Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Heckaman

David Heckaman

Vice President of Technology Development, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

David Heckaman has been engaged in the technology and hospitality industries for the past 20 years. He is able to leverage his extensive operational experience to remain focused on the hotel guest and the staff that have to service them. Mr. Heckaman earned his undergraduate degree in Hotel Management and Development from the University of Central Florida. His early operational career had taken through the hotel operational management path. He had worked for Guest Quarters, DoubleTree and independent properties in these roles. Mr. Heckaman's technology path started with Storemont Trice Hotels where he was a regional technology manager and participated in hotel development and project management of large technology deployments. He later joined Crestline Capital in Bethesda, MD to assist in the creation of Crestline Hotels & Resorts and the interconnection of newly acquired properties and deployment of back-office systems. In 2001, Mr. Heckaman joined Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to lead the technology development aspect of their North American flagship property in New York City. The development of this property placed Mandarin Oriental as a clear international leader in the area of lodging technology. There were numerous technologies that were presented to the world for the first-time when the Mandarin Oriental, New York opened in November of 2003. The list of these technologies that were successfully deployed include some of the following highlights: - Fully Converged IP Network - Full VoIP PBX including VoWiFi - High-Definition Video Distribution - Stored and Broadcast Content - Multi-Carrier Broad-Frequency Distributed Antenna System (DAS) - WiFi Distribution over DAS - Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Television Deployment - Dedicated fiber-optic broadcast cabling infrastructure Mr. Heckaman has held his current position with Mandarin Oriental since 2005. In this role he oversees new hotel development, new technology direction and physical infrastructures. The development projects that have occurred under his watch include the following: - Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC - Mandarin Oriental, Riviera Maya - Mandarin Oriental, Boston - Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas at CityCenter - Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona - Mandarin Oriental, Paris Mr. Heckaman also is the Principal Consultant of Heckaman Group, LLC which is a consulting company created to provide technology guidance, project review and vision clarity to technology vendors as well as lodging operators. Mr. Heckaman also is the co-owner of Structurewide, LLC that operates as a low-voltage engineering and design firm serving primarily North and South Carolina. He has been a charter member of Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) trade organization. He currently co-chairs the HTNG Infrastructure and Device Forum. Mr. Heckaman has held the following certifications Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA)

Mr. Heckaman can be contacted at 803-627-8886 or dheckaman@mohg.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.