Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. O'Halloran

Robert O'Halloran

Professor & Director, Hospitality Management, East Carolina University

Bob O'Halloran, Ph.D., is a Professor and the Director of the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina. He is on the Board of Trustees of the American Hotel and Lodging Education Foundation, Vice Chair of the AH&LA's Certification Commission and on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Prior to joining ECU he was on the faculty of the University of Memphis, the State University of New York/ Plattsburgh, the University of Denver, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. Professor O'Halloran has extensive operational experience as a general manager and a training manager for new properties with Jolly Roger and Trans Pacific Restaurants, Inc., in California. He also has operational experience with a Cape Cod resort in the front office and food and beverage departments and has worked as a hospitality management consultant with Pannell Kerr Forster in Los Angeles and Boston. As an academic, he has continued his industry experience through faculty internships with Aramark, Marriott Management Services, the Club Managers Association of New Jersey, the Lodging Division of Marriott International, and the Recreation Division of the United States Forest Service. He was also Visiting Scholar of the National Tourism Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Before moving to ECU in July of 2007 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau (MCVB), the MCVB's Educational Foundation board, the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel and Lodging Association and the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association. He is currently a Commissioner for AH&LA's Certification Commission and was recently elected as Vice Chair and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation. He is also a member of the Educational Institute of AHLA Faculty Advisory Board. He is also a current member of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association Board of Directors. O'Halloran is a recipient of the Van Nostrand Reinhold Award for Teaching Innovation through the Council on Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Education and the Outstanding Teaching and Advising Awards in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. He has presented seminars and workshops for organizations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, including the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Motel Association, the China Travel Service, the China Travel & Tourism Press, the Hong Kong Hotels Association, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Choice Hotels International, the Grand Teton Lodge Company and others. He is a regular contributor to industry publications and has written over one hundred articles, columns and cases; for trade journals, newspapers, magazines and scholarly publications. He is co-author of a Service Learning chapter for the American Association of Higher Education for the hospitality industry and co-author of the education and training book, Mise en Place for Teaching: A Handbook for Hospitality & Tourism Educators & Trainers published by the Educational Institute of AH & LA. He is also co-editor of two books of case studies published by Prentice Hall and a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.

Dr. O'Halloran can be contacted at 252-737-1604 or ohalloranr@ecu.edu

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.