Editorial Board   

Mr. Burchard

Shaun Burchard

President, Meridian Hospitality Group, Inc.

Shaun Burchard, a hotel professional since 1986 and a Certified Hotel Administrator, is President and Operating Partner of Meridian Hospitality Group, Inc., a hotel performance company delivering superior hotel results since its formation in 2004. Mr. Burchard and his partners at MHG have built the company from a single distressed hotel to operating more than 26 hotels across the country including brands with Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Choice, and Best Western. Meridian Hospitality Group is successful as a result of its entrepreneurial approach and a relentless commitment to outperforming the competition at every opportunity. Meridian Hospitality Group is built on the principles of smart hard work, objective measurement of meaningful metrics and developing ownership in the outcome at all levels. Originally from New York and now based in the Midwest, Mr. Burchard has spent the last 20+ years building success across the full spectrum of hotels from select service through luxury brands throughout the United States. Mr. Burchard's career, before forming Meridian Hospitality Group, consisted of a balance of positions dedicated to both Operations and Sales & Marketing, allowing him to bring a unique focus and level of expertise to MHG's investment partners and managed properties. Strong beliefs in direct effective communication and transparency in day-to-day decision-making are key drivers in the successful growth of Meridian Hospitality Group.

Mr. Burchard can be contacted at 618-531-5177 or sburchard@shaunburchard.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.