Editorial Board   

Mr. Verma

Rohit Verma

Executive Director, Cornell Center for Hospitality Research

Rohit Verma, Ph.D., is Professor of Operations Management and Executive Director for The Cornell Center for Hospitality Research. Prior to joining Cornell faculty, Mr. Verma was the George Eccles Professor of Management, David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. He has also taught MBA and executive development classes at several universities around the world including DePaul University, Chicago, IL, University of Sydney, Australia, Norwegian School of Logistics, Norway, Helsinki School of Economics, Finland, and Indian School of Business, India. Mr. Verma's research interests include new product and service design, quality management and process improvement, and operations and marketing interrelated issues. He has published over 50 articles in prestigious business journals such as California Management Review, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Decision Sciences, MIT Sloan Management Review, and Production and Operations Management. Mr. Verma's research has been supported by numerous well-respected organizations around the world, such as Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissotel (Singapore); Hammerson and NCR Knowledge Lab (UK); Citycon (Finland); Siemens and Fraport (Germany); Wiener Konzerthaus (Austria); and, in the United States, American Express, Calvin Klein, CSFB, eBay, First Chicago, General Growth Properties, HSMAI, Neiman Marcus, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Mr. Verma can be contacted at 607-255-2688 or rv54@cornell.edu

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.