Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Lowe

Bob Lowe

Vice President of POS Intergrations, Heartland Payment Systems

Bob Lowe has been in the software space for more than 30 years. Initially working in software development, he wrote solutions for many customer types before specializing in hotel software. He was involved in CRS, property management, point of sale and spa, golf and event management systems that were sold globally. He oversaw the integration of hotel and restaurant systems to credit card gateways, switches and processors in many parts of the world, including the U.S., UK, Europe, India, China and South Africa. He became closely involved in credit card security when Visa released its CISP guidelines in 2000 and implemented strategies to address the card security standards beginning with CISP and carrying on through PABP, PCI DSS and PA-DSS. For the past eight years he has held senior business development and integration management roles in the payment card acquiring area - holding senior roles in both gateway and processors that connect to all industry types including hotel software companies. He has been an industry representative on the board of the Open Travel Alliance and has been involved in HTNG workgroups. He speaks frequently at events and industry forums. MR. Lowe is vice president of POS integration with Heartland Payment Systems, now part of Global Payments, and resides in Northern California. He is currently working to simplify the way systems integrate while also improving card security. He plans to attend the Electronic Transaction Association event in Las Vegas, the National Restaurant Association event in Chicago and HITEC in Toronto over the next few months.

Please visit https://www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com for more information.

Mr. Lowe can be contacted at 530-274-2329 or Robert.Lowe@e-hps.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.