Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gutierrez

Raul Jose Gutierrez

Strategic Partner, ITALKRAFT

A sales and marketing maestro in his own right, Raul Gutierrez is widely regarded for his ability to direct the strategic development and management of flourishing businesses. He has flawlessly executed and successfully closed more than $300 million in sales for various organizations throughout his 20-year career in the construction industry. Mr. Gutierrez joined ITALKRAFT LLC in 2012, and manages the luxury kitchen, bathroom and closet brand's overall planning and strategy in relation to purchasing and product development. A savvy businessman, he negotiates long-term deals with raw material suppliers throughout the world, while simultaneously creating installation methods that ensure swift service and maximizes clients' investments. Through his extensive network of contacts with developers of luxury real estate projects and leading interior designers, Mr. Gutierrez has successfully gained ITALKRAFT access into some of the most coveted condominium and rental projects on the market. It is these personal and longstanding relationships that have aided Mr. Gutierrez in expanding the brand's reach into new markets, including Houston, New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. Adding to his extensive sales capabilities, Mr. Gutierrez opened and managed 18 branch offices in South America, Central America and the Caribbean while serving as a board member for several prestigious construction companies. By spearheading the construction of major airports, hospitals and hotels within these three markets, Mr. Gutierrez expanded these brands into new territories where they are now considered the best in the business. Mr. Gutierrez's career changed direction in 2007 when he decided to exclusively work with kitchens and produced $65 million in revenue. He is a native of Miami and returned to his home after graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Mr. Gutierrez is heavily involved in the community and is dedicated to being an instrumental part of the city's continued growth.

Mr. Gutierrez can be contacted at 305-406-1301 or raul@italkraft.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.