Editorial Board   

Mr. Van

Steve Van

President & CEO, Prism Hotels

Steve Van, President and CEO of Prism Hotels & Resorts, founded the Dallas-based company in 1983 and continues to lead the company on its mission to have The Most Satisfied Owners. A prominent speaker and sought-after expert in the hospitality industry, Mr. Van was recognized by Hotel Business Magazine as one of the trade's “People of 2012.” In the past few years Mr. Van has focused his teams' efforts on going from Good to Great with the primary focus on operational excellence. Prism's current successes include managing the largest Hyatt Regency franchise, the 580 room Hyatt Regency LAX, the 420 room Hilton El Conquistador Resort in Tucson, the historic 300 room Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center, the 1,000,000 square feet and 600 room state-of-the-art Las Vegas Training Center for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and the award-winning Embassy Suites Medical Center in Oklahoma City among many others. Mr. Van currently serves on a number of industry boards including the Hilton Doubletree Hotel Owner's Advisory Council and served on the Starwood Hotels Owner's Advisory Council for creation of Aloft Hotels. Mr. Van earned his bachelor's degree from The University of Texas, attended The University of Texas Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas. He has served as the Assistant Attorney General of Texas and as a Director of the Texas Turnpike Authority. Since 2008 he has been a Founding Director of AHMSA, a nonprofit based in Bogota, Columbia to teach internal refugees entrepreneurial skills to lift their families out of poverty. AHMSA is now supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with the United Nations. Mr. Van was the youngest Director of NATO's US Arm, the Atlantic Treaty Assembly, and was presented with the Vincentian Ethics Scholar Award in 2006 in recognition of his valuable contributions in fostering business ethics research. Mr. Van is also the co-founder of the Texas Lyceum Association.

Mr. Van can be contacted at 214-257-1011 or steve.van@prismhotels.com

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.