Conservation_Halton

Festivals Abound! LMA Launches Two Sites for Conservation Halton

LMA has launched two new festival websites for Conservation Halton. Conservation Halton is the community-based environmental agency that protects, restores and manages the natural resources in its watershed, and is the proud organizer of the Halton Childern’s Water Festival and Halton Forest Festival. The new specs necessitated a joint login hub given that both sites were run from the same team, which is one of the foremost benefits of a multi-site management feature. As part of the branding design, LMA introduced a more playful and inviting look to match the Festival themes. Built with the Expression Engine 2 platform and incorporating a multi-site manager, the content-managed website allow for easy updating of Festival events, details, sponsor levels and forms. Additions include a table of Sponsor levels and thorough social media integration. To browse the new Water Festival site visit www.hcwf.ca, and to view the Forest Festival site visit www.haltonforestfestival.ca

Jerry GrymekFestivals Abound! LMA Launches Two Sites for Conservation Halton
Google-Hotel-Finder

What will Google Hotel Finder become for hotels?

Have you had the time to check out Google Hotel Finder yet? If not, I suggest you go there right now (http://www.google.com/hotelfinder). Still in beta, this new software platform is bound to be a powerhouse of change in the next two years once it’s fully operational. But not all of its changes promise to be good for hotel brands. Google Hotel Finder is fast and sleek. Harnessing the power of Google’s search engine, Google Maps and any other web tools operated by this industry leader, the system makes it very easy for people to find hotels in a given location. The simplicity and universality of the map-overlaid, quick-click design makes it near impossible for Hotel Finder not to catch on. As with Adwords and the core functionality of Google’s paid search listings, this system chooses its top search results based on advertisement bids plus quality scores, with organic results popping …

Larry MogelonskyWhat will Google Hotel Finder become for hotels?
RoomKey.com-Logo_

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall… Revisiting Room Key

  When Room Key (www.roomkey.com) launched back in January, I admit I was skeptical. My primary detraction was that the website, even with the horsepower of six major chains, lacked the wherewithal to complete the consumer purchasing journey – from flight to hotel and finally to car rental. This, in addition to the egregious head start that the OTAs already have, makes for a formidable case against Room Key’s long-term viability. But numbers don’t lie and latest digits have me doing a double-take. Using their patented normalization analytics process, the research firm Compete Inc. (www.compete.com) has stated that Room Key obtained more than 4 million unique visitors during July 2012 with over 6 million total visits through the month. Tallying these stats points to a growth rate hovering near 20% per-month. Their results indicate that roughly 90% of this proliferating traffic came from the founding brands’ sites (Choice, Hilton, Hyatt, …

Larry MogelonskyMirror, Mirror On the Wall… Revisiting Room Key
websites

10 Questions for An Solid Web Site Foundation

When our company reached the 100 mark, we stopped counting the number of websites we had already built (ok, so we’re past 200, who’s counting!). Regardless of the size of your property, its star ranking, location or feature set, the development of any successful site is based upon your ability to provide appropriate input to your web design team. I imagine that your house was built on a solid foundation. So too should your website! By utilizing this as checklist for deciding which direction to take, you’ll be able to help yourself get the website that meets your business needs. What is wrong with your current website? What are you hoping to accomplish with a new website? What do you see as the strengths of your current website, and what are the weaknesses? What other property websites do you like and why? What other (non-hotel) websites do you like and …

Jerry Grymek10 Questions for An Solid Web Site Foundation

An Introduction to Statistical Modeling for Hotels

  Do logical and hospitality mix? For an industry that prides itself on the emotional experience, such left brain enterprises like statistical analysis seem all too illusory. Yet, such data-driven mathematics can yield tremendous results, first and foremost by narrowing your target market to maximize the efficacy of your marketing engine. I’ve employed Virtual DBS (www.virtualdbs.com), a company that specializes in these sorts of deductive analyses, to lend their voice to the discussion, both in terms of a thorough explanation of what they do as well as outlining some of the key benefits of statistical modeling. For this, I sought John Dodd, Executive Vice President, for an in-depth Q&A. What is the purpose of analytical modeling? Can you describe the basics of it? The purpose of analytical modeling is typically twofold: Better Understand Customers or Responders: By statistically profiling a group of customers, respondents and other segments using demographic information …

Larry MogelonskyAn Introduction to Statistical Modeling for Hotels
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Hotel Tonight — A Mobile App Exception to Commoditization

  Anyone who’s read my writing knows I’m hopeful and at the same time very cynical of many internet trends that are sweeping our industry, particularly internet-driven room sales. Selling inventory through online channels whose primary purpose is to offer customers the cheapest price can severely weaken customer loyalty and brand identity. The term I use for this is commoditization and mobile apps aren’t excluded from this issue. In short, without emotional factors to differentiate one brand from another, it’s a race to the bottom. My greatest fear is that one day consumers will only bid for the lowest cost per room and disregard the rest – rooms becoming a commodity traded on the open market in the same way as minerals and agricultural produce. There are many factors driving the industry down this road, but there are many exceptions as well. The World Wide Web is here to stay, …

Larry MogelonskyHotel Tonight — A Mobile App Exception to Commoditization
ghotw-logo-2

Great Hotels of the World Comes to North America

I’ve always been fascinated by the role hotel representation firms have played in the hospitality industry at large. Like a Medieval tale of knights banding together to vanquish a common foe, these organizations take smaller, independent operators and give them a fighting chance against the behemoth brand names through their synergistic marketing efforts and by cluing them into modern technological practices. Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Leading Hotels of the World and Small Luxury Hotels – these are names that inspire confidence and assure guests of the integrity of their member properties. In the past, the tradeoff for the independent property was straightforward: pay your dues via a combination of annual fees (typically based on a fixed amount per room) and commissions generated on reservations. Then, in return: worldwide recognition amongst the travel trade, and other network benefits. The internet changes all. It’s been interesting to follow how rep firms …

Larry MogelonskyGreat Hotels of the World Comes to North America

In Search of Hotel Excellence: Avari Towers, Karachi, Pakistan

When you think of Karachi, what image or emotion first comes to mind? For me, being in Toronto and inundated with the oftentimes hellfire and brimstone of American news media, this Pakistani metropolis doesn’t particularly evoke positive sentiment. I’m fairly geographically educated (I’m in the hotel business after all!) so I know that Karachi is a bustling port at the crossroads of Asia, Arabia and East Africa, and is a financial powerhouse now home to over 20 million people of numerous cultural and religious backgrounds. Pakistan itself is a country to watch. It’s the sixth most populous country in the world and a burgeoning manufacturing center, falling right behind India in terms of socioeconomic progress. Although the government has been hit with a few military coups in the past, it nonetheless follows a democratic constitutional system that elects more women to parliament than any other Muslim-majority country. But Karachi is …

Larry MogelonskyIn Search of Hotel Excellence: Avari Towers, Karachi, Pakistan
meeting_space_design

Top Ten to Consider for Meeting Space Design

One potent offshoot of the exponentially swelling internet is choice. Choice in hotels, choice in dining, choice in meeting venues. In this buyers’ market, customers demand nothing but the best in everything they purchase. Hotels are no longer the only entrants in the octagon for conference revenues, but the cage has been opened to restaurants, universities, museums, churches and unused office space. What’s more, the very essence of business meetings and conferences is itself in a volatile state. Laptops, video chats, webinars, smartphones – people can work from everywhere nowadays, and they are. Many don’t even have an office away from home to call their own. This is nothing new and reassuringly, at least in the near foreseeable future, nothing will replace quality face-to-face time. It’s still the best means for effective teamwork. However, the combination of technological requirements and increasing choice has changed consumer expectations, particularly when discussing the …

Larry MogelonskyTop Ten to Consider for Meeting Space Design

The Latest Mobile Trends with MConcierge

  An interview with Zachary Amzallag discussing their GuestDriven mobile software. Heading into the last quarter of 2012, it’s safe to say that ‘going mobile’ is de rigueur. More than that, it’s a necessity, not only for fostering brand awareness amongst Gen-Xers and Millenials, but for attaining newly heightened levels of RevPAR. One company worth investigating, and one I’ve worked with in the very recent past, is MConcierge (www.mconciergesystems.com/). As the name implies, their primary software platform, GuestDriven, functions as a mobile concierge for guests to purchase services and amenities straight off their smartphone or tablet. To get further insight into what makes software companies like MConcierge work and a few of the more subtle benefits of mobile integration, I reached out to Zachary Amzallag, the company’s Sales Manager, for answers. How did the concept for MConcierge develop? Co-founders Marco de Stefani and Joel Yaffe were sitting in a bar …

Larry MogelonskyThe Latest Mobile Trends with MConcierge