Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cornell

Robert M. Cornell

Senior Vice President of Development, Preferred Hotels & Resorts

With more than 35 years experience in the hotel, airline and travel industries, Mr. Robert M. Cornell serves as Senior Vice President of Development for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Cornell joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 1994 as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. From 2002 to 2004, he served as Managing Director of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand. A recognized expert in Quality Assurance, he also directs the company's award-winning Global Standards of Excellence™ quality assurance program. In 2006, he was instrumental in the development of Preferred Residences a new luxury residential brand created in partnership with Interval, and, in 2007, he led the acquisition team for Historic Hotels of America. Previously, he had been a Co-Founder and acted as Senior Vice President of the former Sterling Hotels brand. He also spent 12 years with Four Seasons Hotels, LTD, serving as Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Planning, Vice President of Field Marketing and at the property level, Resident Manager of the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel in Seattle and Director of Marketing at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago. Mr. Cornell also held sales, promotion and marketing positions with Swissair and American Express travel. Mr. Cornell received his certificates in Hotelierie as an operations apprentice working at hotels in Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Morocco. He also attended Portland State College in Portland Oregon, The French Institute in New York and more recently earned a Certificate in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago.

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

Mr. Cornell can be contacted at 312-542-9205 or rcornell@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.