Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Popely

Deborah Popely

Assistant Professor, School of Hospitality Management , Kendall College

Deborah Popely has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality field and more than 12 years' experience as a sustainability consultant and educator. She is currently Associate Professor at Kendall College's School of Hospitality Management, where she leads the curriculum for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) and conducts research on global MICE industry issues. She recently traveled to China to participate in an international MICE conference and has written about the experience for academic and popular journals. Ms. Popely has significant experience in hospitality education and training, having developed workshops, conferences and courses for colleges and universities, associations, government agencies and foundations. She is in the process of earning a doctorate in business (DBA) with a focus on sustainability in hospitality and tourism from Walden University. Ms. Popely is also the founding executive director of Green Events Source, a non-profit dedicated to increasing sustainability in the events and hospitality industries. A long-time leader in sustainable hospitality, Popely participated in the development and launch of the APEX-ASTM Sustainable Meetings Standard and founded the Green Meeting Industry Council Chicago Chapter. She published the Green Events Sourcebook, a multi-media guide to green meetings and events, from 2008- 2011, and in 2013 launched The Green Event App, an online sustainable supplier-selection tool for the meetings and events market. Ms. Popely has written extensively on green hospitality and related topics and has served as a presenter and keynote speaker for local, regional and national industry organizations. These include the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Hospitality and Sales Marketing Association International (HSMAI), Destination Marketing Association (DMAI), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Meeting Planners International (MPI), and the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC). Ms. Popely has significant experience in sustainability education and training, having developed workshops, conferences and courses for colleges and universities, associations, government agencies and foundations. She is in the process of earning a doctorate in business (DBA) with a focus on sustainability in hospitality and tourism from Walden University.

Ms. Popely can be contacted at 312-752-2216 or Deborah.popely@kendall.edu

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.