Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Venugopal

Emily Venugopal

Director of Hospitality, Relevance International

Emily Venugopal is a seasoned PR professional specializing in the luxury, lifestyle & travel sectors. She has over 20 years of experience, having worked at some of London, Miami and NYC's finest PR agencies, as well as in house as The Director of Public Relations at The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, New York, and most recently as a PR consultant in the wellness and travel space.

Ms. Venugopal is well experienced at hotel openings and has spearheaded several hotel and resort launches including: La Mamounia, Marrakech; Park Hyatt New York; The Chatwal New York; Andaz Peninsula Papagayo; The Waikiki EDITION; and Moxy Times Square.

Ms. Venugopal rebranded and reinvigorated the Instagram account for @thepierreny during her time working for Taj Hotels, and works closely with heavy hitting power-instagrammers, leveraging their influence. She's created solid PR strategies for several Tourism Boards globally including: Barbados Tourism, Namibia Tourism, The Greater Miami CVB, Palm Springs CVB, Texas Tourism, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism and Kent Tourism, and has worked with hotel brands including: Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Andaz , Angsana, Park Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels, Moxy Hotels, Taj Hotels, EDITION Hotels, Oberoi, Morgans Hotel Group and Thompson Hotels.

Similarly, Ms. Venugopal has a depth of experience in creating successful PR campaigns for independent hotels including Forty 1 North, The Setai Miami Beach, Isle de France, Pariaiso de la Bonita, The Palms Turks & Caicos, Omni Berkshire Place and The Gleneagles Hotel. Ms. Venugopal is well versed in scoping out partnerships and 3rd party brand alliances for her clients, bringing greater cache, awareness and sales to the brands she represents.

Born and raised in England, Ms. Venugopal graduated from Sheffield Hallam University, UK with a BA Hons in Media Studies and moved to the US in 2005. She loves to travel with her family and sip cocktails on rooftop bars.

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

Ms. Venugopal can be contacted at 212-251-1500 or emily@relevanceinternational.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.