Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Engel

Peter Engel

Chief Technology Officer, Marcus Hotels & Resorts

Peter Engel is chief technology officer for Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS). A force in the hospitality industry, Marcus Hotels & Resorts provides expertise in management, development and historical renovations. The company's portfolio includes a wide variety of properties including city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts and branded first-class hotels. Mr. Engel has more than 35 years of experience in the information technology industry. In his role at Marcus Hotels & Resorts, he leads the strategy and implementation of hotel, food & beverage, electronic distribution and guest technologies. He is also responsible for technology evaluations of acquisition candidates, IT support of hotel openings and business opportunity development. Prior to joining Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Engel was president of Aperias Management Services, a consulting firm specializing in information technology and strategic management consulting services. He has over fifteen years of travel and leisure industry experience, including serving as senior vice president at The Mark Travel Corporation where he led the systems engineering, operations, and system architecture functions. Mark Travel is a leading tour operator with multiple vacation brands and manages vacation programs for major airlines and hotel companies. Mr.Engel also served as chief operating officer for Trisept Solutions, a leading travel technology company providing reservation systems and ecommerce to the tour operator and vacation travel industries. His roles during this time included managing software development, customer service, sales, and system engineering. Prior to joining the travel industry, Mr. Engel gained broad technology and industry experience during thirteen years at Tandem Computers (now Hewlett Packard). During a five year engagement at Motorola Cellular Infrastructure Group, Mr. Engel lead the technical team from Tandem involved in developing technology for Motorola's digital cellular initiatives.

Mr. Engel can be contacted at 414-905-1200 or peterengel@marcuscorp.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.