Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Smith

Sam Smith

Chief Executive Officer, Network Events, Inc.

Sam Smith is a graduate of James Madison University, where he received a BA in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film. Since then, Mr. Smith has been a leading sales executive in the exposition industry since 1982. Currently, Mr. Smith is the co-founder, President, and CEO of Network Events, a health and wellness event development, marketing, sales, and management firm. He is responsible for developing and overseeing event partnerships with television stations and professional sports teams in markets throughout the United States. Prior to co-founding Network Events, Inc. in 1999, Mr. Smith was Vice President and Operating Officer for PGI Expositions based out of Arlington, VA. In his role at PGI, Mr. Smith’s primary responsibilities included business and event development, and the direction of exhibit sales efforts for PGI’s owned and managed expos. Mr. Smith has been credited with recruiting, training, managing, and motivating some of the most productive exhibit space sales teams in the highly competitive information technology sector. He is a dynamic presenter and has been a highly rated speaker at major industry events including the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), and International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). Additionally, Mr. Smith has presented his full day “Exhibit Sales Boot Camp” and provided sales and marketing consulting to top association and private exposition management organizations including Advanstar Communications, Diversified Business Communications, National Association of Broadcasters, Penton Media and the Minneapolis Star. Please visit http://www.networkevents.tv for more information.

Mr. Smith can be contacted at 703-378-5315 or ssmith@networkevents.tv

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.