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 June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.