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 June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.