Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Young

Alan E. Young

CEO & Co-founder, Puzzle Partner, Ltd.

Alan E. Young began his travel and hotel technology focused career 25 years ago in operations at the Four Seasons Hotels in Toronto. As his passion for the technology aspect of the hospitality industry intensified, he transitioned from operations and began to focus on the technologies that were going to be propelling the hotel and travel industry forward for many years to come. Today, Mr. Young is the President and Co-Founder of Puzzle Partner Ltd., a strategic and tactical marketing and public relations firm that specializes in helping travel and hotel technology companies achieve winning performance and dramatic growth. Through the implementation of proper messaging and content strategies, Puzzle Partner enables their clients to garner greater visibility and ultimately an increase in revenues. Previously, Mr. Young has held key executive positions with Newtrade Technologies (Expedia), Hotel Information Systems (Softbrands), Hotel Booking Solutions and Infor, the worlds third largest ERP software company Mr. Young is past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Open Travel Alliance, a global hospitality/travel industry technology standards association. Mr. Young has also been very involved with other industry organizations most notably AHLA, HEDNA and HTNG. He is a sought-after guest speaker that has been invited to present at World Travel Mart, ITB, HITEC, HEDNA, The HOT Conference and several other global industry events. Mr. Young also sits on the Advisory board of several innovative travel technology firms helping them develop their sales, branding and marketing strategies in order that they gain a very quick foothold in an extremely complex and competitive industry.

Please visit www.puzzlepartner.ca for more information.

Mr. Young can be contacted at 705-241-5244 or alan@puzzlepartner.ca

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.