Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Eisenstodt

Joan Eisenstodt

Principal, Eisenstodt Associates, LLC

Joan Eisenstodt, whose expertise is in negotiations and contracts with facilities and vendors for meetings; working with groups to revitalize and design conferences and meetings; and as a trainer and facilitator in ethics, risk management, contracts, negotiations, and general meeting management, brings extensive experience to her work. She founded Eisenstodt Associates, a Washington, DC-based meeting consulting, facilitation and training company, in 1981.

Prior to founding her company, she was a meeting planner for a DC association for 3 years; and prior to her move to DC, she coordinated events for an art museum in Ohio.

Long active on social media, Ms. Eisenstodt was the original moderator of the MIMList (now “MiForum”) beginning in 1999. Now she writes and blogs at www.meetingstoday.com. Her monthly first Friday of the month “Friday with Ms. Eisenstodt” newsletter tackles ethics, safety, learning, and much more.

Ms. Eisenstodt serves as a hospitality industry expert witness and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Convention and Event Tourism. She is active in the hospitality industry and in her community where she served on education-related boards and on those for environmental stewardship.

She served 4 years on the Board of Directors of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), an organization in which she has been active since 1979. She represented MPI on the Joint Industry Task Force on Diversity, served 3 years as a Trustee of the MPI Foundation, and was the founding Chair of the MPI Student/Faculty Committee. Eisenstodt was selected MPI International Planner of the Year in 1991.

Ms. Eisenstodt is a long-time active member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA.) For ASAE, she is a past chair of the Ethics Committee, and has served on the Diversity Committee, Meetings and Exhibition (“M&E”) Section Council and on the Ethics Committee. ASAE's Board of Directors, in 2011, passed the revised Standards of Conduct, applicable to all ASAE member categories, that Ms. Eisenstodt helped draft. Ms. Eisenstodt most recently served on two sub-groups as an ad hoc volunteer for the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

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

Ms. Eisenstodt can be contacted at 202-737-7890 or joanleisenstodt@gmail.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.