Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Halpern Lanz

Leora Halpern Lanz

President, LHL Communications

Leora Halpern Lanz has been an active leader and participant in the field of hospitality marketing since 1985, and has always been at the forefront of strategic marketing and communications. She was named the 2010 Hospitality Marketing Executive of the Year by the Big Apple (Greater New York) chapter of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). And in February 2017, Leora was named among the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds of Hospitality Sales and Marketing, to be recognized at the HSMAI Adrian Awards dinner in New York City in February 2017.

Ms. Lanz is a full time faculty member of Boston University's School of Hospitality, where she teaches introduction and advanced marketing classes as well as digital marketing. In May 2017 she was named Professor of the Year. In addition to serving as full-time faculty at BU's School of Hospitality, Ms. Lanz is also Principal of LHL Communications, assisting hotels and hospitality organizations with content marketing, branding, media relations, digital and social media advisory, and on-line reputation management, including: development of internal and external position statements; content creation and story-telling for audience engagement and connections; media training, and "branding" and "solutions" sales training.

Her clients include hospitality management and ownership companies, consulting firms and advisory services, regional investment conferences around the globe as well as owners' associations.

Previously, Ms. Lanz served, for 15 years as Global Director of Marketing & Communications for HVS, a leading international hospitality consulting and services firm. She was responsible for overseeing the internal and external marketing communications for the organization's multitude of offices, services, conferences, and articles and research. She directed the firm's global business teams for Marketing and Communications, Graphic Standards, Internal Communications, Social Media, Conference Branding and the Market Connections annual event. She also managed and edited the firm's weekly newsletter, the Global Hospitality Report and was the company's primary media contact.

Simultaneously, Ms. Lanz directed HVS's Sales & Marketing division, working directly with a myriad of hotel properties and companies, hospitality related services, and other entertainment and recreational venues. Ms. Lanz and her team of experienced marketing communications specialists provided strategic planning, innovative sales training and action planning, social media marketing and publicity, and big-picture branding consultancy.

Prior to joining HVS, Ms. Lanz served for 10 years as Director of Public Relations and Advertising for the ITT Sheraton Hotels of New York and for five years as Director of Public Relations for the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. With ITT Sheraton, she ran the public relations and advertising operations for six hotels and played a significant public relations role for the hotels during the 1992 Democratic National Convention, and for numerous hotel openings since that time.

While in Boston, she spearheaded the citywide promotion of the Monet exhibition and was invited by the Japan National Tourist Organization to teach destination marketing to tourism officials there. During her graduate studies she also handled public relations activities for the (then) new Four Seasons Hotel at the Boston Common.

Ms. Lanz is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (www.prsa.org) , having served as chairperson of the PRSA Travel & Tourism Conferences in 1998 and 2000, and a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (www.SATW.org) and Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (www.HSMAI.org). She is also a board member of the Cornell Club of Long Island, where she resides. She earned a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a master's from Boston University. She has written for dozens of industry publications and excerpts of her articles are included in the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute's Sales and Marketing textbook 6th edition, released in March 2014.

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

Ms. Halpern Lanz can be contacted at +1 516-680-8529 or leora@lhlcommunications.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.