Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Wood

Derek Wood

Managing Director, Derek Wood Associates Ltd.

Derek Wood is Managing Director of Derek Wood Associates Ltd. He has had his own Independent Hospitality IT Consultancy company since 1986, undertaking all aspects of telecommunication, in-room technology consultancy and project management within this highly specialized area. Mr. Wood is a very well known figure within the hospitality sector and has 35 years of experience within the telecommunications industry of which for the past 21 years he has been deeply involved with independent hotel technology consultancy, both within East and Western Europe as well as Africa and The Middle East. He is listed within the ‘International Who’s Who of Professionals’, in recognition of the contribution his company has made to the hotel industry. Mr. Wood works predominately within the independent 4 & 5 star hotel sector, but also provides consultancy services to larger hotel groups as well as to the hospitality vendor market place. He specializes in in-room technology and has worked for some of the most prestigious 5 Star Hotels throughout Europe. In 2010 Mr. Wood was elected to the Board of Directors for HFTP. HFTP is the international professional association serving members working in hospitality. Since 1952, HFTP has been dedicated to providing members with extraordinary networking opportunities, industry-leading certification programs and events, and essential resources for professional growth. It is also responsible for HITEC the largest annual hotel technology conference in the world. Mr. Wood is also regularly asked to speak at Hotel Technology conferences throughout mainland Europe (Eurhotec, HOSTEC, IHTF, EHTEC and HOSPACE) and well as within the United States of America (HITEC). He has served on the Advisory Council for HITEC between 2003 - 2006, was on the HOSTEC-EURHOTEC Advisory board for 2005/6, and the EHTEC advisory board for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and is considered to be one of Europe’s leading independent consultants within this highly specialized field.

Mr. Wood can be contacted at +44-117-9612938 or Derek@derekwood.co.uk

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.