Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Denston

Dan Denston

Executive Director, Mystery Shopping Providers Association - North America

Dan Denston, the Executive Director of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (North America), has an extensive history with associations and association management throughout the country, as well as other varied business and educational experience. Mr. Denston, hired to lead MSPA-NA in 2011, began his association career as a membership coordinator for the National Association of Brick Distributors. After holding various positions with the association over 6.5 years, he was named the Executive Director of the NABD, a post he held for 2.5 years. While there, Mr. Denston developed a national marketing campaign working with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Brickyard 400 race and won an ASAE Gold Circle Award for the association's magazine. Mr. Denston has worked for and with associations and association management companies in the Washington area in membership and member services, conventions and trade shows, marketing, publishing, and government relations. In addition to mystery shopping, his association management experience has included work with the construction, manufacturing, and medical industries. A graduate of Union University in Jackson, TN, Mr. Denston began his professional career as a high school teacher, teaching U.S. government and coaching high school football and baseball in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. He also managed and co-owned a restaurant business. He also started founded his own publishing company, publishing a life-style magazine for a beach community in North Carolina covering topics ranging from history to current events, environment to business development, and government and community affairs to topics of local interest. He also was elected as a Board member of the Chamber of Commerce and represented the business membership to the local government and community.

Mr. Denston can be contacted at 502-574-9033 or dan@mysteryshop.org

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.