Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hess

John Hess

Director of Sales & Marketing, Omni Bedford Springs Resort

John Hess is a talented sales professional with extensive experience in leading a multitude of resorts along the east coast of the United States. Mr. Hess joins Omni Bedford Springs Resort as director of sales and marketing. I

n this role, he is tasked with overseeing the resort sales team and developing innovative strategies to increase revenues and drive business, with a focus on group clientele.

Mr. Hess arrived from nearby Seven Springs Mountain Resort, where he was the director of sales for the past five years. In years prior, he held key sales management positions at properties in the mid-Atlantic, including director of sales at Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort in Snowshoe, W.Va.; general manager / director of sales at Mariners Landing Resort and Conference Center in Huddleston, Va.; and director of sales at Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Mr. Hess made his debut in hospitality sales in 2002 as the corporate sales manager of Omni Richmond Hotel in Richmond, Va. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C., He also holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Richmond.

Mr. Hess is committed to staying active and involved in industry and community affairs. Mr. Hess has previously served as mayor of the Rockwood Borough in Pennsylvania from 2013 to 2015, as well as a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Travel and Tourism Board from 2014 to 2015.

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

Mr. Hess can be contacted at 814-623-8100 or jhess@omnihotels.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.