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 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.