Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Suckow

Shawna Suckow

Founder & President, Senior Planners Industry Network

Shawna Suckow, CMP, was a meeting and incentive planner for over 20 years. In 2008 she founded SPIN (www.spinplanners.com), an association for planners with 10+ years of experience. The network now has over 2,600 planner members across North America, and recently opened for supplier membership.

Ms. Suckow began studying buyer behavior in earnest in 2009, and speaking to audiences of hospitality salespeople who were frustrated with the shifting marketplace and the influences of technology. Her goal was—and is—to bridge the communication gap between buyers and sellers, to make the whole process less frustrating and more productive for both sides. She has since written two best-sellers, including her newest book: Don't Become Extinct - Join the Sales Evolution. She predicts that the next 10 years will see a massive restructuring of the sales role across all industries, as buyers become more able to circumvent salespeople in favor of technology to make their purchases.

Ms. Suckow has spoken on 5 continents in 15 countries to nearly 100,000 people. She shares her extensive background as a corporate meeting and incentive planner to help salespeople from hotels and other destinations understand—and capitalize on—the ever-evolving buyer landscape.

Honors include being named to the Global Top 100 Women Business & Tech Speakers, Planners' Favorite Speakers lists of 2014 and 2015, and Top 8 Speakers of 2013 (along with James Earl Jones!).

Ms. Suckow can be contacted at 651-470-0066 or shawna@spinplanners.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.