Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gregerman

Alan S. Gregerman

President & Chief Innovation Officer, Venture Works, Inc.

Dr. Alan S. Gregerman is President and Chief Innovation Officer of VENTURE WORKS Inc., a consulting firm based in the Washington, D.C. area that helps leading companies and organizations to develop winning strategies and create successful new products, services, ventures, customer experiences, and ways of doing business. His customers are a wide range of Fortune 500 corporations, growing firms, start-ups and nonprofits including Discovery Communications, Marriott International, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Lockheed Martin, L-3, Raytheon, Omnicom, ICF International, the International Finance Corporation, Ritz-Carlton, CGI, Children's National Medical Center, and the National Civil Rights Museum. Mr. Gregerman is an internationally-respected expert on strategy, innovation, customer service, and unlocking the talent in people at all levels of organizations. In the past 20 years he has helped more than 300 teams and organizations to create important innovations—with a 90% success rate. He is also an award-winning teacher, author, and keynote speaker who has been called “one of the most original thinkers in business today” and “the Robin Williams of business consulting.” His first book, Lessons from the Sandbox, provided a powerful formula for business success based on the magic of childhood. His newest book, Surrounded by Geniuses—winner of the Axiom Award as one of the best leadership books of 2008—shows companies and organizations how to unlock compelling value by finding powerful insight in their own people and the world around them. Before starting VENTURE WORKS Mr. Gregerman was Director of Entrepreneurial Services for a national consulting firm, Special Assistant for Operations at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the first Visiting Scholar in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Library of Congress. He has also worked as a mapmaker, subway mechanic, and hotel housekeeper. Mr. Gregerman earned his B.A. in geography, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University, and his M.A. in economic geography and Ph.D. in urban and technological planning, with highest honors, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In his free time, he is founder and President of Passion for Learning, Inc., where he is involved in efforts to build innovative partnerships between the business community and low-income schools to make curriculum come alive for at-risk children. Mr. Gregerman is also an active member of Leadership Greater Washington, serves on the boards of the Primary Care Coalition and the Promise of Good Sports, and is math and writing tutor in the public schools.

Mr. Gregerman can be contacted at 301-585-1600 or innovate@venture-works.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.