Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Meghji

Karim Meghji

Head Of Product, BookingSuite (USA), Inc.

Karim Meghji is a passionate executive and entrepreneur with 20 years of experience building successful products and businesses in consumer software and online services. Among other specialties, his areas of expertise include user interface and user experience management, online marketing and customer acquisition, technical operations management, and strategic, business and product planning. Most recently, he was Chief Product Officer and VP of Engineering at buuteeq, Inc., a leading software provider in the hospitality industry. Upon its acquisition by the Priceline Group, it became integrated into the Booking.com family of companies, and Karim took on his current position as the Head of Product at BookingSuite (USA), Inc. In both of these roles, he has led the effort to build cloud-based SaaS software and related services that help global accommodations providers of every size build an online presence, increase bookings, and improve everyday workflow. Prior to his current role, Karim was Vice President of Products and Engineering at Yapta, an early-stage, venture-funded startup focused on helping leisure and corporate travelers save money. At Yapta, he led a major B2C to B2B product pivot and delivered MasterCard PriceAssure to market, a PCI-compliant web-based service for price tracking. Before his role at Yapta, he founded and bootstrapped his own startup, HelpHive, which made it easier for homeowners to find trusted recommendations for local home service professionals. Early in his career, Karim spent 10 years at Real Networks where he served as a key member of the executive team in various product leadership roles, including on Rhapsody (Real's music subscription service), on Real's advertising business and on their flagship RealPlayer product. Karim holds a BS in Computer Science from San Jose State University.

Please visit www.suite.booking.com for more information.

Mr. Meghji can be contacted at 206-910-1890 or karim.meghji@booking.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.