Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Thomas

Tara Thomas

Vice President of Global Marketing, Certain Software, Inc.

Tara Thomas is Vice President of Global Marketing for Certain Software, Inc., where she is responsible for all marketing activities, including branding, events, social media, public relations, communications, strategy, and operations across Certain's worldwide offices. Ms. Thomas' career as a marketing and communications professional is defined by her broad experience leading teams executing integrated marketing programs and strategies, channel development, branding, positioning and messaging, social media, collateral and website development, advertising and PR, and award-winning events and lead generation programs. Her past experiences as a hands-on event professional gives her valued insight into the day-to-day challenges of today's event professionals. Her background in the marketing of technology applications and online services spans a broad set of technologies including software-as-a-service, B2B, enterprise, financial services, publishing, real estate, and automotive markets. She has over 15 years of expertise managing strategic event marketing programs for companies including The Television Bureau of Advertising, Visa, IPIX and The Cobalt Group, a leader in the automotive marketing space. Most recently at Cobalt, Thomas oversaw a myriad of trade, corporate meetings and incentive events that were essential to Cobalt's growth. At Certain, Ms. Thomas continues to incorporate new technology into events. Under her direction, the Certain marketing team develops and executes marketing campaigns that integrate mobile technology, tradeshows and virtual technology to keep event industry professionals abreast of the solutions Certain has to offer. Ms. Thomas often speaks at industry events where attendees are seeking to increase the overall value of their meetings and events. Her sessions not only have thoughtful, focused content but also a high degree of interactivity, including her trademark “caring and sharing” sessions. Thomas holds a BA in English and Communications from Lebanon College, and is based in San Francisco, CA. She is a member of Meetings Professional International (MPI).

Ms. Thomas can be contacted at 415-353-5330 or tthomas@certain.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.