Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Sharp

Jonathan Sharp

Director, Product Quality & Innovation, F&B, Focused Service Brands, Hilton Worldwide

Jonathan Sharp is director of product quality and innovation at Hilton Worldwide, where he oversees food and beverage for the company's focused service brands outside of the Americas. Mr. Sharp is responsible for the development and implementation of food and beverage products and services for Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Hotels throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. With more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Mr. Sharp has played an integral role in adapting Hilton Worldwide's focused service brand F&B offerings to fit the needs of global markets. Prior to joining Hilton in 2011, he served as head of F&B for Travelodge, where he managed a portfolio of 150 hotels. Previously, Mr. Sharp also held the position of area manager of U.K.-based Greenalls Brewery, overseeing operations of 40 bars. A passion for culinary arts, Mr. Sharp also owned and operated an Italian restaurant from 2001-2004. Mr. Sharp studied at Blackburn Catering College in the U.K. where he trained and earned his qualification as a chef.

Mr. Sharp can be contacted at 901-374-6462 or jonathan.sharp@hilton.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.