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 February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.