Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Sanford

Kevin Sanford

Director of Sales & Marketing, Island Hotel Newport Beach

Kevin Sanford is the director of sales and marketing for Island Hotel Newport Beach, an AAA Five Diamond property set amidst five lush acres in the heart of Newport Center. In his current position, he oversees all aspects of marketing and related activities for the 295-room hotel – which features a 4,000-square-foot spa; a 3,000-square-foot pool; two award-winning restaurants; a fitness center; two outdoor lighted tennis courts; and over 30,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space. Mr. Sanford's specific duties include strategic development and implementation of all branding programs, annual marketing plans and market research, as well as overseeing print collateral and electronic marketing materials and website development. In addition, he leads and directs conference services, as well as the group, transient and catering sales teams, focusing on marketing and positioning Island as a premier luxury business travel hotel. Reaffirming its reputation as one of the region’s top luxury hotels for corporate travelers, Island recently completed an extensive renovation, which included the refurbishment of 20,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as significant upgrades to its meeting technology. With more than 20 years of hospitality industry experience, Mr. Sanford’s specific expertise includes contracting, negotiations, problem-solving, team-building, customer loyalty/retention, and planning and executing strategies and tactics. Previously the national director of sales for the Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, he also has extensive experience in the luxury hotel arena – with specific expertise in luxury group meetings and events -- and was with The St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach in Dana Point, Calif. for six years, climbing the ranks from sales manager to director of sales. Prior to that, he was with Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. for eight years, where he started as business transient sales manager and worked his way up to national sales manager.

Mr. Sanford can be contacted at 866-554-4620 or ksanford@theislandhotel.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.