Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Kimball

Gary Kimball

President, Kimball Communications

Gary Kimball is president of Kimball Communications, a public relations agency he founded in 1995, specializing in hospitality and a wide range of other industries. Conveniently located in the Lehigh Valley of Eastern Pennsylvania, with easy access to New York City, Philadelphia, northern New Jersey and Bucks County, his agency delivers what today's media look for: well-told, engaging stories shared through print, broadcast, online and social media. Mr. Kimball has 30 years experience in public relations and is a recognized expert in crisis communications planning and response. Before founding Kimball Communications, Mr. Kimball served in senior public relations roles, including his position from 1988-1994 as director of corporate communications for a $3 billion financial services company. There he led an award-winning public relations, investor relations and crisis communications program. A former journalist, Mr. Kimball has a master's degree in journalism from Boston University and a bachelor's degree in government from Colby College.

Mr. Kimball can be contacted at 610-559-7585 or gkimball@kimballpr.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.