As hotels start opening and meeting planners begin looking for venues that their clients will be comfortable with, what are the critical items to focus on to ensure capturing the available revenue? How best can you prepare your hotel, your team, and owners for the next 24 months and beyond? Modifying your budgets, sales procedures, marketing plans, revenue expectations and even your comp set during the rebuilding is paramount. Making sure that the property has the right team in place to establish your place in the "new normal" is critical. Ensuring your relationships with meeting planners are strong supportive partnerships - that is also critical. READ MORE

As we enter Q3, there is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted businesses worldwide. Hospitality has already been singled out as having notably suffered from travel restrictions and lockdowns, but one could argue that meetings and events have it the worst. The very definition, large groups of people gathering in a single location that is often indoors, makes it clear that the meetings and events industry has struggled a lot. Many events from Q1 and Q2 were postponed to Q3 and Q4; however, the previously anticipated start of recovery now seems to be increasingly unlikely as resurgences of cases occur worldwide. READ MORE

When most people think about "project management" their first thoughts are generally not about the hospitality industry. Even though it is one of the largest industries in existence, there has not been a concerted industry-wide effort to embrace project management. However, hospitality firms from across the entire industry, from mom-and-pop operations to global hospitality giants, are planning and executing projects on a daily basis. We begin our deep dive into the world of project management by discussing why project management is such an important – yet overlooked – facet in the hospitality industry. READ MORE

Consistent and strategic branding can lead to a strong brand equity, which can add great value and credibility for hotels. Despite the challenges that have unfolded due to COVID-19, now is not the time to put off building a remarkable brand. In fact, it's quite the opposite. You should now be doubling down on your commitment to your brand. In this piece, Mark Natale, the chief executive officer of the award-winning integrated brand development agency Smarthinking Inc., shares some of the risks of not incorporating proper branding, as well as the initial steps each company should take to successfully develop their brand strategy. READ MORE

August FOCUS

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

The hotel food and beverage (F&B) environment has been impacted significantly by the coronavirus pandemic, leading to many chains being forced by circumstances to pivot to a new way of operating. In the short-term, many hotel F&B divisions have looked at repurposing their spaces, while others have simply stopped operating for the interim. Industry-leading hotels that previously offered fine dining and event management have shifted to offering food delivery services that recreate the restaurant experience at home. As we move towards the post-Covid world, here's what I expect to see happening in F&B as hotels try to get back to the new normal. READ MORE

When COVID-19 hit, hospitality tech solutions went from a nice to have to a necessity for many hospitality operators who are working to stay open and keep customers and staff safe. However, with bars, restaurants, and hotels at limited capacity, now is the time for venues to look into tech that can also help them beyond the pandemic to see what tools they can use long-term and implement now while they have the time. Steven Simoni reviews why now is the time for operators to adopt new hospitality tech, the solutions available to venues, and tips for selecting new tech. READ MORE

Wine enthusiasts have started to consume and demand better quality wines during their business trips and holidays, prompting hotels to ramp up their wine-centric experiences. With so many lodging and dining choices, wine programs offer companies a way to stand out and reach a new target audience, especially as the world of hospitality gets back on its feet post COVID-19. From hot-air-balloon rides over vineyards and wine harvesting camps to programs that showcase sustainable wineries around the globe, here are some hotels that have successfully implemented wine programs and forged the way for collaboration between the hotel and wine industry. READ MORE

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More from our online Library Archives...

Elizabeth Blau

It is undeniable that technology has had immeasurable impact on the world of food & beverage. Suddenly, there is an energetic drive to "keep up" with rapid transformations and reprioritizations in our programming, operations and marketing. The younger generation remains at the forefront of these changes and thus millennial restaurant professionals are having a higher level of impact on our industry than ever before. This generation has the opportunity to tackle new possibilities aggressively and wisely. Food is changing and so is the way we learn about it. How is a millennial chef to understand their possibilities in the context of this modern age? Let's dig in. READ MORE

Paul Hancock

96 Billion dollars is being spent by Generation Millennial. The decisions and choices they are making are changing and rocking this industry. Millennials are armed with an arsenal of social media tools to quickly research and aid in their decision making process. Farm to table has much more meaning to the millennial than just a trend. It's a sense of place, a wellbeing, a shareable experience. From froze all day to the grass fed bresaola to the avocado toast Tuesdays that get 400 likes, the millennial generation choices are changing the landscape of Food and beverage in hotels throughout the US and the rest of the world. READ MORE

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.