Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Sanford

Kevin Sanford

Director of Sales & Marketing, Island Hotel Newport Beach

Kevin Sanford is the director of sales and marketing for Island Hotel Newport Beach, an AAA Five Diamond property set amidst five lush acres in the heart of Newport Center. In his current position, he oversees all aspects of marketing and related activities for the 295-room hotel - which features a 4,000-square-foot spa; a 3,000-square-foot pool; two award-winning restaurants; a fitness center; two outdoor lighted tennis courts; and over 30,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space. Mr. Sanford's specific duties include strategic development and implementation of all branding programs, annual marketing plans and market research, as well as overseeing print collateral and electronic marketing materials and website development. In addition, he leads and directs conference services, as well as the group, transient and catering sales teams, focusing on marketing and positioning Island as a premier luxury business travel hotel. Reaffirming its reputation as one of the region's top luxury hotels for corporate travelers, Island recently completed an extensive renovation, which included the refurbishment of 20,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as significant upgrades to its meeting technology. With more than 20 years of hospitality industry experience, Mr. Sanford's specific expertise includes contracting, negotiations, problem-solving, team-building, customer loyalty/retention, and planning and executing strategies and tactics. Previously the national director of sales for the Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, he also has extensive experience in the luxury hotel arena - with specific expertise in luxury group meetings and events -- and was with The St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach in Dana Point, Calif. for six years, climbing the ranks from sales manager to director of sales. Prior to that, he was with Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. for eight years, where he started as business transient sales manager and worked his way up to national sales manager.

Mr. Sanford can be contacted at 866-554-4620 or ksanford@theislandhotel.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.