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 August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.