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 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.