Editorial Board   

Mr. Collins

William Collins

Executive Director Vertical Market Strategy, Heartland Payment Systems

William Collins, executive director of vertical market strategy for Heartland Payment Systems has over 20 years experience leading successful sales, marketing and business development efforts for organizations within the technology, telecommunications and financial services arena. Mr. Collins's career includes tenures at both Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial start-ups, including companies such as Harris Corporation, Preferred Networks, Verizon Communications, Atrana Solutions, Alliance Data and Heartland Payment Systems. With each company, Mr. Collins had the opportunity to lead and develop product marketing, business development and sales distribution strategies. Mr. Collins also was involved in preparing Preferred Networks to go public and preparing Atrana Solutions and the NWS division of Alliance Data for acquisition, both of which are now part of Heartland Payment Systems. Mr. Collins and his team are responsible for developing and implementing the Hotel and Lodging strategy at Heartland. Within this role, the team is determining ways that Heartland can better serve the Hotel and Lodging industry, whether that be in developing new technology solutions to better secure credit card data or to develop sales and marketing programs that deliver value added products and services to operators across the country, enabling them to improve their bottom line and provide a higher level of service to their guests. Mr. Collins's team works with other departments within Heartland, other solution partners within the hotel and lodging space as well as with the primary trade and member associations to enhance the value that Heartland brings to our stakeholders. Mr. Collins has published several articles regarding industry trends and best practices and is a regular guest speaker at conferences, association meetings and training seminars. Mr. Collins served in the U.S. Army-Signal Corp, stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, and has a Bachelors degree in marketing from Montana State University-Bozeman. He received an Executive MBA from Baylor University Hankamer School of Business.

Mr. Collins can be contacted at 972-295-8677 or William.Collins@e-hps.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.