HSMAI Holds First Hotel Management Company Marketing Executive Roundtable
Top issues were growing revenue in a declining market; staying positive and motivating teams; and managing owner asset manager expectations
Maureen Callahan, vice president of marketing for Destination Hotels & Resorts and a member of HSMAI’s America’s Board, kicked off the discussion with a forecast of industry trends for 2010.
“Members are seeing pockets of success and working harder than ever to achieve them,” said Callahan. “Although most members will end the year 2009 down 16 to 20 percent, some are in a modest growth mode projecting zero to three percent RevPar ‘growth in 2010’”
In a pre-roundtable survey, attendees identified the three top issues currently impacting their companies: growing revenue in a declining market; staying positive and motivating teams; and managing owner asset manager expectations. These three issues formed the basis of the roundtable discussion, with attendees sharing key learnings and case studies about how they addressed these concerns.
Brian Tkac, vice president of marketing and revenue at Hostmark, shared a case study on how the company doubled its annual spend in the Internet marketing space, developing a comprehensive strategy that netted a 25 percent return on investment in a down economy.
The discussion led to ideas agreed upon by the group, including:
- Developing packages that provide high value concessions
- Shopping salespeople and training them on specifically what is uncovered
- Adding cross-company referral systems and ad hoc incentive programs
- Redeploying sales team into growth areas and emerging markets.
Callahan also talked about staying positive and motivating team members, focusing on reigniting recession-battered morale.
“In order to ‘transcend in 2010’ it is important to think positive and put your game face on,” said Callahan. “Keep clear, consistent and constant communication to and from all levels of management and make sure to keep sales staff trained on new ideas and approaches to selling.”
The group agreed that helping teams get out of the office, reinforcing the positives, and being visionary were keys to leading their teams through the uncertain economic climate.
The entire group discussed best practices for educating owners and managing owner expectations, including agreeing on benchmarks for success and making sure expectations are aligned from the beginning. In addition, the executives agreed that educating owners on their jobs as marketers was an area where they all should excel.
Nearly 200 hotels were represented by the management companies in attendance. Roundtable participants included:
- Maureen Callahan, Destination Hotels & Resorts
- Joel Carver, CSM Lodging
- Elizabeth Cimino, Growth Properties
- Rose Genovese, Denihan Hospitality
- Mike Pratt, Magnolia Hotels
- Alison Rubin, B.F. Saul Company Hotel Division
- Brian Tkac, Hostmark
- Hector Torres, Capital Hotels & Suites
The roundtable program was sponsored, in part, by Newmarket International.
Phone: +1 404-832-7711
HSMAI is a global organization of sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI leads the way in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry. Operating as a leading voice for both hospitality and for sales, marketing, and revenue management disciplines, HSMAI connects its members with customers. Founded in the United States in 1927, HSMAI is membership organization comprising 5,000 members from 35 countries and chapters worldwide. HSMAI operates regionally around the globe via Regional boards of directors and staff. There are three regions: the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, and a chapter in the Middle East. Each region has geographic chapters and signature programs and services for association members. HSMAI has a Global board which is made up of delegates from each Region.