Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ellis

Bernard Ellis

President & Founder, Lodgital Insights LLC

Bernard Ellis has a track record of stewarding technology initiatives from industry startup to industry standard.   He has spent most of his career at early- and mid-stage startups bringing best-of-breed, point solutions to market, including executive roles with Micros, now part of Oracle, SynXis, now part of Sabre, and IDeaS, now part of SAS, and contract roles with d2o and Gemtouch. The remainder of it has been spent at the large enterprise software companies who acquire them, SAS as mentioned, and most recently, as VP of Industry Strategy - Hospitality for Infor.

With executive roles that have followed a rare alternating path between sales and product management, Mr. Ellis has been evangelizing Software as a Service for nearly twenty years.  He has developed strong expertise in practically every type of hospitality technology, with special depth in property management systems, central reservations, revenue management, sales force automation, and activity merchandising.  Along the way, he has earned trusted advisor status with hotel companies that span all sizes and levels of service, including Carlson, Sonesta, Four Seasons, IHG, Kimpton, Rosewood, Wyndham, and Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

This remarkably broad background gives him a keen understanding of the points of view that different stakeholders bring to any discussion, not just regarding system selection or potential mergers and acquisitions, but also regarding such issues as integration development priorities, or who makes the best partner or target customer. Mr. Ellis is probably most widely recognized for advancing the industry with his oral and written communication skills, that enable non-technical audiences to grasp the value of technical innovations, and non-hospitality audiences to appreciate the industry's nuances.  His passion for the industry brings dry subject matter to life, not to mention (and some might advise exactly that) his natural tendency to seek out appropriate opportunities for humor or the perfect pun.

Mr. Ellis recently founded Lodgital Insights LLC, a consultancy to serve those companies that are leading the digital transformation of hospitality and leisure.  These include 1) travel technology vendors, 2) industry allies and promoters such as hotel brands, industry associations, destination marketing organizations, OTAs, and other consultancies, and finally 3) owners and operators of hospitality enterprises.  Lodgital's mission is to help people become better buyers and sellers of hospitality technology, leading to an accelerated pace of innovation for the industry and its guests.

Mr. Ellis is a Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP), as designated by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), and a Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME), as designated by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), for whom he has also served as a member of the Revenue Management Advisory Board and past President of the Metropolitan Washington, DC Chapter.  He received a Master of Professional Studies (now MMH) degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary. Based in Washington, DC, Mr. Ellis is a dual-citizen of the United States and Canada.

Please visit http://lodgital.com for more information.

Mr. Ellis can be contacted at 202-232-3839 or bernard.ellis@lodgital.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.