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Predictions and Resolutions for 2014

Happy New Year everyone! Now that 2014 is less than 24 hours away, it’s time for the somewhat perfunctory but always fun resolutions declaration for how you can better yourself as a hotelier come the January 1st reboot. But rather than only dwell on platitudes, this year I’ve decided to combine resolutions with my predictions for what will impact our industry over the next 12 months. Take what you can from this list and know that a forward-thinking hotelier is one destined for success. Turn these predictions into resolutions for your own gain. 1. Streaming Hegemony. With digital screens everywhere you look and more opportunities than ever before to watch videos, streaming will continue to rule the day in the next few years. This trend is also deeply entwined to the fortunes of Netflix, which by recent accounts now represents about a third of all of the internet’s streaming. As …

Larry MogelonskyPredictions and Resolutions for 2014
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Great advertising from Westjet

Having worked with hoteliers for more than 30 years, I have heard every excuse as to why their guests are either A) unlike the rest of the world and totally immune to the influences of advertising, or B) would not make a decision to select a property based solely upon an advertisement. The fact remains that advertising has influenced buying decisions since the beginning of commerce (in one form or another). Who would make a decision between Coke or Pepsi on pure taste preference? I worked the “Pepsi Taste Challenge” as a product manager many years ago and know that it has to be more than the product that built market share. But it is interesting. Of the entire travel industry, only hotels seem to shy away from aggressively advertising their products. Airlines, car rentals, travel agencies (primarily the online ones nowadays) and tourism destinations all seem to spend more …

Larry MogelonskyGreat advertising from Westjet
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A Sense of Place

Helping a client organize a conference set in my hometown of Toronto, I sent several employees down to a big chain four-star hotel located in the heart of the financial district where the attendees were staying. Their job was to direct the attendees towards the evening’s reception venue a dozen or so blocks away. When we all converged, I asked one of my team members, “What did you think of the hotel?” Although it may not seem significant to the layman, his response shocked me. “It was just a hotel,” he said, shrugging his shoulders with a blasé tone. Just a hotel? He had just spent well over an hour in the lobby interacting with the hotel staff, the conference attendees and the physical space. Was this was the best he could muster? It’s not like this was an economy roadside motel either. This was a swanky downtown hotspot, bustling …

Larry MogelonskyA Sense of Place
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The Ice Storm From Our Office

This is the southwest view from our office here in Toronto just before sunset. It's reminder that even as the ice storm continues to hamper our city and there are still thousands without power, this sea of ice-laden, snowflake trees can nevertheless be a truly beautiful sight.  Our hearts go out to all those without power in their homes. And to everyone we wish you a happy and warm holiday break. 

Jerry GrymekThe Ice Storm From Our Office
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Happy holidays to you and your hotel family

With this blog post debuting just a couple days before Santa does his rounds, it’s the perfect opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a great holiday break overall. I’ve loved writing about various topics in the hospitality industry, and I admire reading and responding to those individuals who leave comments. Let’s all keep up the good work heading into 2014! That said, I have a very important message for you to take to heart. The holidays are a time to spend with your friends, loved ones and relatives. But never forget that you have two families. One pertains to your spouse, parents and children. The other is your hotel family — those you see day after day at work or sometimes at company events. These are the people who, whether you are conscious of it or not, have enriched your life, if only through …

Larry MogelonskyHappy holidays to you and your hotel family
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Optimbuy Website Launch

Optimbuy Consulting LLC. was in need of a new and updated website for their business-to-business services. Optimbuy specializes in supply chain management initiatives, in Foodservice and Hospitality procurement: food, beverages, paper & disposables, cleaning products, smallware and equipment. LMA created a site built in HTML5 with an easy-to-manage content management system on EE2. The new website provides a fully responsive design, user-friendly navigation, and social media integration, all the while being visually attractive.

Jerry GrymekOptimbuy Website Launch
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Distinguish brands to improve guest perception

An integral goal of branding is to establish a precedent with consumers so they know what to expect from your organization prior to a purchase decision. It can be dangerous to meddle with expectations because if you fail to deliver on those assumed promises, you risk alienating guests or turning them off permanently. Branding directly influences average daily rate. For instance, if you are perceived as an ultra-luxury provider, then you can command an ultra-luxury rate, but you better also deliver an ultra-luxury experience. Contrarily, if you are seen as an economy hotel, no consumer will give you the time of day if you are charging 4-star rates. The objective of proper branding is to educate customers on what your property or hotel chain will offer as the baseline of their experiences. From then on, it’s your duty to meet—then surpass—that threshold and never fall behind. This is something that …

Larry MogelonskyDistinguish brands to improve guest perception
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In Vino Veritas Part XVII – The Wines of Scotland

…Also known as Scotch! Now that we are well into the thick of holiday season, instead of talking about wine, I deemed it fitting to discuss this popular gift-giving elixir. Seeing as how scotch is in vogue– along with other whiskey varieties like rye and bourbon – knowing how to stock your bar appropriately can lead to greatly bolstered sales. Here a few considerations to mull over after you pop the top on any brown liquor holiday presents you receive. 1. Typical and Atypical. Just like how every wine list should have at least a few bottles of familiar grapes like Merlot and Chardonnay, your whiskey menu should likewise contain several commonplace brands so that neophytes aren’t intimidated. Once you have this down pat, branch away from Johnny Walker and Glenfiddich by stocking some of the more niche and obscure brands to appease genuine scotch aficionados. 2. Full Frontal. When …

Larry MogelonskyIn Vino Veritas Part XVII – The Wines of Scotland
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Florida for Foodies

VISIT FLORIDA and LMA Communications inc., teamed up to arrange a medIa trip under the theme of 'Florida for Foodies' from 15 – 19 November, 2013. The areas visited were Fort Lauderdale (or now know as Fork Lauderdale), The Palm Beaches and Delray Beach each representing a focal Epicurean experience, with Floridian culinary creativity.  The media group were treated to: cooking demonstrations, tastings, behind the scene tours, interviews with award-winning chefs, seminars on local food production, plus visits to urban farms.  Each destination showcased authentic farm to table Floridian Food, plus key award-winning chefs/sommeliers. The press trip included five leading Canadian media being representatives from The National Post, Travel Industry Today, Style at Home, Canadian Gardening, XTRA, Canadian World Traveller, and Forever Young.  All returned appreciative of Florida's award-winning chefs and Epicurean delights.

Jerry GrymekFlorida for Foodies
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Free WiFi: Do the Math

This past weekend was a statutory holiday up here in Canada, affording me some extra time to get caught up with industry periodicals, surfing the web and general reading. A subject line that caught my eye read: “Free WiFi, This Topic Again?” In great detail, a techno-centric article discussed bandwidth requirements for the average hotel, providing several interesting forecasts and recommendations. The article correctly brought attention to the fact that the digital experience for a consumer includes the ability to seamlessly and simultaneously interconnect their laptop, tablet and smartphone. This means that with a couple in a room you could have six devices. Add kids and you’re facing the potential for 10 devices. Then in the same editorial, I read an article released by Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. The piece correlated TripAdvisor rankings with market share. While not getting into the specifics, there was a direct and immediate …

Larry MogelonskyFree WiFi: Do the Math