Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hudson

Michael Hudson

Senior Vice President Hotel Analytics Division, Groups 360

Michael Hudson, CRME, MBA, is a former Walt Disney Imagineer with more than 20 years experience in engineering design, data analysis and user-experience development. Throughout his career at Disney, he helped open two theme parks and numerous ride systems across both coasts. He championed using data visualization and predictive analytics to improve ride reliability. In 2006, he was recruited by Gaylord Entertainment to graft his Disney experience onto hotel development. He created innovative retail and sports bar experiences for hotel guests and brokered strategic partnerships with the MLB and The Smithsonian. From there, he transitioned to help form a new team centralizing revenue management and yield strategies for the brand. Based on experiences yielding group business during the 2009 downturn, Mr. Hudson then founded Grouponomics to help bring event-performance transparency to the Sales and Revenue Management teams within the Hotel Industry. He focused on creating an application that unlocks data collecting digital cobwebs in CRM systems/spreadsheets. Grouponomics provides Sales, Revenue Management, Hotel Executives and Asset Managers a summarized view of Group business to contract displayed in easy to grasp Key Performance Indicators and communicated with the best practices in modern data visualization. If you can't measure it, you can't change it. After successfully growing for five years, Grouponomics was acquired by Nashville based, Groups360 in 2015. Mr. Hudson joined Groups360 as Head of Strategy, Hotel Analytics Division. Mr. Hudson remains dedicated to continuing to deliver transparency to both sides of the Hotel/Meeting Planner equation. When data is transformed from an ugly tabular system to a format that tells a story, that's when you truly unlock the potential of a collaborative sales process. Effective communication only happens when data is set free; Knowledge for both sides creates efficiency and maximizes profits for all.

Please visit http://www.groups360.com for more information.

Mr. Hudson can be contacted at 615-669-6338 or michael.hudson@groups360.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.