Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hickel

Gerard Hickel

Attorney, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Gerard J. Hickel is a Member of the Hospitality and Gaming practice at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, a national, full-service AmLaw 200 law firm with 15 offices in the U.S., including: Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; Newark and Princeton, New Jersey; Buffalo and White Plains, New York; Wilmington, Delaware; Richmond, Virginia; Hartford, Connecticut; Troy, Michigan; Providence, Rhode Island; and Charleston, West Virginia.

Mr. Hickel focuses his practice primarily in the areas of hospitality and corporate law. His practice includes the representation of domestic and international hotel and spa management companies, owners, developers, and asset managers in numerous types of corporate transactions, including acquisitions, mergers, and financings.

Mr. Hickel's hospitality practice includes the drafting, review, and negotiation of all types of agreements related to hotel, spa, and restaurant management and operations; the purchase and sale of hotels; the franchising of a hospitality-based property, including the application process; and a wide range of day-to-day hotel-related agreements for numerous hotel management companies and ownership groups, including equipment leases, space leases, antenna license agreements, room accommodation agreements, group sales agreements, advertising agreements, location agreements, commitment agreements, as well as other similar types of agreements.

Mr. Hickel also has many years of experience providing general business counseling advice, regularly guiding clients through the formation and preparation of agreements relating to corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and other entities.

Mr. Hickel earned his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

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

Mr. Hickel can be contacted at 412-566-1906 or ghickel@eckertseamans.com

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.