Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Kasavana

Michael Kasavana

NAMA Endowed Professor, School of Hospitality Business, Michigan State University

Michael L. Kasavana is the NAMA Endowed Professor in the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. His teaching and research efforts are sharply focused on information technology and transaction settlement systems for self-service and full-service applications in hotel, restaurant, club, and casino environments. Dr. Kasavana has authored or co-authored numerous books, including Managing Front Office Operations (Eighth Edition), Menu Engineering (Third Edition), and Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry (Sixth Edition). In addition, he has written numerous academic journal and industry trade magazine articles as well as designed instructional and operational software products. He is an active industry consultant and popular seminar leader. Dr. Kasavana was selected the 2011 Industry Person of the Year by the National Automatic Merchandising Association and is an inductee of the HFTP International Technology Hall of Fame and recipient of the prestigious FS/TEC's Distinguished Achievements in Food Service Technology Award. In addition, he has garnered the coveted MSU Distinguished Faculty Award, MSU Broad College of Business Withrow Teacher-Scholar Award, MSU Academic Spartan of the Year Award, MSU Teacher-Scholar Award, and was in the inaugural class of NAMA Certified NCE5 executives. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Dr. Kasavana serves as the MSU Faculty Athletic Representative to the Big Ten, CCHA, and NCAA conferences and is Chair of the MSU Athletic Council. The Kasavana family also provided significant financial support to create the Kasavana/Schmidgall Faculty Research Endowment in the MSU School of Hospitality Business. Dr. Kasavana received his B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration, his MBA in Finance, and his Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Mr. Kasavana can be contacted at 517-353-9211 or Kasavana@bus.msu.edu

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.