Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Powell

Stephen Powell

Senior Vice President, IHG Worldwide Sales

Stephen Powell serves as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). IHG has nine hotel brands, over 161 million guest annually, 688,517 rooms in over 4700 hotels located in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. Mr. Powells key responsibilities include the creation of a unified sales platform for IHG as a worldwide company with global customers and development of a common way of delivering the IHG brand proposition through a consistent sales experience. Mr. Powell joined InterContinental Hotels Group in December 2003 as Vice President of Sales, UK & Ireland and was soon promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for EMEA where he was instrumental in linking brands and sales together to drive tangible business results. Since 2007, Mr. Powell has served in his current role as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales. He leads a team of professionals that has implemented solutions and programs, such as sales force automation, that serve customer needs and drive results for IHG. Mr. Powell has over 35 years of experience in the hotel industry, receiving recognition with a number of awards for industry leadership. He graduated from the University of Texas and has worked in various senior positions for a number of companies in the US. He was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts North America and Sales Director for Loews Hotels in America. He has also established global sales teams for hospitality industry software companies, namely PlanSoft Corporation and Certain Software. In April 2013 The Convention Industry Council (CIC) announced that Mr. Powell was amongst five meeting leaders to receive the highest honor in the meetings industry. The inductees into the Hall represent influential leaders who have shaped the industry over a lifetime of accomplishments and whose contributions have left an indelible impression on the industry. Mr. Powell was officially inducted into CICs Hall of Leaders in October 2013. Mr. Powell is a former President of the Site International Foundation and a former International President of Meeting Professionals International. He has also held the title of MPI's Supplier of the Year. Mr. Powell has served on committees and boards including the American Society of Association Executives, Hospitality Sales Management Association International, Convention Industry Council, Meeting Professionals International, Site International and the Institute of Directors. He participates in public speaking at industry events and has published several articles on industry trends on sales and marketing issues.

Mr. Powell can be contacted at 770-604-2000 or stephen.powell@ihg.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.