Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Markham

Katherine M. Markham

Principal & Co-Founder, ConventionPlanit.com

Katherine Markham, CHME is the Principal & Co-Founder of ConventionPlanit.com, a multimedia search channel and RFP portal. She is responsible for marketing strategies and new business development.

An innovator for her time, Ms. Markham created ConventionPlanit.com in 2003, when online bookings for the meetings industry were not yet widespread. Her vast knowledge of the hospitality industry combined with a desire to solve a problem sparked the creation of ConventionPlanit.com.

The concept was simple: provide meeting planners an easy way to access information while helping suppliers reach more buyers. An Advisory Council of meeting planners assisted in outlining the search functionalities of the website, truly making the website a tool designed by and for meeting planners. With a vision to position buyers with sellers through technology at the forefront, the website is an industry favorite for original meeting planners who prefer a commission-free environment and easy sourcing tools.

Today, ConventionPlanit.com boasts a strong industry endorsement by Senior Planner Industry Network (SPIN), and partnerships that include the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association (HSMAI), IMEX and IBTM.

Additional digital offerings for suppliers have grown over the year to access hard to reach buyers. Ms. Markham began her career in group sales with Marriott Hotels and has held leadership positions in sales and marketing for Renaissance Hotels, Radisson Hotels, Homestead Resort, Associated Luxury Hotels and Resorts, Inc., Greater Milwaukee Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Expovision. She is also a Certified Hotel Marketing Executive (CHME).

Prior to launching ConventionPlanit.com in 2003, Ms. Markham was Co-Founder of the Alliance Service Network, a lead generation firm for service providers. Ms. Markham was a weekly host of Your Meeting Matters, a segment of the Washington, DC radio program Association Nation, in which she engaged key players in the meetings industry in lively discussions.

Ms. Markham served on the marketing advisory councils for APEX and Event Technology Exposition.

Please visit http://www.conventionplanit.com for more information.

Ms. Markham can be contacted at +1 301-975-9462 or katherinem@conventionplanit.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.