Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Burger

Ray Burger

Founder & President, Pineapple Hospitality

Ray Burger, Founder and President of Pineapple Hospitality Inc., celebrates his 40+ years of experience in hospitality. His 20+ year hotel management career yielded increased revenues, award winning service, and indispensable insight into hotel operations, sales and marketing. Mr. Burger has provided and promoted sustainability solutions for the hospitality industry since 1994. Through Pineapple Hospitality, he founded the industry's first Green Hospitality Conference (2007). He also launched EcoRooms.com, GreenerHotels.com and the comprehensive smoke-free lodging directory FreshStay.com. His principled approach to greener products, programs and services relies on sustainability, profitability, and a commitment to exceeding guest expectations. Always a believer in the green business community, Ray has partnered with several State and Local Green Lodging programs including Boston Green Tourism, PhilaGreen Hospitality Association, the Green Meeting Industry Council, and Energy Star. Mr. Burger's many certifications and awards include Master Hotel Supplier and Certified Hotel Administrator. He is a frequent speaker and writer regarding Sustainability topics pertaining to Hospitality. He authored the EcoSpeak blog for a few years and he is a frequent contributor for Hospitality related publications. Mr. Burger holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Missouri State University and enjoys spending time in and around America's National and State Parks, Trails and Rivers.

Mr. Burger can be contacted at 636-922-2285 or ray@pineapplehospitality.net

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.