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 June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.