Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Smith

Jenna Smith

Vice President of Revenue Management, First Hospitality Group

Jenna Smith has been a part of First Hospitality Group for more than a decade. Starting as a guest services representative in 2004 at the Hampton Inn Ann Arbor North. Ms. Smith has been on a fast track moving up through the company ever since. Having served in a wide variety of positions from sales roles to general manager, Ms. Smith ultimately was elevated to a regional revenue management position before assuming her current position as vice president of revenue management. With a predictive index analyst certification, she is responsible for the delivery of hotel revenue management support for multiple brands and leadership of regional support team, as well as development and execution of effective strategies to achieve market share growth. Over the course of her tenure with First Hospitality Group, she has worked tirelessly on our behalf and our investors. With the state of our industry constantly changing and evolving, Ms. Smith ensures that First Hospitality Group has a voice in the growth and development of all the brands that we manage. An expert in managing high volume demand and well versed in understanding both short and long-term goals, Ms. Smith graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in business administration and previously served as a mentor at DePaul University's School of Hospitality Management. First Hospitality Group, headquartered in Chicago, operates hotels of every type and size, from historic rehabs to urban markets. Their strength lies in market knowledge and creating a training culture where one can work smart to succeed and have fun.

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

Ms. Smith can be contacted at 214-855-6000 or jsmith@fhginc.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.