Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Iwamoto

Kevin Iwamoto

Vice President of Industry Strategy, Lanyon

As Vice President of Industry Strategy, Kevin Iwamoto guides Lanyon¡¯s overall strategy for engaging with buyers and suppliers in the meetings, events, association, and corporate travel industries. Iwamoto also works with key influencers to raise awareness of the benefits of Strategic Meetings Management (SMM). Prior to joining Lanyon, Iwamoto was Vice President of Industry Strategy with ACTIVE Network¢â Business Solutions, a leading provider of event-marketing and SMM technology for enterprise organizations, Small-to Mid-sized Businesses, and associations. Iwamoto also worked as a key manager at Hewlett-Packard on the global travel and meetings team, where he served as global corporate card, hotels, and meetings category manager. Before Hewlett-Packard, he served as a senior travel account manager with The Walt Disney Company and as a corporate sales manager with Northwest Airlines. Iwamoto is a former President and CEO of the Board of Directors for the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). He has been honored with every major business travel industry accolade, including the GBTA¡¯s Industry Icon Award¦¡the association¡¯s highest honor. In 2004, Iwamoto was awarded the prestigious GBTA President¡¯s Award for his numerous industry contributions and leadership. In 2003, Business Travel Executive named him one of 13 Top Visionaries in business travel. In 2002, Business Travel News named him one of the top 25 most influential executives in business travel, as well as Travel Manager of the Year. Iwamoto is a sought after spokesperson representing business travel interests globally to the U.S. Congress and the media, and he frequently speaks at industry events. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, and a Global Leadership Professional Masters designation from the Wharton School of Business. Please visit www.lanyon.com for more information.

Mr. Iwamoto can be contacted at 408-202-0586 or kevin.iwamoto@lanyon.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.