Editorial Board   

Mr. Portugal

Marc Portugal

Director of Marketing, Bortz Group of Companies

Marc Portugal is an experiential marketing professional with twelve years of accomplishments in launching brands and associated experiential marketing programs - including events, sponsorships, partnerships, and more - with a keen focus on the mindspace, feelings and rituals of consumers. Whether it's an e-mail campaign or a fashion show; a guerilla campaign or a fundraiser - Marc firmly believes in the "4th" dimension of experiential marketing. He addresses mind, body, spirit AND community when implementing marketing programs. Marc practices "experiential empathy" every step of the way - deeply focused on and concerned about the genuineness and consistency of audience feelings and relationships - not merely demographics, statistics, or out-dated traditions. In 1998, after several internships and completion of undergraduate studies, Marc began at KBA Marketing where he activated brand sponsorships and events across the country for various clients. Turning both conventional and unorthodox venue spaces into lifestyle lounges, sampling stations, fashion shows and concerts, Marc delivered the promise of the clients' brands and aided in renewed AOR status. Marc's most notable achievement includes the brand launch of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and the N9NE Group venues it houses. As founding Marketing Director, Marc first brought the Palms and N9NE Group to life in the backyard of the famed Playboy Mansion - giving key influencers a sneak peak of what was to come. Upon opening, Marc founded ground-breaking marketing partnerships with Playboy, MTV, Red Bull, and other brands that helped elevate the Palms to the status of Boutique Casino Resort, and arguably reinvented standards for lifestyle branding and nightlife-driven entertainment nationwide. Currently, Marc resides in Chicago and consults for the Bortz Group of Companies - a lifestyle and entertainment development firm specializing in the branding, marketing, and operation of salon/spas, nightclubs, sports leagues, and associated experiential integrations of sponsor and partner brands including but not limited to AVEDA, Belvedere Moet-Hennessy, Miller-Coors Brewing, Opt-It, and others. Marc specifically applies experiential strategies to the electronic and online spaces to effectively and affordably retain consumers across multiple profiles and brands. In his spare time, Marc volunteers for PAWS: Chicago-'s largest no-kill animal shelter, and turns to his favorite Martin guitar - aspiring to move beyond a self-described "novice grunge" level. He focuses overwhelming attention and emotion on the love of his life - an 80-lb Rottweiler named Princess Leia.

Mr. Portugal can be contacted at 312-850-8186 or marcportugal@yahoo.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.