Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hopton-Jones

Greg Hopton-Jones

Director of Sales, Hotel Indigo Tuscaloosa Downtown

Greg Hopton-Jones was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and entered active duty with the United States Air force after high school. Mr. Hopton-Jones was stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ with the 354th Fighter Squadron where he had the opportunity to visit multiple locations in Europe and the Middle East sparking his interest in travel before coming back to Alabama to attend the University of Alabama. He completed his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a major in Marketing. Mr. Hopton-Jones started his career in sales in the mortgage industry promoting wholesale mortgage products to credit unions and regional banks in the southeast before accepting an opportunity with Marriott International. As an Account Executive with Marriott, he was responsible for developing group business from multiple federal and state government agencies across the state of Alabama. He was routinely recognized within Marriott for outstanding marketing success and a recipient of Marriott's Golden Circle Award. Mr. Hopton-Jones eventually served as the group sales manager at Hilton Birmingham where he was directly responsible for top-line group revenue production for the hotel and routinely recognized as a 'Top Achiever' within his organization. Mr. Hopton-Jones was subsequently promoted to his current position as the Director of Sales for Hotel Indigo Tuscaloosa Downtown, a new 91 key boutique hotel in the vibrant downtown Tuscaloosa scene. Mr. Hopton-Jones currently lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife and two children and enjoys spending time and traveling with his family, SEC college football, and any opportunity to see live music.

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

Mr. Hopton-Jones can be contacted at 205-535-3980 or greg.hoptonjones@interstatehotels.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.