Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gelfand

James Gelfand

Director of Sales & Marketing, Turnberry Isle Miami

James Gelfand is Director of Sales & Marketing for Turnberry Isle Miami, with over 30 years of industry experience; he is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of sales for the 408-room resort. As Director of Sales & Marketing he is involved in developing new business opportunities and working directly with all revenue generating departments. He has been instrumental in driving innovative programming and tasked with upholding and enhancing the property's longstanding legacy in southern Florida. Prior to assuming his new role with Turnberry Isle Miami, Mr. Gelfand held the Director of Sales & Marketing position at The Westin Copley Place, where he was influential in the property's transition to becoming part of Starwood Hotels of Boston's Metro Market Sales Force. He guided and directed revenue management and hotel performance at the property to achieve a dramatic increase in sales and stable revenue growth. Mr. Gelfand's 11-year career with Starwood Resorts and Hotels also includes serving as Director of Sales at both The Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla., and The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla. He also served as Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Revenue Development at the prestigious PGA National Resort & Spa. During his time at the resort he was the key architect in rebranding and reintroducing the resort to both local and national markets through integrated marketing and advertising initiatives. Mr. Gelfand assisted with creating new sales deployment territories and enhanced sales across multiple facets of the resort. Mr. Gelfand graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Hotel/Restaurant and Travel Management.

Mr. Gelfand can be contacted at 786-279-6521 or jgelfand@turnberryislemiami.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.