Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hudson

Michael Hudson

Senior Vice President Hotel Analytics Division, Groups 360

Michael Hudson, CRME, MBA, is a former Walt Disney Imagineer with more than 20 years experience in engineering design, data analysis and user-experience development. Throughout his career at Disney, he helped open two theme parks and numerous ride systems across both coasts. He championed using data visualization and predictive analytics to improve ride reliability. In 2006, he was recruited by Gaylord Entertainment to graft his Disney experience onto hotel development. He created innovative retail and sports bar experiences for hotel guests and brokered strategic partnerships with the MLB and The Smithsonian. From there, he transitioned to help form a new team centralizing revenue management and yield strategies for the brand. Based on experiences yielding group business during the 2009 downturn, Mr. Hudson then founded Grouponomics to help bring event-performance transparency to the Sales and Revenue Management teams within the Hotel Industry. He focused on creating an application that unlocks data collecting digital cobwebs in CRM systems/spreadsheets. Grouponomics provides Sales, Revenue Management, Hotel Executives and Asset Managers a summarized view of Group business to contract displayed in easy to grasp Key Performance Indicators and communicated with the best practices in modern data visualization. If you can't measure it, you can't change it. After successfully growing for five years, Grouponomics was acquired by Nashville based, Groups360 in 2015. Mr. Hudson joined Groups360 as Head of Strategy, Hotel Analytics Division. Mr. Hudson remains dedicated to continuing to deliver transparency to both sides of the Hotel/Meeting Planner equation. When data is transformed from an ugly tabular system to a format that tells a story, that's when you truly unlock the potential of a collaborative sales process. Effective communication only happens when data is set free; Knowledge for both sides creates efficiency and maximizes profits for all.

Please visit http://www.groups360.com for more information.

Mr. Hudson can be contacted at 615-669-6338 or michael.hudson@groups360.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.