Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Coughlin

Michael Coughlin

Managing Director, Digital Blue Creative

Michael Coughlin has twelve years of experience of working in the digital marketing space with core competencies in online branding, marketing analytics consulting, global paid search management, social media management, creative video production, and website usability. He has wide-ranging expertise working with companies as small as early stage startups to companies as large global Fortune 500 enterprises. Prior to forming his own agency business, Mr. Coughlin played pivotal roles in the early stage growth of multiple digital marketing companies. As Manager of Paid Search and Media Buying at Acronym Media in New York, he helped form and lead a team of digital marketing professionals for over five years and has been a leader in industry innovation ever since. After leaving Acronym in early 2010, he went on to form a hybrid search and social media marketing consulting and thought leadership group where he led business development and marketing efforts for the company. Throughout his career, Mr. Coughlin gained tremendous experience working with global companies in almost every industry, including big brands such Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, XV Beacon hotel, Humana, Sony Music, SAP, Wharton School of Business, Scholastic, National Grid, BMW, Boston.com, and Boston Globe. For Four Seasons, he managed marketing campaigns in as many as fifteen different languages in as many as thirty countries. Currently, Mr.Coughlin manages his own creative digital agency, Digital Blue Creative. Whether it's producing captivating commercial videos, implementing search and social campaigns that attract traffic rather than compete for it, or designing analytics programs that help determine the truest return on investment, Digital Blue Creative helps businesses cut through the clutter and make a lasting impression in today's overcrowded marketplace. With a BA in Communication from Boston University, Mr. Coughlin is a public speaker and frequently speaks at SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) and ClickZ events (formerly Search Engine Strategies) events across the nation. He has also contributed to multiple articles in publications such as Newsday, Tech Investor News, Website Magazine, The Canvas Mag, NBC Chicago, and Search Engine Journal.

Mr. Coughlin can be contacted at 844-468-6258 or Mike@DigitalBlueCreative.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.