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 February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.