Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Fruend

Melissa Fruend

Partner, Global Solutions, LoyaltyOne

Melissa Fruend has over 20 years of expertise in leading the development of consumer loyalty and CRM strategy solutions with specific emphasis on the research and strategies for Millennials. As a Partner at Global Solutions, she is responsible for the Loyalty and CRM Strategic Consulting focus in our practice. She manages a team of consultants and business analysts who offer innovative loyalty strategies to improve customer engagement through increased customer identification that impacts revenues for brands. Industry expertise includes High Frequency Retail, Specialty Retail, Quick Service Restaurant, Grocery, Travel and Hospitality, Entertainment and Financial Services. Recent client relationships include Domino's Pizza, Abercrombie & Fitch, Caribou Coffee, Darden Giant Eagle, E-Bay, PetSmart, Alaska Airlines, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Tim Horton's, and Darden Restaurants. Ms. Fruend has held leadership positions with other marketing leaders such as Maritz Loyalty Marketing, DDB and CrowdTwist, in addition to her five + years at LoyaltyOne. Her extensive loyalty background coupled with comprehensive client relationship skills insures brands are delivered quality loyalty expertise based in analytics. In addition to her LoyaltyOne clientele, Ms. Fruend has had the pleasure of working on both consumer and business to business projects with many Fortune 500 companies including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Kimberly Clark, Village Roadshow and Walgreens. A frequent contributor on the topics of loyalty and CRM, Ms. Fruend can be found most recently in publications such as The Chicago Tribune, London Times via Raconteur, Direct Marketing News, and Colloquy. Her next speaking engagement will be at the CRMC 2017 conference in Chicago this June.

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

Ms. Fruend can be contacted at 416-552-4513 or mfruend@loyalty.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.