Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Erdem

Mehmet Erdem

Associate Professor of Hotel Operations & Technology, Hotel College, UNLV

Dr. Mehmet Erdem is an Associate Professor of Hotel Operations and Technology at the Hotel College of University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) as well as the President of International Hospitality Information Technology Association (iHITA). Prior to UNLV, he taught in the College of Business at University of New Orleans and in the School of Learning Design and Technology at Purdue University. He is the recipient of the 2011 International CHRIE Innovation in Teaching Award. Dr. Erdem has over 10 years of domestic and international lodging operations experience. As part of his industry tenure, he was responsible for training and development, rooms division, and information systems. A technology and instructional design consultant, he also serves as an executive program trainer for the International Gaming Institute (IGI) in Las Vegas. Dr. Erdem is actively involved as a board and council member in several industry and academic associations. In 2011, he was recognized with the Organizational Leadership Award by Global Information Technology Management Association (GITMA). As a hospitality scholar, Dr. Erdem has authored over sixty research articles and conference proceedings. In the past five years, he has been awarded over $800K in research grants and projects. He regularly presents his research findings at professional and academic conferences in the US and abroad.

Dr. Erdem can be contacted at 702-895-5811 or mehmet.erdem@unlv.edu

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.