Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Pohl

Ron Pohl

Vice President Brand Management, Best Western Hotels and Resorts

Ron Pohl is senior vice president of brand management for Best Western® Hotels and Resorts and serves on the company's executive committee. Mr. Pohl oversees North American and Asia Operations and Development. In addition, he directs other key departments, including: Customer Care, Owner Relations, Revenue Management, Education and Training, Design and Supply, Member Services, and International Quality Assurance. Mr. Pohl joined Best Western in 2007 as vice president of operations. In that role, the 30-year hospitality industry veteran significantly improved revenue management systems, implemented new and innovative education and training resources, restructured departments to improve efficiency and enhance hotel support, and launched the industry-leading Best Western I Care® program. These positive changes have significantly contributed to record-high brand performance in the areas of RevPAR index and customer and owner satisfaction. Prior to joining Best Western, Mr. Pohl spent more than 20 years with Boykin Management Company, a respected hotel management firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. During his tenure with Boykin, Mr. Pohl spent 10 years as a full-service hotel general manager and earned awards for sales leadership, website development and outstanding customer service. He served in a number of senior-level positions in the areas of marketing, sales and revenue management, working his way up to regional vice president, and ultimately senior vice president of operations. Mr. Pohl's diverse hotel background comes from working with an array of hotel brands, including Choice, Hilton, Marriott and Radisson, and independent resorts and condo hotels. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and previously served on the board of directors for the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, as well as advisory committees for Marriott and Doubletree hotels.

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

Mr. Pohl can be contacted at 602-957-4200 or ron.pohl@bestwestern.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.