Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. MacKenzie

Josiah MacKenzie

Vice President , ReviewPro

Josiah MacKenzie is the founding owner and marketing brain of the Gradigio Group, a San Francisco-based collection of media properties catering to discerning tastemakers in the hospitality industry around the globe. He also holds various roles in other ventures, with business interests in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. Mr. Mackenzie has published over 100 articles in industry publications, and has appeared in the Washington Post, MSNBC.com, and Entrepreneur magazine. His Hotel Marketing Strategies blog currently has over 15,000 monthly readers. Mr. Mackenzie's formal education took place at Cedarville University and the Dublin Business School, but his real education has come from working closely with thousands of clients and partners around the world for the past 12 years. "I love taking theory and putting it into real-world environments to see how it holds up."

Mr. MacKenzie can be contacted at 415-671-9629 or josiah@reviewpro.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.