Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Proulx

Chris Proulx

Chief Executive Officer, eCornell

Chris Proulx is the Chief Executive Officer of eCornell. Mr. Proulx became CEO in 2004 after previously serving as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Program Management. Mr. Proulx plays a central role in setting the strategic direction of eCornell. Through close collaboration with senior leadership and faculty at Cornell, heidentifies growth opportunities in online education for the University. Mr. Proulx is responsible for identifying potential new products, and working directly with the faculty and administration of the Schools and Colleges of Cornell University to produce and deliver eCornell's online programs. Mr. Proulx is a frequent panelist and technical advisor to online education conferences and industry events, acting as liaison for Cornell University. He is a member of the American Society for Training and Development. He is also a guest columnist for several online hospitality publications. Mr. Proulx's background is in the hospitality industry where he was an operations manager and training resource for Discovery Zone, Inc. and ARAMARK Corporation. His recent focus has been on new and social media and their roles in the rapidly changing social learning environment. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

Mr. Proulx can be contacted at 607-330-3265 or cmp43@cornell.edu

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.