Beautifully multicolored decorated catering banquet table with different food snacks and appetizers with sandwich, caviar, fresh fruits on corporate party event or wedding celebration.

No-Holds-Barred Catering

Events that showcase on-property chefs are not on every hotelier’s calendar, most likely because they typically deliver an expense line well above operating revenues. However, they provide significant value in several indirect ways. First, events like this allow a hotel to demonstrate unbridled culinary excellence. Next, they allow your chefs to demonstrate creativity. Thirdly, they afford your public relations team with great fodder for continued media interest. There’s a powerful fourth attribute that I’ll get to in a moment. Oh, and did I also mention that these events can be a lot of fun? This past July, I had the opportunity to attend the Park City Food & Wine Classic in scorching hot Utah. While there, we attended several wine seminars and dinners, with the signature launch event held at Montage Deer Valley, an ultraluxury property nearby. The 400- attendee, outdoor terrace affair was comprised of a series of four …

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HITEC 2017: A Show About Integration

For those who did not attend the 2017 edition of HITEC, held in Toronto this time around, you may be wondering what you missed. Frankly, the same question may be posed by those who attended as well! Putting aside the exceptional educational seminars, the exhibition show floor now resembles a miniature version of the world’s largest technology trade fair, the annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas each January. Some of the HITEC supplier booths have even gone to great lengths to replicate hotel facilities in order to elicit the same levels of customer excitement generated at CES. Most also have ample space for lively conversations and intimate customer presentations. Spending as much as is humanly possible of 15 hours of allotted open time on the actual exhibit floor, I ended up speaking with dozens of vendors. Walking every aisle, I attempted to absorb all the various product and …

lmaadminHITEC 2017: A Show About Integration

Who Should Go To Hospitality Tradeshows?

Hotel tradeshows and conventions are an excellent opportunity to keep pace with all the latest products, news and concepts in our ever-evolving industry. There are many such events happening on a year-round timetable and all around the world, so much so that you could hypothetically spend every week in another city and at another hospitality conference or symposium. Practically, though, you hardly have the time to attend more than five of these events each year, and a ‘divide and conquer’ approach would work even better. That is, by sending various associates and senior executive team members in your place, the learnings and career development is spread across the entirety of your team so that you can all grow together as a pseudo-familial and highly ingenuous unit. And in the modern workplace, team engagement and ongoing training is a tremendous factor towards keeping your brightest employees from jumping ship, thus leaving …

lmaadminWho Should Go To Hospitality Tradeshows?
Festive place setting for Valentines day

Valentine’s Day Only A Month Away

For hotel directors of sales and marketing, Valentine’s Day is less about romance or showing one’s affection and more about delivering some semblance of occupancy during the traditionally low-revenue winter months (outside of the ‘sun destinations’). Most plans are ideated and drawn out in broad strokes in late fall or prior to the holiday season, with tactical execution beginning in earnest once all the holiday season hoopla dies down in the first week of January. With Valentine’s Day falling a month and a day from this writing, if you haven’t already started acting on your plan, realistically you are only two weeks behind most of your competitors, so there’s still time to attract guests. Below are some ideas to help you do just that. And even if you have kicked your Valentine’s plans into gear, perhaps there’s one that you can tack on to enhance your offerings. 1. Valentine’s Day …

lmaadminValentine’s Day Only A Month Away
Digital marketing consultant doing business on internet and social networks

The Best of HiTec 2016

Late June in New Orleans, Louisiana. Outside is sweltering, but the air conditioning is on full blast to cool the convention center as throngs of eager hoteliers walk the aisles to learn about the latest and greatest in hospitality technology. While the evenings would find my stomach hungering for crayfish remoulade and Cajun-spiced gumbo, my two days at the eponymous tradeshow were a flurry of amazing new devices and software that can help hotels solve their business needs. Unlike previous years where I came in with fresh eyes, this time I attacked HiTec with a singular purpose. I wanted to know specifically how each product or company would help alleviate problems associated with OTA dependency and the proliferation of alternate lodging providers. Several dozen interviews later, I am eager to share six companies with you that I see as viable candidates for helping you drive online direct bookings and improving …

lmaadminThe Best of HiTec 2016

HITEC 2015: The Trends In Focus

HITEC 2015 – the premier North American hotel technology show – has come and gone. Much has already been said about the exhibitors and their products in the immediate aftermath of this June-set convention. But now that it’s September and the summer is in the rearview mirror, it’s time for a dutiful reminder of all of the ways in which the latest trends and innovations will continue to change how we help travelers and earn a buck in the process. Exhibitors, attendees, media, small booths, large booths, two-story booths, tablet kiosks, LCD monitors, live demonstrations, handouts, swag bags and an endless flow of fresh coffee – all these and more coalescing to represent what the next five years will look like for our industry. Emerging onto the showroom floor as the opening bell rings, a vigorous positivity is immediately palpable. Every vendor is hungry for sales, funding, new product insights …

lmaadminHITEC 2015: The Trends In Focus
CPR sign on virtual screen - health care & medical concept

When Hoteliers Become Heroes

Don’t dismiss this so hastily; it could happen to you. On the unusually warm spring night at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania, Security Supervisor Ruben Hernandez had just begun his shift when he received an urgent call for help. The call was for an unconscious male, not breathing and not showing a pulse. Ruben immediately removed the onsite automated external defibrillator (AED) from its box and responded to the location. Upon arrival, he and his fellow Security Officer, Danny Sandoval, began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). After numerous CPR attempts failed to revive the guest, Ruben made the decision to activate the AED and follow the steps given to him by the apparatus and from his training. After three attempts with the AED, Ruben was able to resuscitate the guest and stabilize him until the medics arrived. The guest then went into recovery at a hospital where he received a pacemaker. For …

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HITEC 2015: A New Hope

With a new Star Wars movie opening this Christmas, it seems only fitting that we borrow the original 1977 film’s subtitle to describe the state of affairs at this year’s HITEC in Austin, Texas. The weather outside was sweltering with rolling thunderstorms, sheets of rain and tornado warnings, yet the mood inside the Austin Convention Center has never been brighter. Exhibitors were optimistic and enthusiastic while the throngs of attendees were eager to learn about how the new products only display will not only increase a property’s bottom line but also improve the overall travel experience for guests. Yes, competition is fierce in the technology sector, but the general undertone on the tradeshow floor was collegial, collaborative and eternally hopeful. We all know that there are many external forces working to seismically shift how accommodations are purchased by consumers. And not all of these influencers are good news for hotels …

lmaadminHITEC 2015: A New Hope

HITEC 2015: Lessons for Your Outbound E-Marketing Efforts

Attending HITEC as a member of the press, I was bombarded with e-blasts and emails from vendor representatives vying for me to drop by their booths or set up a meeting. All together, I received close to five hundred emails in the month leading up to and during the week that was the tradeshow. That’s a lot to read – too much in fact for someone who also has a full-time job outside of his hospitality writing. As such, most of these emails received only a cursory glance and were summarily dispatched via the DELETE button. But herein lies a very powerful lesson. When someone is harried, stressed and managing multiple projects at once (as I’m sure you all are if you are doing your jobs rights!), you just don’t have time for much else. So, how do you get a stranger’s attention in an email, even if the call …

lmaadminHITEC 2015: Lessons for Your Outbound E-Marketing Efforts

Recapping HITEC 2015

Last month’s HITEC tradeshow was a revelation – not so much that every exhibitor or presenter was right on the leading edge, but just the fact that for the first time in a long while, there was so much optimism on the future of the hospitality industry. Putting aside most of the excellent educational seminars, I wanted to share with you some of the broad themes and big issues that the exhibitors addressed. As well, I would like to share with you some of the more interesting products/services presented. The sophistication of data manipulation and application was a definitive core theme of the show. Big Data, a buzz term for several years already, now has immediate relevance to the hotelier. Most companies operating in this space use the expanse of digital metrics to augment business intelligence or to develop predictive modeling software with a number of subsequent functions – for …

lmaadminRecapping HITEC 2015