Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson

Senior Public Relations & Marketing Manager, American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute

Elizabeth M. Johnson is senior public relations & marketing manager for the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI). She has worked for the Educational Institute for 15 years in a variety of communications, public relations, and marketing roles. During that time, she has written numerous articles about hospitality training, education, and professional certification for several hospitality trade publications. Ms. Johnson is the co-author (with Bridgette Redman) of two Educational Institute textbooks Spa: A Comprehensive Introduction and Retail Management for Spas, and contributed to the development of the Supervisory Skill Builders for the Spa Industry workbook series. Ms. Johnson was also a contributing writer for the Educational Institute's case study series. More recently, she has become involved in the Institute's social media and electronic marketing, and also assisted with the development of one of EI's new online components for hospitality management textbooks—providing voice-over narration for the Managing Housekeeping Operations online component. Ms. Johnson holds a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree in communications from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Ms. Johnson can be contacted at 517-318-2359 or EJohnson@ahla.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.