Editorial Board   

Mr. Young

Alan Young

SVP Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, TrustYou

Alan Young began his hospitality/travel technology focused career 25 years ago when he began working in an operational capacity with Four Seasons Hotels based in Toronto, Ontario. During this time his interest in the technology aspect of the hospitality industry intensified and he began to work towards moving from operations into the tech side of the business. Mr. Young has held executive level positions with Newtrade Technologies (Expedia), Hotel Information Systems (Softbrands), Hotel Booking Solutions and IBS Software focused on marketing and selling software applications to the global hospitality industry. Most recently, Mr. Young held the position of Vice President, Field Marketing at Infor where he was instrumental in driving pipeline for the worlds 3rd largest ERP company. Mr. Young is past Chair of The Board of Directors of The OpenTravel Alliance, a global hospitality/travel industry technology standards association. Alan has also been very involved with other industry associations most notably AHLA, HEDNA and HTNG. Alan has been a guest speaker at World Travel Mart, HITEC, HEDNA, The HOT Conference and a number of other industry events.

Mr. Young can be contacted at 214-377-1102 or alan.young@trustyou.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.