Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Suomi

Michael Suomi

Principal and Vice President Interior Design, Stonehill & Taylor

Michael Suomi is Principal and VP of Interior Design at Stonehill & Taylor where he leads the firm’s interior design practice. Mr. Suomi has an extensive background in creating unique and high-profile hospitality projects for a long list of clients including Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Disney, as well as a number of independent hotel brands. His approach to design is based on the idea of developing a strong narrative for each project based on its distinct characteristics such as its history, location, and cultural significance. His design vision ensures that a close link to the concept is maintained from initial programming and planning, all the way to the smallest executional detail. Mr. Suomi leads in the area of social sustainability in design, championing the use of design’s purchasing power to create jobs and lift economies. His work for hotels and restaurants has been recognized through various industry awards including the HD Awards and Boutique Design Awards. Mr. Suomi is the co-founder of Futuregreen Hospitality Forum in partnership with Interior Design Magazine, which brings together hotel brands, designers and manufacturers every year to determine and implement actionable steps for positive impact in the near future. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Radical Innovation, an annual competition that challenges the hotel industry by seeking new ideas in design and operations. His prior executive experience includes: Rockwell Group - Senior Associate, Studio Design Director; Jordan Mozer and Associates - Director of Architecture; MacEwen + Mr. Suomi - President, Director of Design. Please visit http://www.stonehilltaylor.com for more information.

Mr. Suomi can be contacted at 212-226-8898 or email@stonehilltaylor.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.