Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Sheridan

Martha Sheridan

President & CEO, Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

Martha Sheridan is president and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB). In her role she leads an organization whose mission is to create vibrant growth for the local hospitality economy by promoting, developing, and expanding a united visitor industry. She oversees all day to day operations at the PWCVB, leading a staff of 20 destination sales and marketing professionals. In 2010 Ms. Sheridan spearheaded efforts to form the Rhode Island Sports Commission, now a division of the PWCVB. Ms. Sheridan has over 25 years experience in destination marketing. Prior to her current position she served as Vice President of Sales at the Newport County (RI) Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was recently named one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry by Successful Meetings magazine. Ms. Sheridan just completed a term as Chair of the Destination Marketing Association International, the world's largest association of destination marketing professionals. She has held leadership positions with several local, regional and national organizations including the RI Hospitality and Tourism Association Education Foundation, Meeting Professionals International New England Chapter (MPINE) and the New England Society of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Ms. Sheridan is the recipient of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association's (RIHA) Mary Brennan Tourism Award for outstanding achievement in tourism promotion and in 2010 was named RIHA Woman of the Year. She is also the recipient of the MPINE President's Award and the MPINE Supplier of the Year Award. In 2013, Ms. Sheridan was presented the Morris J. Gaebe Profile in Excellence Award from Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and lives in Wakefield, RI with her husband, Arthur and three children.

Ms. Sheridan can be contacted at 401-456-0224 or msheridan@goprovidence.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.