Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Conran

Tom Conran

Principal, Greenwood Hospitality Group

Tom Conran serves as a Principal of Greenwood Hospitality Group, where he is responsible for strategic investments and third-party hotel management assignments. Mr. Conran has more than 30 years of hospitality experience in the management, finance, and real estate sectors. Prior to Greenwood, Mr. Conran served as Vice President of Business Development for Richfield Hospitality. He expanded the Richfield management platform to include hospitality investments and acquisitions. At Richfield and its predecessor companies, Mr. Conran held several key responsibilities, including sales and marketing, property management transitions, and client relations within the management portfolio. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Conran also served as Vice President of Acquisitions for Regal Hotels International and successfully closed on $300 million of hotel acquisitions, including the Bostonian Hotel, the UN Plaza Hotel New York, the Knickerbocker Chicago, and the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel. Thereafter, Mr. Conran served as Vice President of Acquisitions and Finance for Millennium Hotels, USA with active involvement in the group's investment strategies and renovation programs for their portfolio of 13 upscale full-service hotels. Mr. Conran earned a Bachelor's Degree from Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. Mr. Conran was a founding member of Meetings Planner International in Hartford, CT and he currently serves on the Owners' Advisory Board of Doubletree Hotels.

Mr. Conran can be contacted at 860-648-9040 or tconran@greenwoodhospitality.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.