Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Miller

Walt Miller

Design Director, John Portman & Associates

A registered architect, Mr. Miller has been an important member of John Portman & Associates (PORTMAN) since 1987. An accomplished designer and planner, Mr. Miller directs the design team in resolving how to implement PORTMAN design philosophy and vision into functional spaces. He also serves as the Education Studio Director, leading new business development within the higher education sector. His responsibilities include oversight of the administration of the Portman Prize at the Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Architecture, an award created for the purpose of encouraging the school's graduate students to develop a holistic design. Mr. Miller has served as the lead designer on significant projects all around the globe. His recent experience includes the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, a 1,200-room convention center hotel adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center; the Park Hyatt Hyderabad, a five-star luxury hotel with over 200 guestrooms and 42 serviced apartments; the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center, a mixed-use project located outside Chicago containing a 500-room hotel, a 100,000 square-foot convention center, and 28,000 square-feet of ballrooms and meeting space; and the Westin Shanghai at Bund Center, a 570-room hotel located in the historic financial district of the Bund. He has been a guest lecturer and critic at a number of prestigious schools. Prior to joining PORTMAN, Mr. Miller was with the firm of Cesar Pelli & Associates, where he led the team which won the competition for the Key Center in Cleveland. Mr. Miller's design integrated a new tower while repurposing the old Society for Savings building as large plate office space, saving it from demolition. Mr. Miller earned a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Architecture Degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mr. Miller can be contacted at 404-614-5555 or wmiller@portmanusa.com

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.