Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Linehan

Bill Linehan

Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Lion Hotels Corporation

Bill Linehan joined RLH Corporation in February 2014 as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. With him leading a national award-winning marketing team, the company has since launched an upscale brand, Hotel RL, and re-launched branding for Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, GuestHouse International and Settle Inn. In 2015, RLHC introduced Hello Rewards, an innovative guest recognition program that is disruptive to traditional loyalty schemes, yet more relevant to changing consumer dynamics; less costly and more rewarding with instant gratification. Hello Rewards grew by 50 percent in 2016, driving RevPar growth for RLH Corporation properties. Mr. Linehan also released RevPak, a guest delivery program of industry-leading technologies and integrations that helps optimize revenues through dynamic pricing, content management, CRM strategies, MA and digital marketing techniques. He has continued to develop new omni-channel marketing strategies consistently outperforming industry averages. Mr. Linehan has more than 25 years of hospitality experience, most recently as Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director at Richfield Hospitality and Sceptre Hospitality Resources, where he led the sales, marketing and resource management activities surrounding the company's portfolio of hotels and resorts. At Sceptre, Mr. Linehan repositioned the company to become a global leader of hotel revenue technologies. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Global Marketing for InterContinental Hotels Group, where he established the marketing to re-launch seven IHG brands to the development community. Mr. Linehan also previously served as Global Vice President of Marketing, Brand Alignment and Partnerships for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and held sales and marketing positions with both Hyatt and Sheraton.

Please visit www.redlion.com for more information.

Mr. Linehan can be contacted at 509-777-6393 or bill.linehan@redlion.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.