Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. McNeill

Andy McNeill

CEO, American Meetings, Inc. (AMI)

Andy McNeill is CEO of American Meetings, Inc. (AMI), a world-wide leader in the event marketing and meeting management space. Mr. McNeill is a true veteran of the meetings and event industries, with more than 25 years of experience. His weekly blog is one of the industryís leading blogs, and was recently picked up to provide content to Meetingsnet and the Corporate Meetings Network. He is frequently interviewed for articles by journalist regarding industry trends. Developing meeting strategies is his expertise and his passion. He has assisted firms in the pharmaceutical, biotech, healthcare, consumer, sports marketing and investment banking sectors to name a few. After graduation from FSU with a degree in Marketing, Mr. McNeill began his career in the event marketing group at FSU Athletics. Soon after, he spent six years with NSG Corporation as the Senior Vice President leading the sales/marketing for the firm who produced events for 200,000+ attendees annually across the globe. Revenues exceeded 25 million annually. Mr. McNeill and the NSG team worked with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta to produce portions of the Opening Ceremonies. Following NSG, he secured the role as COO at Fanizzi Associates, one of the nationís largest event pharmaceutical firms. There he managed the overall operations of the company who executed over 400 events annually for physicians and internal pharmaceutical clients. Revenues exceeded 40 million a year. In 2002, Mr. McNeill left Fanizzi Associates, and launched AMI with the vision of owning a premiere event marketing and meeting management firm. Since 2002, AMI has grown into a multi-million dollar organization producing hundreds of events annually. AMI has managed programs in 20+ industries for clients such as Novartis, Mars, Cleveland Clinic, J & J, Baxter, Pfizer and Office Depot. The completion of AMIís new state of the art, 5,000 square feet corporate facility, is a crowing accomplishment as AMI enters its decade anniversary in 2012.

Mr. McNeill can be contacted at 954-556-8864 or andy@americanmeetings.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.