Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Powell

Stephen Powell

Senior Vice President, IHG Worldwide Sales

Stephen Powell serves as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). IHG has nine hotel brands, over 161 million guest annually, 688,517 rooms in over 4700 hotels located in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. Mr. Powell's key responsibilities include the creation of a unified sales platform for IHG as a worldwide company with global customers and development of a common way of delivering the IHG brand proposition through a consistent sales experience. Mr. Powell joined InterContinental Hotels Group in December 2003 as Vice President of Sales, UK & Ireland and was soon promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for EMEA where he was instrumental in linking brands and sales together to drive tangible business results. Since 2007, Mr. Powell has served in his current role as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales. He leads a team of professionals that has implemented solutions and programs, such as sales force automation, that serve customer needs and drive results for IHG. Mr. Powell has over 35 years of experience in the hotel industry, receiving recognition with a number of awards for industry leadership. He graduated from the University of Texas and has worked in various senior positions for a number of companies in the US. He was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts - North America and Sales Director for Loews Hotels in America. He has also established global sales teams for hospitality industry software companies, namely PlanSoft Corporation and Certain Software. In April 2013 The Convention Industry Council (CIC) announced that Mr. Powell was amongst five meeting leaders to receive the highest honor in the meetings industry. The inductees into the Hall represent influential leaders who have shaped the industry over a lifetime of accomplishments and whose contributions have left an indelible impression on the industry. Mr. Powell was officially inducted into CIC's Hall of Leaders in October 2013. Mr. Powell is a former President of the Site International Foundation and a former International President of Meeting Professionals International. He has also held the title of MPI's Supplier of the Year. Mr. Powell has served on committees and boards including the American Society of Association Executives, Hospitality Sales Management Association International, Convention Industry Council, Meeting Professionals International, Site International and the Institute of Directors. He participates in public speaking at industry events and has published several articles on industry trends on sales and marketing issues.

Mr. Powell can be contacted at 770-604-2000 or stephen.powell@ihg.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.