Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Conran

Tom Conran

Principal, Greenwood Hospitality Group

Tom Conran serves as a Principal of Greenwood Hospitality Group, where he is responsible for strategic investments and third-party hotel management assignments. Mr. Conran has more than 30 years of hospitality experience in the management, finance, and real estate sectors. Prior to Greenwood, Mr. Conran served as Vice President of Business Development for Richfield Hospitality. He expanded the Richfield management platform to include hospitality investments and acquisitions. At Richfield and its predecessor companies, Mr. Conran held several key responsibilities, including sales and marketing, property management transitions, and client relations within the management portfolio. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Conran also served as Vice President of Acquisitions for Regal Hotels International and successfully closed on $300 million of hotel acquisitions, including the Bostonian Hotel, the UN Plaza Hotel New York, the Knickerbocker Chicago, and the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel. Thereafter, Mr. Conran served as Vice President of Acquisitions and Finance for Millennium Hotels, USA with active involvement in the group's investment strategies and renovation programs for their portfolio of 13 upscale full-service hotels. Mr. Conran earned a Bachelor's Degree from Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. Mr. Conran was a founding member of Meetings Planner International in Hartford, CT and he currently serves on the Owners' Advisory Board of Doubletree Hotels.

Mr. Conran can be contacted at 860-648-9040 or tconran@greenwoodhospitality.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.