Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gancos

James Gancos

Chief Executive Officer & Founder, The Guestbook

James Gancos is a seasoned hotel executive and innovator in the revenue management, distribution, and loyalty disciplines. He has been moderator, panelist, and presenter at countless industry events, including the Direct Booking Summit, Revenue Strategy Summit, Eye for Travel, Independent Lodging Congress, and Revenue Optimization Conference.

Mr. Gancos is currently CEO & Founder of The Guestbook - an holistic direct booking conversion, loyalty, and distribution platform for over 600 hotels that utilizes cash rewards to drive meaningful business results. Mr. Gancos and his team at The Guestbook recently launched a sister service, Gopher, that works for any hotel. Gopher is a Chrome extension that pops up on major OTAs with a link to the respective hotel's own booking engine with a “guaranteed better deal” through a combination of rate and cash rewards.

Prior to founding The Guestbook, Mr. Gancos held General Manager positions at the W Los Angeles, W Istanbul, and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas as well as Hotel Manager positions at the Sheraton Seattle and Sheraton Kauai Resort in Hawaii.  In addition, he served as North America Director of Operations for Starwood for three years working directly for the divisional President on all aspects of division management.  He has served on the board of the Hotel Association of Los Angeles and represented hotels for multiple corporate IT, revenue management, and loyalty projects.

Prior to Starwood, Mr. Gancos worked as a Senior Consultant for Ernst & Young specializing in business process reengineering and IT-enablement projects for fortune 500 companies across multiple industries. 

Mr. Gancos graduated Cum Laude from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.  

 


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

Mr. Gancos can be contacted at 323-538-0002 or james@theguestbook.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.