Editorial Board   

Mr. Baker

Dennis M. Baker

President and Chief Executive Officer, Avendra, LLC

Dennis M. Baker is the president and chief executive officer of Avendra, LLC, the leading independent, business-to-business procurement company serving the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Avendra, Mr. Baker was the executive vice president and general manager of The Marketplace by Marriott, a division of Marriott International responsible for developing and implementing an innovative, new strategy for consolidating and streamlining the company's procurement activities. There, Mr. Baker was responsible for the division's overall operations, including strategic direction and business planning. Mr. Baker began his career at Marriott International in 1987. He joined Marriott Distribution Services in 1991 as their business began its push towards penetrating the external chain restaurant food distribution market. This division also housed Marriott's centralized food procurement functions.

Mr. Baker can be contacted at 301-825-0500 or Dennis.baker@avendra.com

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.