Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Allard

Matthew Allard

Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Runtiz

Matthew Allard comes from a technology and hospitality background and founded runtriz in Los Angeles in 2006. runtiz launched the worlds first “iPhone Hotel” at Malibu Beach Inn in 2008, and since has continued to innovate new products and technologies for the hospitality industry. As president and founder of runtriz he leads innovation and product development as well as business development and overall strategy. Mr. Allard has spoken on a number of panels including Cal Tech Mobile forums and the Intelligence Group's Trend School with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and has taught masters level computer science classes at USC on mobile application development. Prior to founding runtriz, Mr. Allard acted as Web Manager for SBE Entertainment, where he led the development, design and architecture of their corporate website and venue web sites such as Hyde lounge, Katsuya, Bolthouse productions, Privilege, MyHouse, Crimson and Lobby nighclub. He also created a custom VIP management tracking solution for the hospitality and entertainment industry that allowed managers to receive end of night reports, and track VIP spend and activity at restaurants, nightclubs and hotels. Prior to SBE, Mr. Allard worked for Swap Drive Data Backup in Washington, DC, which was later sold to Symantec. While there he led innovation developing cross platform compatibility components that allowed users to have the same experience across different OS and browsers, and have drag and drop file backup functionality in the browser. Prior to Swap Drive Mr. Allard worked for Northrop Grumman in a development role, creating middleware for dynamic team formation with focus in military scenarios. Earlier in his career, he worked at AOL on the Modern Home research project, integrating software and hardware to create a ubiquitous computing experience in the household. Also worked on AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) and created bots for home automation through chat. Mr. Allard earned his BS in Computer Science from George Washington University and also played on the GW Golf team.

Please visit http://www.runtiz.com for more information.

Mr. Allard can be contacted at 323-230-9727 or matt@runtiz.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.