Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Millar

Michelle Millar

Assistant Professor Hospitality Management, University of San Francisco

Michelle Millar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hospitality Management at the University of San Francisco. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Davis, her Masters of Tourism and Hospitality Management degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, and her doctoral degree in Hospitality Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Ms. Millar has worked as a travel consultant in various types of travel agency settings for many years, and from 1998 until 2005 operated her own travel agency. She has extensive knowledge in vacation planning, meeting planning, corporate travel planning, and general business operations. In addition, she has worked in a small hotel, which provided her the opportunity to work in all departments of the operation. Her work experience has proven invaluable when teaching at the University of San Francisco. Ms. Millar teaches Marketing in the Marketing Department, as well as Hotel Operations, Conference and Events Planning, and Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry in the Hospitality Management Department. She has also had the opportunity to teach both in the Hotel College at the University of Nevada of Las Vegas, and at UNLV's campus in Singapore. While at UNLV, she was part of the hospitality sustainability committee that developed a process to train faculty to teach sustainability to students, and incorporate it into all required courses. Sustainability is an important component of all of the classes Ms. Millar teaches. Her research areas include consumer behavior, in particular the wants and desires of travelers when selecting eco-friendly accommodations or tourism destinations, and why they make the decisions they do. Ms. Millar is also interested in how hotel managers relate to and work within the environment, and how we can make hospitality companies more environmentally friendly. Her research has been published in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Journal of Travel Research, Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality Management, and Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education, and she has presented her research at hospitality conferences throughout the world.

Ms. Millar can be contacted at 415-422-2498 or mmillar@usfca.edu

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.