Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Leutwyler

Ric Leutwyler

CEO, EventSpark

Founder. Servant Leader. Innovation Enthusiast. Ric Leutwyler is someone who has worn many hats - and he wouldn't have it any other way.

Mr. Leutwyler is passionate about making a difference and tapping into the full potential of the people around him. From small cubicles to corner offices, the phrase - “Leadership is Action, Not Position” - has always been a part of his workspace and his leadership style.

Much of his time is focused on strategy, innovation and the engagement of team members, customers and partners in finding new ways to create lasting value. Extensive experience with technology firms like AT&T, Pegasus Solutions, SkyTouch Technology and EventSpark, combined with more than 20 years of leadership roles within Cendant (Wyndham Worldwide), Best Western and Utell Hotels & Resorts provides him with a deep understanding of the technology needs of the hospitality industry. The opportunity to travel and work abroad in more than 30 countries has created an understanding of the complexities and benefits of operating from a global perspective.

Mr. Leutwyler has served on the board of several philanthropic organizations including his current role as board member for Orchard: Africa. To support social good on a broad level, he recently founded Philanthropegie - an organization dedicated to helping individuals, organizations and nonprofits achieve their philanthropic goals.

Mr. Leutwyler can be contacted at 602-723-0019 or ric.leutwyler@gmail.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.