Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Eckel

Ashley Eckel

Director of Marketing, Zoove/StarStar

Ashley Eckel is the Director of Marketing for StarStar, responsible for all brand awareness and marketing programs for the mobile company. Prior to StarStar, Ms. Eckel ran marketing for Maxymiser, a global website optimization company, where from 2010 to 2012 experienced over 200% growth in market share and revenue. Previously, Ms. Eckel managed online marketing programs for CLECenter.com, as well as drove all marketing communications programs for online health pioneer, HealthMedia, until their acquisition by Johnson and Johnson in 2008. A career-long b2b content marketer, Ms. Eckel has written dozens of eBooks, newsletters and articles, in addition to leading multiple public relations, email marketing and branding initiatives. Ms. Eckel graduated from the University of Michigan with a dual degree in Marketing and Communications.

Ms. Eckel can be contacted at 1-877-283-5485 or aeckel@zoove.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.