Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Edwards

Ken Edwards

Owner and CEO, HMBookstore and Tristar Hotel Group

Ken Edwards is the Owner and CEO of HMBookstore.com and Tristar Hotel Group, where he leads strategic vision and directly oversees core business functions to ensure positive corporate performance. With over 25 years in the hotel industry developing, acquiring and providing management to properties throughout the U.S., Mr. Edwards has turned his decades of experience into innovative business initiatives leading to products and services for the hospitality industry. He speaks nationally on topics of expertise, including revenue management, cash management, multi-property management, sales and marketing, and food and beverage. While owning and operating properties, and providing training to hotel employees, Mr. Edwards recognized an unfulfilled need for effective employee training solutions in all areas of hospitality and hotel operations, for enhancing employee retention, managing costs, increasing revenue, and better customer service. As a result, he founded HMBookstore, an online Learning Management System (LMS) platform used worldwide that provides over 150 online educational training courses for hotel owners and operators, individuals pursuing a career in the hospitality industry, as well hospitality industry professionals looking to enhance their skills. Mr. Edwards received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; a nationally recognized hospitality university. His is also a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, continuing education in the Food and Beverage field. Throughout his career, Mr. Edwards has owned 18 hotels and has been honored with Hotel of the Year by Radisson McDowell. He is a past Board of Director for IHG Hotel Owners, and has served on IHG Brand Committees as Direct Sales Committee-Chairman, Holiday Inn Committee and IHG Frequent Travel Committee-Priority Club.

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

Mr. Edwards can be contacted at 602-453-9901 or keunlv@aol.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.