Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Houdre

Herve Houdre

Regional Director of Operations & General Manager, Intercontinental New York Barclay

One of Europe and America's most respected hoteliers, Herve Houdre began his tenure as Regional Director of Operations and General Manager of the InterContinental New York Barclay in October of 2009. Prior to this, he held the position of General Manager of the Willard InterContinental Washington D.C. since 2004. Before coming to the United States Mr.Houdre was Chief Operating Officer of Kempinski Hotels & resorts and General Manager of famed Parisian hotels, the Plaza Athenee and the Hotel de Crillon. Mr. Houdre was named "2006 Independent Hotelier of the World" by HOTELS magazine. He serves on the Boards and Executive Committees of the NYC Hotel Association and NYC & Company (Convention & Visitors Bureau) as well as on the Board of GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council). A leader in Sustainable Hospitality. Mr. Houdre published Sustainable Hospitality©, a white paper utilized by Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research. He has co-edited a book named Hotel Sustainable Development: Principles and Best Practices, published in 2011 by American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, together with Prof AJ Singh from Michigan State University. Mr. Houdre recently joined the Environment and Engineering Committee of AH&LA (American Hotel & Lodging Association). Mr. Houdre's efforts have been highlighted in a broad array of media in the US and abroad. His leadership achieved the 2009 Conde Nast Traveler World Savers Award, 2009 DC Mayor's Award for Environmental Excellence and DC Chamber of Commerce 2009 Business of the Year. He received the New York chapter Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International 2012 General Manager of the year award.

Mr. Houdre can be contacted at 212-906-3100 or herve.houdre@ihg.com

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.