Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hepditch

Duane Hepditch

President & CEO, Guestfolio

Duane Hepditch is an innovator within the hospitality software industry. Seeing a void in the guest service transaction, Mr. Hepditch co-founded Guestfolio, the "world's leading hotel CRM” recognized by the World Travel Awards in 2014. His company is growing rapidly throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has the privilege to work with hotels such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Brownsword Hotels, Six Senses Resorts & Spas and many other unique boutique and resort properties around the world. Mr. Hepditch's passion for travel and guest service motivated him to co-found Guestfolio in 2008 and in turn reach his goal to provide solutions for hoteliers so they may better service and learn from their guests throughout the travel journey. Guestfolio is a hotel marketing platform that drives guest engagement, retention and conversion throughout the travel journey. Mr. Hepditch's mission for Guestfolio is to personalize the travel experience for guests and provide insights and tools that build lasting brand loyalty for his customers. By working with hotels world-wide Guestfolio is able to capture valuable data on guest behaviour and trends and leverage that for his customers in ways they never thought were possible. Mr. Hepditch resides in Whistler British Columbia, Canada. He is the Chair of Whistler.com, a subsidiary of Tourism Whistler and was a board member of Tourism Whistler for 4 years. Whistler is one of the leading resort destinations of the world and was home of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. His role at Tourism Whistler was to represent the commercial group of companies within the resort and provide input on global advertising and marketing initiatives. Mr. Hepditch is passionate for business dialogue and small business incubation. He has owned and sold 2 internet related companies since 2000.

Mr. Hepditch can be contacted at 604-932-2510 or duane@guestfolio.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.