Editorial Board   

Mr. Hechtkopf

Bram Hechtkopf

Vice President of Business Development & Marketing, Kobie Marketing

Bram Hechtkopf is Vice President of Business Development & Marketing for Kobie Marketing (www.kobie.com) - a fully-integrated, customer loyalty marketing and customer retention agency, providing innovative solutions to customer loyalty and retention challenges. Mr. Hechtkopf consults with current and prospective clients on new business opportunities, helping to develop customer retention and loyalty marketing strategies and solutions that drive increased retention and spend. Following in the footsteps of his father, Kobie's founder, Mr. Hechtkopf is eager to continue Kobie's vision of technology and data analytics as enablers of leading-edge marketing executions for world-class customer loyalty initiatives. Mr. Hechtkopf has consulted with a wide array of leading brands including AMC Entertainment, TGI Friday's, BJ's Restaurants, Verizon, Bank of America, RBC, Flagstar Bank, JPMC, Sagicor, Coca Cola, Cox Enterprises, Ruby Tuesday, Hawaiian Airlines, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Prior to Kobie, Mr. Hechtkopf worked with the Human Capital Transaction Advisory Services practice for Ernst & Young, LLP, where he developed and presented analyses and recommendations on executive incentive and equity plan design and due diligence findings to senior management and the Board of Directors of Fortune 1000 clients. Prior to Ernst & Young, he worked with Towers Perrin in Manhattan as a consultant specializing in incentive plan design for executives and sales forces. Mr. Hechtkopf received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree with honors from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University with a concentration in Marketing and Information Technology. Learn more about Kobie Marketing at www.kobie.com

Mr. Hechtkopf can be contacted at 727-822-5353 or bram.hechtkopf@kobie.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.