Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Smith

Carrianne Smith

Director of Sales & Marketing, The Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Starwood Hotels

Carrianne Smith is a leader in the Pacific Northwest hospitality industry. She has held her current role as director of sales and marketing at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel for seven years, where her accumulated knowledge and experience from hotel locations across the U.S. brings immense value to the hotel. Ms. Smith's expertise for hotel management and hospitality ranges from her position as the director of sales at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, where she led her sales team to the Starwood “Team Hot” of the Year Award in 2003; director of marketing at Wyndham Andover and Wyndham Burlington in Massachusetts and sales manager at the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle. In her 10 year tenure with Starwood properties, Ms. Smith has been nominated six times for Sales Team of the Year, winning the honor in 2008, and has twice been nominated for Sales Leader of the Year. After graduating Southern Illinois University, her career began as a front office manager at Wyndham Lisle/Naperville and as a catering manager at Wyndham SeaTac. Ms. Smith is a member of Meeting Professionals International and the Professional Convention Management Association, where she served as co-chair for the marketing and promotions committee for the 2008 PMCA Annual Meeting. She is a repeat guest speaker at Cornell, Johnson & Wales and Northeastern University, and prior to moving to Seattle, she served as a member of the Boston Convention Bureau's Sales Advisory Committee and led the “Introduction to Meeting Management” course at Northeastern University. Ms. Smith, a Chicago native, resides in West Seattle with her family. She enjoys traveling, the outdoors and reading, and her commitment to her community is realized through her passionate A.I.D.S. activism, leading the Sheraton's Gingerbread Village program in support of JDRF and providing groceries to the elderly, homeless and working poor with the Pike Place Market Food Bank.

Ms. Smith can be contacted at 206-447-5531 or Carrianne.pugh@sheraton.com

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.