Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Bocherer

Joe Bocherer

Chief Commercial Officer, Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA)

Joe  Bocherer, an experienced and proven leader within the convention, hospitality and tourism industries, serves as the Chief Commercial Officer for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. The GWCCA campus, which includes the 3.9 million- square-foot Georgia World Congress Center, the 21- acre Centennial Olympic Park, the College Football Hall of Fame, the Junior Achievement Discovery Center and state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is the No. 1 convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world. Additionally the GWCCA manages operations of the Savannah International Trade & Convention center.

As the GWCCA's Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Bocherer presides over Sales, Event and Guest Services, Business Development, Customer Analytics, Revenue Management, and all products and contracted service agreements.

Before taking on this role Mr. Bocherer recently served as Head of Sales and Marketing for InterContinental Hotels Group's (IHG) U.S. franchise division; he has 20 years of convention and visitors bureau and hotel sales experience with extensive knowledge of group and transient-driven business. He has also served as Vice President of Sales for Experience Columbus (Ohio), Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing for White Lodging, and has held several key positions with Hyatt Hotels including Hyatt Regency Atlanta and Regional Vice President of Sales over the Southeast select service division.

Mr. Bocherer earned a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from The Pennsylvania State University. He likes to spend time at the lake, golfing, mountain biking, playing basketball, snow skiing and watching his kids compete in various sports.

Please visit http://www.gwcca.org for more information.

Mr. Bocherer can be contacted at 404-223-4011 or jbocherer@gwcca.org

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.