Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Halloran

Robert M. O'Halloran

Professor & Director, School of Hospitality Leadership, East Carolina University

Robert M. O'Halloran is a professor and is currently the Director of the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University. He was previously Director of the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management at the University of Memphis. He has also served in faculty and administrative positions at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, the University of Denver, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. Professor O'Halloran teaches courses in planning and development, financial feasibility and food and beverage operations. He is also an instructor for the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) program offered through the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. He also was a pre-pilot instructor for the popular Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) jointly offered through ICHRIE, Smith Travel Research and AH&LA. His hospitality industry background includes management and training positions with The Harborside Inn on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Jolly Roger Restaurants Inc., in California, and Pannell Kerr Forster, a management and consulting company in Los Angeles and Boston. As an academic he continued to pursue industry experience through faculty internships with Aramark, Marriott Management Services (now Sodexo), Marriott International and the Club Managers Association of America; New Jersey Chapter. He has continued his industry partnerships serving on a variety of professional boards. Currently he serves on boards and or committees of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, the North Carolina's Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Board, The American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation, the Certification Commission of the Educational Institute of the America Hotel and Lodging Association (Chair), and the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Educational Institute of the AH & LA and the Training and Education Advisory Council of AH&LA. He previously served on the boards of the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association, the Metro Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association, the Memphis Restaurant Association and the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau and the New York State Restaurant Association. Professor O'Halloran is a recipient of the Innovation in Teaching Award presented by International CHRIE and is recipient of the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association's Educator of the Year award. He is author and or co-author of over one hundred articles, columns, cases and chapters in books. He is also co-editor and contributing author for two case books, Cases in Food Service and Cases in Hospitality and Tourism published by Pearson Prentice Hall and has also served as a subject matter expert for the Pearson Foundation. He is also co-author of the book, Mise en Place for Teaching: A Handbook for Hospitality & Tourism Educators and Trainers published by the Educational Institute of the AH & LA.

Please visit http://www.ecu.edu for more information.

Mr. O'Halloran can be contacted at 252-737-1604 or ohalloranr@ecu.edu

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.