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 February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.