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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.