year Award. In 2013, Ms. Sheridan was presented the Morris J. Gaebe Profile in Excellence Award from Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and lives in Wakefield, RI with her husband, Arthur and three children.

Ms. Sheridan can be contacted at 401-456-0224 or msheridan@goprovidence.com

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.