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 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.