Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Van Deventer

Paul Van Deventer

President & Chief Executive Officer, Meeting Professionals International (MPI)

Paul Van Deventer joined MPI in April 2013 as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, he leads the strategic direction of the association and is responsible for managing its global staff, operating budget, and membership programs and services. In addition, Mr. Van Deventer works closely with MPI's Board of Directors and serves as a liaison to the MPI Foundation. He has held a variety of leadership positions throughout his career and has a proven track record for driving business growth and creating brand value. Mr. Van Deventer most recently served as divisional vice president of the Health & Wellness Division at Walgreens, the largest drug store chain in the United States. Prior to Walgreens, he was the senior vice president of Sales and Field Services at Mitchell International, Inc., a leading provider of information, software and business solutions for the automotive insurance and collision repair markets. Earlier in his career, Mr. Van Deventer spent 22 years with American Express where he gained experience with the business travel and meeting and event industries. He held positions as director of Multinational Sales and Operations, managing a global business unit with responsibility for more than 50 business travel customer service centers, 500 employees and a meetings/events group focused on the automotive industry. He also served as vice president and head of Corporate Services Sales - Australia and New Zealand, with responsibility for corporate card and business travel services, and later as vice president and general manager of Corporate Services, Western United States and vice president and general manager of the Multinational Client Group. Mr. Van Deventer currently serves as a board member for the U.S. Travel Association and Convention Industry Council. He is also an advisory board member for Women In Travel (WINit). Mr. Van Deventer holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Villanova University and an MBA with a finance concentration from Columbia University.

Please visit http://www.mpiweb.org for more information.

Mr. Van Deventer can be contacted at 972-702-3098 or pvandeventer@mpiweb.org

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.