Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hudson

Michael Hudson

Senior Vice President Hotel Analytics Division, Groups 360

Michael Hudson, CRME, MBA, is a former Walt Disney Imagineer with more than 20 years experience in engineering design, data analysis and user-experience development. Throughout his career at Disney, he helped open two theme parks and numerous ride systems across both coasts. He championed using data visualization and predictive analytics to improve ride reliability. In 2006, he was recruited by Gaylord Entertainment to graft his Disney experience onto hotel development. He created innovative retail and sports bar experiences for hotel guests and brokered strategic partnerships with the MLB and The Smithsonian. From there, he transitioned to help form a new team centralizing revenue management and yield strategies for the brand. Based on experiences yielding group business during the 2009 downturn, Mr. Hudson then founded Grouponomics to help bring event-performance transparency to the Sales and Revenue Management teams within the Hotel Industry. He focused on creating an application that unlocks data collecting digital cobwebs in CRM systems/spreadsheets. Grouponomics provides Sales, Revenue Management, Hotel Executives and Asset Managers a summarized view of Group business to contract displayed in easy to grasp Key Performance Indicators and communicated with the best practices in modern data visualization. If you canít measure it, you canít change it. After successfully growing for five years, Grouponomics was acquired by Nashville based, Groups360 in 2015. Mr. Hudson joined Groups360 as Head of Strategy, Hotel Analytics Division. Mr. Hudson remains dedicated to continuing to deliver transparency to both sides of the Hotel/Meeting Planner equation. When data is transformed from an ugly tabular system to a format that tells a story, thatís when you truly unlock the potential of a collaborative sales process. Effective communication only happens when data is set free; Knowledge for both sides creates efficiency and maximizes profits for all. Please visit http://www.groups360.com for more information.

Mr. Hudson can be contacted at 615-669-6338 or michael.hudson@groups360.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.