Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Earwaker

Steve Earwaker

Vice President, Medallia, Inc.

Steve Earwaker is Vice President and a member of the executive team at Medallia, Inc., a Customer Experience Management (CEM) provider headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. An expert in CEM solutions, he has overseen the development of Medallia's customer experience measurement and management solutions in hospitality, financial services and business-to-business. Recently, he has been leading the company's global expansion efforts. Over the past decade, Mr. Earwaker has worked with many of the global top-ten hotel companies, helping them design, deploy and manage customer experience measurement and loyalty tracking systems. His background in enterprise software, statistical analysis and advanced marketing research solutions has provided additional value in developing these programs. Mr. Earwaker has a unique ability to simplify and apply customer insights to address strategic business problems, and years of experience applying this knowledge to bring value to leading global brands. He also led the design and development of Medallia's competitive tracking for the hotel industry, the Consumer Hotel Usage and Behaviors product offering. This continuous tracking program follows the consumer usage and loyalty of 80 competitive hotel brands and offers on-demand analysis and insights. Mr. Earwaker has a unique combination of skills and experience: a strong academic and operational foundation in consumer research, two decades of experience applying that knowledge commercially, and an understanding of how to leverage technology to improve customer loyalty and drive bottom-line ROI. Prior to Medallia, Mr. Earwaker held leadership positions at several enterprise software and consumer research companies, where he developed large customer satisfaction and loyalty tracking programs for Fortune 100 clients in automotive and financial services industries. An early adopter of online research techniques, he pioneered the implementation of online customer satisfaction research, online conjoint/pricing, online product concept testing, and online market segmentation research. Mr. Earwaker is a certified customer experience management professional (GCEM certification), a certified market research professional (CMRP designation), and a formally trained survey researcher. He holds a Masters degree in Statistics from the University of Waterloo.

Mr. Earwaker can be contacted at 650-321-3000 or info@medallia.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.