Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ferrier

Chris Ferrier

Executive Chef, The National Conference Center

Executive Chef Chris Ferrier joined the team at The National and West Belmont Place in 2015. The property is one of the largest meeting, training and event facilities in the nation located within close proximity to Washington Dulles International Airport and just outside of Washington, DC. Chef Ferrier's background includes experience in high-volume kitchens and 4-star resorts, banquets and fine dining. Most recently, he served as executive chef at The Fairfax at Embassy Row. His resume includes various Hyatt Hotels and resorts, Boar's Head Inn, and the Lodge at Pebble Beach. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. As a property that specializes in hosting meetings, training meetings, trade shows, weddings and special events, food is a significant factor. “Chris shares our mission and vision in working with local farmers to source local food for sustainability, freshness and quality,” Lawson explained. “He has brought our culinary offerings to the new and higher level.” Chef Ferrier is now sourcing from additional local farms for The National and West Belmont Place. This is no ordinary feat given the fact that, at times, there are more than 1500 meals prepared in one day. With new renovations throughout the property, including The National dining room, the Black Olive Bar, and a new Lavazza Coffee shop, it is only fitting that the property also features an expanded culinary program with new catering menus for West Belmont Place and great new menu items at The National. In addition, The National has added a Chef's Table where guests of the property can opt to hold a special dinner for up to 20 people in the kitchen with Chef Ferrier. In recognizing the importance of food to meetings, “We know that food plays an important role in the overall experience of our guests and their meals,” added Lawson. “And we also know the value that food plays in ensuring that meetings, including training meetings, are more efficient and more productive when participants are eating food that effectively fuels their minds.” Please visit http://www.conferencecenter.com for more information.

Mr. Ferrier can be contacted at 703-729-8000 or sales@conferencecenter.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.