Editorial Board   

Ms. Shackelford

Ellen L. Shackelford

President, Connections Access Consulting Services, LLC (CACS)

As a person who has sustained a disability through injury, Ellen Shackelford is well aware of the many challenges people with disabilities face daily. She also knows people with disabilities are often overlooked in social situations and activities. As founder/president of Connections Access Consulting Services, LLC, she is dedicated to a service which will enhance the awareness and unconscious injustice of the aging population and Citizens with disabilities, so all will be included in social situations. Ellen's goal is to serve as an advocate by providing education through training and disability awareness programs necessary to address the importance of inclusion in an aging society. Previous employment at Insight Enterprises Inc. Peninsula Center for Independent Living has enlightened Ellen on the many facets of life the community was totally unaware in regards to people with disabilities. In addition, attendance at leadership programs: Partners In Policy Making, sponsored by Virginia Board for People with Disabilities; The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the U.S. Department of Education Rocky Mount Technical Assistance & Consulting Center and Dan Hopkins & Associates, Inc. Ellen is active in the disability community and holds several leadership roles. She is the Vice Chairperson for the Hampton Mayors Committee for People with Disabilities, Chairperson for Accessibility; Victims Advocate (trainee) M.A.D.D.; Peninsula Literacy Council Tutor Volunteer. She is also a Member of other committees, such as: National Council on Independent Living (NCIL); Age and Abilities Expo 2007 (Secretary). Ellen has recently received 1st runner up in the Ms. Wheelchair Virginia Pageant held in Fishersville, Virginia. She lives in Hampton, Virginia and has a daughter in college and three grandchildren by her late son Jason R. Freeman.

Ms. Shackelford can be contacted at 757-827-0783 or ln@cacsllc.info

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.