Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Perks

Barrie Perks

Vice President Sales & Services, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau

Barrie M. Perks, an experienced sales and marketing professional who has held management positions with some of the nation's most recognized hotels in major cities around the world, joined the Cincinnati USA CVB as Vice President of Sales and Services in October 2006. Mr. Perkslived and worked in Cincinnati for 10 years while serving as Director of Marketing for the Westin Hotel in downtown Cincinnati from 1992 to 1997. Mr. Perks has led the strategic realignment of the CVB sales team to focus on specific vertical industry market segments rather than geographic regions, as had been done in the past. In 2007, Perks' first full year heading the CVB sales efforts, the team exceeded its room night goal by nearly ten percent. Throughout his tenure with the CVB, the Sales Team's room night production has consistently grown year over year, with nearly 220,000 rooms booked in 2013. Mr. Perks implements an aggressive strategic sales and marketing plan to promote the city as a vibrant convention and meetings destination. He works closely with area hotels and convention facilities, and serves as a liaison between the CVB's clients and these facilities. He also develops cooperative programs, familiarization visits and sales missions with the local hospitality industry to effectively market the region, as well as oversees the sales managers and sales budget. A primary focus area for Mr. Perks is creating a cohesive community and stronger relationship between the local hotels and the CVB, where the entities work collectively toward the goal of increased hotel room nights and attracting high volume, high value meetings and conventions to Cincinnati USA. He also has held sales, marketing and management positions with hotels including the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles; the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach; the Portofino Resort and Marina in Redondo Beach; the Biltmore in Los Angeles; Hyatt Hotels in Indianapolis and Chicago; Princess Hotels in Bermuda; and Loews Hotels International in London, England.

Mr. Perks can be contacted at 513-632-5394 or bperks@cincyusa.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.