Editorial Board   

Ms. Walters

Michele Walters

Co-Founder, Origin World Labs

Michele Walters is Co-Founder and Head of Guest Behavior Analytics for Origin World Labs. Ms. Walters is an expert in the field of Consumer Behavioral Analytics for leisure industries. She has led guest behavioral research projects and departments for some of the world's leading entertainment and hospitality companies including Walt Disney, Universal Studios, and Discovery Communications. She has 16 years of experience supplying customer-centric analytic solutions and predictive models in US domestic, US Hispanic, European and Latin American/Caribbean markets. Ms. Walters holds an MBA and a Master's of Science in Marketing from University of Miami. She is responsible for driving the strategy and execution of Origin World Lab's services. Origin World Labs(OWL) creates the customized analytics models that optimize Pricing, Marketing and Operations for the best companies in Hospitality. Our team creates new value by embedding model-driven intelligence into every hotel managerial process. OWL is a lab of Mathematicians, Behavioral Scientists, Information Technology veterans and a bunch of brilliant, energetic, award-winning statisticians united by our passion for analytics. OWL runs the math that runs the best hotels in the world. Learn more by visiting the website at [www.forsmarthotels.com][1] [1]: http://www.forsmarthotels.com

Ms. Walters can be contacted at 305-303-0284 or

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.