Editorial Board   

Mr. Leopold

Gary Leopold

President & CEO, ISM

Gary Leopold is President and Chief Executive Officer of ISM, a Boston-based advertising and marketing firm that specializes in the travel and leisure industries. Among their clients are Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, American Express, Emirates, Harley-Davidson, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) and Harley-Davidson. Prior to joining ISM, Gary was the corporate director of public relations for Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, overseeing 13 hotels worldwide. Gary is a past president of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and currently serves on their Board of Directors as well as on the Board of the HSMAI Foundation. He is the founder of the HSMAI Golden Bell Public Relations Awards and Golden Click Web Awards, and a co-founder of the Annual Travel Awards Night dinner. A noted expert in travel marketing, he has taught and lectured on the subject at Cornell, Boston University, University of New Hampshire and many other colleges and organizations. He's also written articles for Business Travel News, HSMAI Marketing Review, Successful Meetings and other industry publications. Mr. Leopold is also the recipient of the Albert E. Koehl Lifetime Achievement Award in travel advertising from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), an honor he shares with Michael Eisner and Sir Richard Branson, among others. He is also the current president of the MAGNET global agency network.

Mr. Leopold can be contacted at 617-353-1822 or gleopold@ismboston.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.