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 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.