Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Panto

Darren Panto

Business Development Director, iRiS Software Systems

Darren Panto, Business Development Director for iRiS Software Systems is responsible for establishing and building long term relationships with the major hotel and cruise-line groups as well as hotel brands. Through key industry partnerships Darren has built the utilization of mobile concierge systems within the hotel environment and has formed essential connectivity partnerships to enhance operation efficiencies for hoteliers. A people person, Mr. Panto's philosophy is one of working with customers as partners. He started his career in the industry studying a business degree with tourism (BA Hons), focusing on tourism law. Following a spell as a professional cricketer with Sussex CCC (UK), Mr. Panto took some time to travel and experience cultures worldwide, before spending summers in France and Spain working as an overseas holiday representative. Mr. Panto started working in the tour operator industry 25 years ago working for Intasun and Longwood holidays. He started at the bottom and worked his way up, continuing his career at Peltours as Sales & Marketing Director on the Executive Board. He held the Sales Director position at Mosaic Holidays for two years, and prior to joining iRiS Software Systems he worked as an independent consultant. His work has covered all aspects of the business including customer care, brochure development, website production, marketing, contracting, public relations, sales and product development. Mr. Panto has exceptional knowledge of working with Israel, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, South Africa, Canary Islands, France, Spain, USA, New Zealand, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Morocco

Please visit http://www.iris.net for more information.

Mr. Panto can be contacted at 44-0-2070-999-242 or darren@iris.net

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.