Editorial Board   

Mr. Burchard

Shaun Burchard

President, Meridian Hospitality Group, Inc.

Shaun Burchard, a hotel professional since 1986 and a Certified Hotel Administrator, is President and Operating Partner of Meridian Hospitality Group, Inc., a hotel performance company delivering superior hotel results since its formation in 2004. Mr. Burchard and his partners at MHG have built the company from a single distressed hotel to operating more than 26 hotels across the country including brands with Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Choice, and Best Western. Meridian Hospitality Group is successful as a result of its entrepreneurial approach and a relentless commitment to outperforming the competition at every opportunity. Meridian Hospitality Group is built on the principles of smart hard work, objective measurement of meaningful metrics and developing ownership in the outcome at all levels. Originally from New York and now based in the Midwest, Mr. Burchard has spent the last 20+ years building success across the full spectrum of hotels from select service through luxury brands throughout the United States. Mr. Burchard's career, before forming Meridian Hospitality Group, consisted of a balance of positions dedicated to both Operations and Sales & Marketing, allowing him to bring a unique focus and level of expertise to MHG's investment partners and managed properties. Strong beliefs in direct effective communication and transparency in day-to-day decision-making are key drivers in the successful growth of Meridian Hospitality Group.

Mr. Burchard can be contacted at 618-531-5177 or sburchard@shaunburchard.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.