Library Archives

 
Andy Dolce

Meeting industry veterans know lodging is a cyclical business and the good times cannot continue without end. The meeting business has weathered many storms over the past ten years. From the fallout of September 11th to the more recent stock market fluctuations and mortgage crisis, a decline in the health of our nation's economy often affects top meeting and conference facilities and drive-in markets alike. Read on...

Andy Dolce

Business travel is big business with millions of individual and group trips being tracked in each year. Among overnight trips, 85% of business travelers stayed in a hotel or motel. While this is good news for airlines, rental car companies and hoteliers, business travel exacts a heavy toll on the environment. Responsible environmental stewardship is not only an integral part of doing business at Dolce International; it is the core of who we are as a company. Read on to learn about five hot trends in the meetings industry I recommend for going green. Read on...

Greg Pesik

When it comes to a successful meeting, a hotel has to bring more to the table than just a stellar reputation, luxurious amenities and the most informed employees. These qualities are clearly important success drivers but they alone do not guarantee success. Adding key technologies to the process can help ensure your meeting goes off without a hitch and will keep planner coming back. Technology is a key catalyst to group meeting success and hotels should embrace these solutions to make their venue more attractive to planners - whether for large groups and corporations, private weddings and parties. Here is a look at some of the must have technologies of today. Read on...

Andy Dolce

While food trends may come and go, meeting planners always need to feed their attendees. With travelers' tastes expanding to more global flavors, today's successful meeting hotels must go above and beyond the typical banquet fare to wow today's finicky groups. As hospitality leaders, we have a responsibility to address health and nutrition concerns of our guests. In addition, we need to ensure that we are purchasing items from local vendors when possible and selecting items such as organic meats and sustainable fish. Aside from providing sustenance, culinary experiences for groups can be great team-building activities in both "Top Chef" and "Survivor" scenarios. The value of bonding over a home cooked meal cannot be underestimated. Read on to learn about five hot food and beverage trends in the meetings industry. Read on...

Bruce Fears

Going green is especially imperative to the meetings and hotel industries. While hotel and conference customers may not think twice about using a new towel with every shower, leaving the lights on when no one is in the room, or printing out more copies than are needed, companies like ARAMARK Harrison Lodging are taking their environmental responsibility seriously. It is important to keep in mind that the average hotel purchases more products in one week than one hundred families typically do in a year. Add to this the products and services used for learning and training events and it is easy to see why conference centers can have a huge impact on the environment. Read on...

Greg Pesik

The group events business is booming. In fact for hotels such as Fairmont, IHG and Hyatt, group events-everything from corporate events and trade shows to family weddings and reunions-are huge business. To be exact, they represent a $30 billion market that comprises up to 60% of their revenue. As I have stated in previous articles, technology today plays a big role in attracting meeting planners, securing their business and retaining them as long-term customers. In these articles I have looked at the specific types of technologies that hotels should be looking at-everything from collaborative online group management technologies, to Blackberry mobile phones and automated room list solutions. Now it's time to take a step back. What promise and possibilities do these technologies really allow the hotel to offer meeting planner looking to find a home for their next event? Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk

Major events provide a unique opportunity for hoteliers a chance to increase their revenue potential and improve ongoing financial stability. However, more often than not many Hotel Owners and Hotel Managers fail to recognize the need for 'pre-event' planning. Without a proper level of planning prior to an actual event, hoteliers may find themselves overwhelmed by the patronage they experience when the event begins. Similarly, without effective marketing and sales strategies in place in the lead up to the actual event, hoteliers may find they do not reach their full patronage potential that they had originally hoped for. Read on...

Andy Dolce

As service providers, those of us in the hospitality industry are limited to how much of a meeting's content we can successfully and reasonably affect. But after 28 years in the meetings and conference industry, we have observed and applied some valuable insights on how to guide our clients as they decide the content, tone and agendas of their meetings and conferences. What we have learned is that it doesn't have to require big budgets, world-renowned speakers or even a purpose-built meetings and conference facility to pull off a meeting that will leave the attendees inspired and motivated to meet their business and organizational challenges with gusto. What it actually takes is proper planning and a conference service staff that is intelligent, savvy, intuitive and driven to exceed its client's expectations. The following are some best practice tips to help your clients meet their team building and motivational goals. Read on...

Greg Pesik

We know why hoteliers look to bring groups to their venue. That answer is simple: Revenue. As I have said in past articles, group events represent a $30 billion+ market opportunity for hotels, and over 30% of a hotel's total revenue on average. Many hotels rely on group events for over 50% of their revenues. In order to tap into this opportunity hotels are scrambling to line up their calendar of events for the year ahead. One question I get from many customers, colleagues and friends in the business is the following: "Once we have booked a healthy amount of group events, are there any additional ways to identify and generate more revenue from each event so we can take our group revenue up to the next level?" These folks are always glad when I answer that question with a firm "Yes." The question is how, and read on to find out more! Read on...

Andy Dolce

Working in the meetings and conferences industry has given us insight into the essential role that technology plays in nearly every group event held today. Whether the company you are catering to is a Silicon Valley Fortune 500 or a smaller, independent business, properties that think big in terms of their technological ambitions while remaining detail-oriented in execution will maintain the upper-hand in booking and planning successful, smooth meetings that have the ability to literally bring attendees 'out of the box'. The following are some tips for ensuring and maximizing meeting success through the use of what I see as the most important technologies and technological services available today. Investing in a varying scope of technological upgrades is a prime way to simultaneously ensure happy clients and to add valuable amenity draws to your property. Read on...

Lynn McCullough

You know the routine. You've got a meeting to plan, along with a specified timeframe and budget to make everything come together. You're always on time and on budget, but...could you save even more time and money? Of course you can. Just as consumers are urged by financial-savvy experts to forego that morning cup of coffee at the convenience store to save a few hundred dollars by year's end, experts involved with corporate meeting planning believe there are a variety of cost-savings efforts that can not only keep you on budget, but below budget. Here's a closer look at what you can do to help save on your next corporate meeting. Read on...

Lynn McCullough

It is important for meeting planners to be aware of the many ways they can plan for and conduct highly effective, memorable meetings, while simultaneously taking their organization's budgetary parameters into consideration. Now is the ideal time-especially as we embark on a new year-to start a clean slate comprised of cost-savings strategies and planning decisions that ensure both financial benefits for your client's organization while also generating a successful meeting for their audience. So, if you or your client need to plan big with a budget that's small, let the following tips from ACOM-the Association for Convention Operations Management-serve as a helpful guide to achieve both objectives. Read on...

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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.