Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Patterson

Burns Patterson

Executive Vice President, Middleton & Gendron

Burns Patterson is Executive Vice President at Middleton & Gendron (www.mg-pr.com) a New York-based PR and brand communications agency that is one of the country's leading hospitality, travel and lifestyle agencies. Mr. Patterson also heads the agency's digital practice. His 20+ years in public relations have included roles as director of public relations for Madison Square Garden Sports Properties, and director of PR and new media for Historic Hudson Valley. Headquartered in New York City, M&G is a mid-sized public relations and brand communications agency with an office in Los Angeles, and affiliate partners in London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Velden (Austria), Mexico City, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. The agency is staffed by former journalists, corporate communications professionals, agency veterans and rising stars. Over the past eight years at M&G, Mr. Patterson has led account teams for travel and hospitality clients including: Orbitz; Wyndham Hotels and Resorts; KSL Resorts; Capella Hotels and Resorts; Elegant Hotels; Flight Options; and MeetingTrader. He has also directed social influence marketing campaigns or specific social media promotions for The Setai Fifth Avenue; La Costa Resort & Spa; Sanctuary Resort & Spa; The Homestead; and the Trump Hotel Collection, among many other clients. Beyond the travel and hospitality sector, Mr. Patterson leads the account teams for Chopin Vodka, currently running his favorite Facebook photo contest, titled “Show Your Bartender Some Love,” and for American Water (NYSE; AWK), the nation's largest publicly-traded water and wastewater utility. The most popular recent M&G client among Mr. Patterson's kids, though, has been FAO Schwarz, the world's most famous toy store. Mr. Patterson lives with his family in Sleepy Hollow, NY. He can be reached on Facebook at www.facebook.com/burnspatterson or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/burnspatterson.

Mr. Patterson can be contacted at 212-980-9060 or bpatterson@mg-pr.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.