Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel Appoints Kristin Duncan as General Manager

USA, Chicago, Illinois. May 09, 2019

Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel is thrilled to announce the appointment of Kristin Duncan as General Manager of the 530-room property located steps from the Theater District. Duncan has 30 years of experience with Marriott in a variety of roles, most recently as the General Manager of the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook.

"I am excited to bring my own touch of hospitality to this city property and cannot wait to collaborate with such a creative and innovative team. I will work hard to ensure that the Marriott ideals are upheld and that our guests enjoy the very best in service and comfort," says Duncan.

Duncan brings over three decades of experience in the hospitality industry to her new role. Prior to Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, she served as the General Manager of the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook, leading her team to excellent balanced scorecard results. Before that, she served as General Manager of Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort and the General Manager at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, where she built a successful track record in sales, relationship building and employee satisfaction.

Previously, the hospitality veteran held several director-level Sales and Marketing positions within the company, including Regional Director of Sales and Marketing South Central Region and then as Regional Senior Director of Sales for the Western Region. Duncan then took on the role of Area Director of Sales and Marketing for the Chicago Southwest Market. Following this, she was promoted to Market Sales Leader, Catering for Northern Mid America, where she launched the new Sales Organization that increased local catering revenue by a phenomenal 25% from 2010 to 2012.

Set against the dramatic skyline on the banks of the Chicago River and just minutes from downtown shopping, theaters and restaurants, Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, 1 West Wacker Drive, is the perfect location for visitors to enjoy their stay in the Windy City. Their chic rooftop bar, Raised, puts a spin on the city's booming rooftop bar scene. Located on the 3rd floor of the hotel, the indoor/outdoor destination invites the vibrant energy from the city streets below, and is a great place to raise a glass to the holiday weekend. Staytion Market & Bar, the hotel's lobby bar and restaurant, is one of the city's hottest new eateries, providing a trendy and distinguished nightlife scene. Featuring an energetic and intriguing atmosphere, Staytion's eclectic menu features unique street food with a Chicago flair, specialty handcrafted cocktails and local hops. Merging the business of the Loop with the pleasure of State Street shopping and Chicago's Theater District, the hotel invites discovery at every turn.

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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.