Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Donohoe

David O'Donohoe

Senior Vice President, Global Supplier Sales & Operations, StarCite

With more than 20 years of experience in the Hospitality and Meetings Industry, David O'Donohoe ensures supplier success in StarCite's meetings marketplace. Mr. O'Donohoe leads the Global Supplier Market business unit and Corporate Sales for the Asia and Pacific Region. He is responsible for the continued growth of a greatly expanded global meetings marketplace that links buyers with more than 60,000 hotel properties and meeting suppliers in every key market around the world. Previously, Mr. O'Donohoe headed up Supplier Sales and Strategic Alliances for StarCite. Prior to StarCite, Mr. O'Donohoe was with the Regus Group as Director of Sales, The Americas, for meeting room and videoconferencing products. During his tenure there, meeting room revenue grew three-fold in North America over a two year period. Before coming to Regus he was Director of Group Sales with Millennium Hotels and Resorts for the North American Global Sales Offices. Mr. O'Donohoe held several sales and marketing positions with Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis brands for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and with Omni Hotels. Mr. O'Donohoe's areas of expertise include hotel and travel-related business integration, online meetings management tools, and marketing strategies for the supplier marketplace. He has spoken at numerous industry events worldwide including HEDNA, HSMAI and the Global Business Travel Association. In his speaking engagements, he has addressed topics such as how to stand out in a crowded marketplace for group business, the post-recession environment for suppliers and how to compete most effectively, how hoteliers can secure their market share and grow their group bookings, and group lead management solutions for brands and chains Mr. O'Donohoe began his sales career as an Account Executive with Dean Witter Reynolds in New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mr. O'Donohoe can be contacted at

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.