Editorial Board   

Mr. Dass

Brian Dass

President & Co-Founder, Open Hospitality

Brian Dass serves as Open Hospitality's President and brings 15 years of diverse experience in hotel industry management and information technology. Open Hospitality provides Web reservation and management solutions for independent and boutique hotels including direct connection to central reservation systems; search engine optimization; email marketing and online revenue conversion strategies; combining them into one proprietary dashboard for better management, tracking and reporting. Mr. Dass began his hospitality career as assistant manager of a four-star boutique hotel in New York City; he also worked on several multi-million dollar renovations for hotel properties. Mr. Dass was project manager at Hotel Casablanca, a four star boutique hotel in New York City's Time Square. While there he was responsible for developing and launching the hotel's Website, one of the first-ever hotel Websites, which helped generate 30 percent of Casablanca's revenue. In the mid 90's, he lead the way in early implementation and adoption of e-mail marketing promotions and search engine optimization for hotel Websites prior to those practices becoming mainstream. Prior to Open Hospitality, Mr. Dass helped to pioneer an independent online reservation system, Timeless Hospitality, which he co-founded with David Millili. In 1996, he implemented one of the first real-time Web-based booking systems used at a New York hotel. Mr. Dass is an active member of HSMAI and New York's hospitality industry. He is involved with organizations abroad in the UK and Europe and spearheads business development and operations in Open Hospitality's UK office.

Mr. Dass can be contacted at 212-989-2417 or brian@openhospitality.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.