Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Pepe

Dianne Pepe

Director of Group Sales, Millennium Broadway Hotel, New York

As director of group sales for the 750-room Millennium Broadway Hotel New York, Dianne Pepe has responsibility for the property’s 110,000 square feet of meeting and business space, including the only residential IACC-accredited conference center in New York City and the iconic and historic Hudson Theatre, an immensely popular choice for special corporate events, product launches, private social events, and weddings, including the largest number of same sex marriages in the city. Prior to joining Millennium Ms. Pepe was area director of sales for the Pyramid Hotel Group where she directed the sales operation and managed a staff of 16 for two “big box” central New Jersey IACC certified conference center hotels totaling 770 rooms and over 110,000 square feet of meeting space. Before that, she was director of group sales for The Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village, a 294-room hotel with 22,000 square feet of conference space. Ms. Pepe began her sales career as catering manager at the all-suite Madison Suites Hotel before moving on to the 204-room Radisson Hotel Princeton. In 2004 she was recruited by the prestigious Doral Forrestal Conference Center and Spa where she received recognition as the top hotel sales manager for Interstate Hotels and Resorts Northeast 2005 and began her love affair with IACC. She holds an A.A.S. degree from Sullivan County Community College, part of the State University of New York system.

Ms. Pepe can be contacted at 212-789-7566 or dpepe@mill-usa.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.