Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Shah

Ron Shah

Founder & CEO, Bizly

Ron Shah is the founder and CEO of Bizly, an enterprise small meetings platform that helps employees easily book meetings and events at hotels, restaurants, and activity venues. Ron founded Bizly after his conference room was flooded and he experienced the painful process of trying to book meeting space at hotels and restaurants. Bizly’s mission is to be the world’s most employee-centric booking site. Bizly uses rich and original content, instant booking, messaging and compliance features to create an experience that employees love to use, with all the data and compliance features that drive success for the meetings department. Bizly currently has over 2,000 hotels and restaurants on its platform across the United States, and works with over a dozen Fortune 500 customers. Prior to launching Bizly, Ron was a venture capital professional for 15 years. He started his career at Quantum in New York and then went on to become the founder of Jina Ventures, a technology-focused global investment firm. During his time at Jina Ventures, he completed 9 M&A exits, three IPOs, and over two dozen investments. Over 12 years, Jina Ventures evolved from advisor, fund manager, to expert of emerging market secondaries. Ron spent three years as an on-air contributor for CNBC across several programs including “Trading the Globe,” “The Kudlow Report,” and “Fast Money.” Ron has served on the board of directors of several tech companies and non-profits. He has his MBA from NYU Stern and his BBA from the George Washington University. Please visit http://www.bizly.com for more information.

Mr. Shah can be contacted at 646-530-8630 or support@bizly.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.