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 February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.