Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hirko

Rhett Hirko

Executive Director, Preferred Hotels and Resorts

Rhett Hirko serves as Executive Director of Revenue Account Management for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, responsible for supporting the revenue activities across all of the company's member hotels in the Americas and working directly with Sabre to support the reservation needs for all member hotels globally. A Certified Revenue Management Executive, Mr. Hirko has practiced revenue management for more than 20 years, spending the majority of his time in various roles with Hyatt. He designed and implemented the single-image inventory reservations process for Hyatt Hotels Corporation in North America and oversaw revenue management in a regional capacity for seven years. For the next 14 years, he worked with Hyatt International where he designed both the CRS-RM interface and the RM training program and directed the RM process. From there, he was transferred to Zurich to head revenue management for all Hyatt hotels in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, a position he held for the two years prior to joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Hirko received his B.A. in Business, with a major in Hotel & Restaurant Management, from Michigan State University. He lives in the Chicago area with his spouse and two dogs and enjoys spending his spare time running or cheering for his alma mater, Michigan State.

Please visit www.preferredhotels.com for more information.

Mr. Hirko can be contacted at 312-542-9245 or rhirko@preferredhotels.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.