Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chouinard

Keith Chouinard

Director of Sales & Marketing, Hotel Viking

As Director of Sales & Marketing for Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island, Keith Chouinard is responsible for the hotel's sales and marketing efforts including promotions, strategic partnerships, and new business development. Mr. Chouinard joined Hotel Viking in December 2015, one month prior to the historic hotel's renovations and six months before the hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary. Since joining the team, Mr. Chouinard has developed strategic partnerships with local sporting events including the Newport International Polo Series; retail outlets such as Marc Allen Clothiers; and welcomed more than 20 online, print and broadcast media guests to the landmark hotel. Mr. Chouinard's career began in high school when he worked as a banquet server at Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA. While attending University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he quickly moved up to banquet manager. After earning his degree in restaurant and travel administration, he joined Hyatt Regency in Lake Tahoe. Mr. Chouinard then served as director of sales with the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, and then headed back East to take the role as Director of Business Development for Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Cape Cod, MA. Prior to joining Hotel Viking, Mr. Chouinard was affiliated with the Hyatt Regency Newport where he significantly increased groups business resulting in a nomination for Director of Sales of the Year for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts nationwide. Mr. Chouinard earned the 2015 Director of Sales of the Year Award from Davidson Hotels & Resorts, the company that owns the Hyatt property in Newport. Mr. Chouinard, who serves on the Board of Discover Newport, brings more than 15 years of experience in hospitality sales to the Hotel Viking team.

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

Mr. Chouinard can be contacted at 401-847-3300 or kchouinard@hotelviking.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.