Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Co-Founder, Net Conversion

Ryan Fitzgerald dreams in pie charts and bar graphs, and is committed to helping his clients understand the importance of these numbers. He leads analytics, reporting and product development for Net Conversion; spending hours poring over Excel spreadsheets and calculating the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Mr. Fitzgerald's expertise includes product development, planning and analysis, pricing strategy, corporate finance, online media and advertising and the overall management of a variety of clients, partner and vendor relationships. While he is neurotic about numbers and infatuated with spreadsheets, he is remarkably articulate and fun to be around. Prior to launching Net Conversion, Mr. Fitzgerald invested his analytical efforts in the travel industry, including the world's biggest theme parks, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Florida and a Master of Business in Finance from Rollins College. The team at Net Conversion is focused on driving revenue for clients in the travel industry through paid digital marketing along with comprehensive analytics. They won a 2012 Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Gold Digital Marketing Adrian Award for an online video campaign created for the Nassau Paradise Island Promotional Board in partnership with Verb Interactive. The campaign increased website visitation by 30 percent from top-origin markets and delivered 50 percent more leads to partner resorts.

Mr. Fitzgerald can be contacted at 407-241-2044 or ryan@net-conversion.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.