Editorial Board   

Mr. White

Derek White

President, Interactive & Media Networks, LodgeNet Interactive Corporation

As President, Interactive & Media Networks, of LodgeNet Interactive Corporation (NASD: LNET), Derek White is responsible for all of LodgeNet's guest merchandising and marketing as well as revenues generated both from in-room entertainment sales and third-party sponsorships. The role expands Mr. White's responsibilities beyond his former role as President of The Hotel Networks (THN), which LodgeNet acquired in 2008. Mr. White joined the company in February 2008 after serving as Executive Vice President of Alloy, Inc., one of the country's largest providers of targeted media and marketing services. Mr. White brings a track record of more than two decades building high performance teams and businesses. While at Alloy, Mr. White oversaw corporate development and general management of the company's out-of-home, sampling and promotions business units. He originally served as the architect and managing executive responsible for Alloy's $200 million media and marketing division employing more than 700 people, overseeing multiple companies and business groups including AMP Agency (named the 2004 Promotion Agency of the Year by PROMO Magazine). Prior to joining Alloy, Mr. White was the President of 360 Youth Corporation (later acquired by Alloy), and served as Executive Vice President of MarketSource Corporation, where he founded and led the development of its Internet and interactive business. He also held roles as President of Graphic Connexions, Inc., a creative agency, and Director for Computerware, Inc.

Mr. White can be contacted at 215-504-5552 or dwhite@lodgenet.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.