Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Kasner

Sara-Ann Kasner

CEO & Founder, National Concierge Association

Sara-ann Kasner has been a corporate Concierge in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area since 1992. In 1998, Ms. Kasner founded the National Concierge Association, an international networking organization for Concierge and hospitality industry businesses. As Chief Executive Officer she has been instrumental in developing the NCA Certification and NCA Endorsed Partner Programs and establishing chapters of the organization throughout the United States. In 1996, Ms. Kasner was named “Corporate Concierge of The Year” by Minneapolis-St. Paul magazine and received the prestigious gold key and lifetime achievement award from Where Magazine International in 1997. During her career, Ms. Kasner has been quoted in articles about concierge service by the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, the Japan Times and “O” Magazine. Ms. Kasner is also a sought after public speaker on the subject of Concierge service. In May of 2012 she was the keynote speaker at a customer service forum to a group of hospitality professionals at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in Basseterre, West Indies. Ms. Kasner is currently the Director of Concierge Services for Zeller Realty Group providing corporate concierge service to three office towers in Minneapolis and Bloomington, Minnesota.

Ms. Kasner can be contacted at 612-317-2932 or sara-ann@ncakey.org

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.