Editorial Board   

Prof. Ferry

Steven Ferry

Chairman, International Institute of Modern Butlers

Steven Ferry was born and raised in England, where he worked in education, hospitality, and private service before moving to the USA to continue in private service—during which time, in 1990, he established the first international butler association, The International Association of Traditional Butlers, and wrote the first modern book for the profession, The British Butler's Bible.

Prof. Ferry took a break from service in the mid-90's to focus on his other passions, establishing an award-winning photographic and writing company that produced a wide range of educational, PR, marketing, editorial and fictional products for most major US publishers and many corporations, including authoring 20 books and hundreds of articles. At the turn of the century, he found himself being asked to consult and train, first in the private sector and then in hospitality, based on publication of three books on butling.

At the request of peers, he founded the International Institute of Modern Butlers in 2004 to set and raise standards for the profession. He championed bringing the butler profession into the international community of the 21st Century and bringing the role to life, at a time when it was entrenched in tradition and being an object of interest as opposed to a vital force that could greatly expand service offerings in all service industries, hospitality in particular.

Professor Ferry is author of best-selling texts, such as the two-volume Serving the Wealthy  and Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators. He has helped introduce several innovations and new services to the hospitality industry, including the hotel-butler rating system, the spa butler, and an international black-book database of guests from hell. He currently advocates for the profession, and, together with the Institute staff, trains butlers and other employees in luxury hotels and resorts, private villas and estates, and other service industries around the world, specializing in uniquely effective soft-skill training that builds relationships with guests, as well as bringing fresh and astute perspectives to the challenges of hospitality management.

Prof. Ferry can be contacted at 813-354-2734 or stevenferry@modernbutlers.com

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.