Vani Van Nielen

As we enter Q3, there is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted businesses worldwide. Hospitality has already been singled out as having notably suffered from travel restrictions and lockdowns, but one could argue that meetings and events have it the worst. The very definition, large groups of people gathering in a single location that is often indoors, makes it clear that the meetings and events industry has struggled a lot. Many events from Q1 and Q2 were postponed to Q3 and Q4; however, the previously anticipated start of recovery now seems to be increasingly unlikely as resurgences of cases occur worldwide. READ MORE

Timothy Flohr

When most people think about "project management" their first thoughts are generally not about the hospitality industry. Even though it is one of the largest industries in existence, there has not been a concerted industry-wide effort to embrace project management. However, hospitality firms from across the entire industry, from mom-and-pop operations to global hospitality giants, are planning and executing projects on a daily basis. We begin our deep dive into the world of project management by discussing why project management is such an important – yet overlooked – facet in the hospitality industry. READ MORE

Mark Natale

Consistent and strategic branding can lead to a strong brand equity, which can add great value and credibility for hotels. Despite the challenges that have unfolded due to COVID-19, now is not the time to put off building a remarkable brand. In fact, it's quite the opposite. You should now be doubling down on your commitment to your brand. In this piece, Mark Natale, the chief executive officer of the award-winning integrated brand development agency Smarthinking Inc., shares some of the risks of not incorporating proper branding, as well as the initial steps each company should take to successfully develop their brand strategy. READ MORE

Manny Dominguez

While the coronavirus pandemic paused travel worldwide, the crisis has not paused wanderlust or human needs for connection. As guests begin to resume travel plans – whether for business or leisure – they will bring new expectations for health and wellbeing with them, from the use of hands-free technology to a connection to the outdoors to a holistic approach to programming. Manny Dominguez, principal at global design firm Cooper Carry, outlines how design-oriented solutions and strategic modifications will usher in the next era of hospitality, where a strong commitment to wellness serves as a new gold standard for the industry. READ MORE

Library Archives

 
Lily Mockerman

Because of COVID-19, many revenue teams had to be furloughed. Not all will return, leaving vacancies. Could it be time to evaluate the kind of Revenue Manager that will move your property forward? The revenue manager of the future will be part accountant, part marketer, part guardian. This revenue manager will be the gatekeeper of revenue. There are five strong foundational skills to look for in the revenue manager of the future. Lily Mockerman explains these skills, how to recognize them in a revenue manager, how to keep them on your team, and how to help them shine. READ MORE

Steven D. Weber

Does COVID-19 (coronavirus) afford hospitality industry operators relief from their contractual obligations? Hospitality industry operators are feeling the impact of coronavirus. The question may arise as to whether the coronavirus affords hospitality industry operators relief from their contractual obligations. In some cases, those contractual obligations may have arose months or years before coronavirus. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer for all hospitality industry operators and, thus, hospitality industry operators should consider taking steps to examine their options, including but not limited to, the steps set forth below. READ MORE

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

Pandemics though less inevitable than natural calamities have been confronted in the past. They have to be accepted and dealt with in a sensible manner. The discovery of a viable vaccine for the coronavirus as soon as possible is everybody's hope. Meanwhile, what can you as a business, do for the rebuilding crusade going forward? Reaching out and assuring your customers, employees, communities and stakeholders about their safety in your establishment is the first step. As a business with a standing, this is the minimum you owe to your customers, employees, partners, communities, stakeholders as well as yourselves. This hopefully, will bring business back and cause the coronavirus pandemic chokehold to ease over time. READ MORE

William A. Brewer III

The hotel industry is facing an extended crisis. As governments impose travel restrictions and hotel guests cancel trips or avoid booking them altogether, the hotel industry worldwide is collectively experiencing dire economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with plummeting occupancy rates, hotel performance has been negatively impacted on an unprecedented global scale. As the global economy enters a recession that many predict will be as bad as the downturn in 2007-2008, it is likely that hotel owners and operators will, once again, experience conflicts as their disparate economic interests collide. This article explores the conflicts of interest between owners and operators. READ MORE

Chaunsea Keller

Prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the US spend for meetings alone was over $399 billion annually. This amount was for company spend, so doesn't include the Association, SMERF or Sports spend, and it doesn't include rooms-only group blocks. That means that there is well over $450 billion spent on meetings alone in a "normal" year. Even if meetings are reduced by 50% for 2020, there is still the potential staggering number of $225 billion in meetings, groups, and events potential. In this article EproDirect's Executive Vice President, Chaunsea Keller addresses what hotels are offering post-COVID and how planners are responding and what they want. READ MORE

Bruce McEvoy

A chance to escape to an artfully conceived hotel with flawless service seems like a distant memory today. The entire world is dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and our hospitality industry has been ground to a halt. We're entering the transition that follows every crisis and we must address ways to become resilient and anticipate the impact of unforeseeable disruptions. As designers, we need to be empathetic to these times and build strategies into our vision of the future of business travel and societal changes. READ MORE

Jeremy Kriegel

In a post COVID-19 world, it is critical for brands in the hospitality sector to engage consumers in a manner that provides a high likelihood of positive experiences, engenders loyalty, fosters referrals and return stays. Advances in digital media and artificial intelligence (AI) offer new ways for brands to deliver and enhance these experiences. By obtaining intellectual property (IP) protection for technical achievements and differentiating service, brands can develop a stable of assets to help lawfully keep competitors at bay. This article discusses effective techniques for identifying opportunities and strategies to seek and obtain IP protection for inventions relating to digital media and AI that enhance the guest experience. READ MORE

Rick Garlick

Now more than ever it is important that hotels look for ways to reduce friction in the hotel experience. In this article, Rick Garlick will examine the ways in which technology can help reduce friction in the hotel experience, leading to more enjoyable experiences for travelers. Such tactics that Rick suggests hotel brands adopt include one-click booking, smart luggage, and in-room technology. This article will also look at factors beyond technology that hotels have to weigh when it comes to reducing friction in the hotel experience, as interaction-less guest experiences, health and cleanliness practices, and guest communications. READ MORE

Rachel Moniz

In response to COVID-19, HEI Hotels & Resorts has implemented new standard operating procedures and hygienic practices at HEI's portfolio of more than 80 independent and branded hotels. In this article, Rachel Monez, Executive Vice President of Operations, talks about the changes implemented at various HEI hotel properties, giving readers an insight into what to expect as the 'new norm'. The article will provide tips about what hotels can do to adjust their cleaning protocols and educate employees to rise to the challenges presented in the new COVID-19 environment. READ MORE

Laurence Bernstein

Hospitality may well be the industry most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it is also possibly the industry that has done the most to mitigate the effects and been the most innovative in developing programs and protocols to serve the needs of their customer, retain whatever revenue is possible and keep everybody safe while doing it. As an industry, we can all feel proud of how our colleagues have responded. But, it's not clear that in their haste to introduce mitigating programs, hotels thought through what will happen when this thing is over. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

Mark Heymann – an industry expert with over 40 years of experience in hospitality and restaurants, sheds light on the importance of labor management optimization amid the COVID-19 recovery period. The entire labor management process has changed, and hotels will need to develop an enhanced focus on internal staffing variables in order to recover. Guest expectations will drastically change so hotels will have to evolve in order to exceed these new expectations. In this piece, Mark details the various ways hotels should look to adjust their approach which includes fostering an engaged staff, balancing flexible scheduling, shifting to task-oriented labor and more. READ MORE

Tom Bergerson

The hospitality industry exists to serve the intrinsic human desire to gather, celebrate and rejuvenate. This fact has driven hotel architects for the past several decades to place continual emphasis on the design and creation of evocative communal spaces. Today, the hospitality industry finds itself faced with an enormous challenge: in the wake of COVID-19, people no longer feel safe in public areas. Tom Bergerson, Principal at architectural services firm AO, offers solutions and insights on how the industry can continue to provide comfort, convenience, and social interaction while providing guests with a sense of safety and well-being. READ MORE

Mostafa Sayyadi

Hotel executives understand how knowledge management as facilitating organizational processes and activities enhances corporate learning to organize existing information. I stress that knowledge management is a strategic resource for corporate learning. Many hotels still implement corporate learning development projects without sufficient consideration of their knowledge management infrastructures. Hotel executives can see that cultivating corporate learning requires developing knowledge management infrastructures within hotels---not only at the higher echelons of the hotel but at every level. They can manage knowledge to expand the growth opportunities available to hotels that may be challenging but important to close the gap between success and failure. READ MORE

Steven Ferry

PART III. In the last two weeks, we compared the demands made by governments (to protect us from a vicious and omnipresent viral scourge) to the harmful results (economic, health, individual freedoms) brought about by acquiescing to those demands while no pandemic materialized. We examined the censorship of all information departing from the official narrative and the harmful nature of the enforced vaccinations that lack efficacy and consistently demonstrate harm. This week, we examine who has been pushing this travesty and offer solutions to help put an end to the monkey business so the hospitality industry, and society in general, can regain diversity and its former joie de vivre. READ MORE

Justin Taillon

Futurology can be understood as the scientific study of the future. This is a particularly important paradigm to view a post-COVID-19 environment for the lodging industry. The changes this industry will experience in the coming years due to the global pandemic are as of yet unknown, but through effective modeling and open discussions with industry leaders there is a chance to identify emerging best practices and be forward-thinking and proactive in approaches to working within a new reality for the hospitality industry. This article identifies emerging trends due to COVID-19 as well as speaks to opportunities for returning to profitability in a new normal. READ MORE

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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.