Seven Hot Trends in Management Techniques

By Michael Goldstein President & CEO, Packard Hospitality Group | December 01, 2008

It's no surprise when I tell you that today's traveler has an overwhelming number of options available when selecting accommodations for business or leisure. The industry has become so keenly tuned in to what today's travelers are looking for, making it a challenge to rise above the competition and differentiate oneself from others.

We've equipped our stylish guest rooms with the most current, cutting-edge technology, provided unparalleled bedding made from the finest Egyptian cotton and luxurious spa-like guest baths and products. Yet all of those amenities and appointments can quickly dissipate in the eyes of our guests if they do not encounter employees who are responsive to their needs and sincerely hospitable.

Simply put, it's paramount to remember that the most logical and practical way to outperform your competition is directly through your employees. They are the ambassadors for your hotel - and should be recruited and trained to complement and enhance your multi-million dollar assets.

Recruiting Beyond the Classifieds

Many of us recall when recruiting for an open position simply meant that the personnel department placed an ad in the Help Wanted section of the local newspaper. That longstanding practice was routine and perfectly acceptable. Today, hotel management must be ready to recruit in increasingly creative and innovative ways. To catch the eye of the most qualified recruits in the hotel industry, think beyond common methods.

If you don't already, start using your company's blog to promote job openings. Encourage valuable staff to participate in a referral program that offers incentives if their suggested recruits prove a good match for the hotel. Have representatives at college fairs and local professional industry-related events - know your "backyard" talent. Advertise on professional organizations' websites. Offer competitive internships for college students. Bring department managers together regularly to discuss bright stars among staff - people who may be inside recruits when positions become available. In other words, cast a wide but targeted net to catch the best and the brightest.

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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.