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 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.