Your suspicions about social media are true. Now what?

This article and corresponding research is focused on lodging establishments, but the concept is universal to business. The big question is often, can social media be a valid push or is it a pull activity? The answer is yes to both push and pull.push pull one_on_one_challenge_300_clr_8069

Pushing information out is, it seems, the most popular social media activity. We push information out to increase awareness of products and services. Linkages to resulting ADR and RevPAR (aka revenue to non-hotelier readers) are often scant, primarily due to the lack of strategy driving the pushing. This can be likened to talking but not being quiet enough to listen, or, even asking if the listener understood what you were saying. The sweetest sound to anyone is that of their own voice, so why should social media talk be any different?

Listening, and sometimes even asking the right questions via social media channels can help each of us (in ANY business) gain insight into what features and benefits entice potential customers and drive them to purchase. Using social media strategically as part of a comprehensive plan can increase sales to our current market AND help us to explore new markets.

The article, Impact on Social Media on Lodging Performance Research, from Chris Anderson, The Center for Hospitality Research, Cornell University provides insight into how to make this happen. Unsure how to create a strategic social media plan? A knowledgeable social media strategist can help.

Very much part of the same strategy is the application of reward programs. Voorhees, McCall, and Carroll, from the Center for Hospitality Research, Cornell University, address this issue with great information in their report, Assessing the Benefits of Reward Programs.

Let’s keep this conversation going — use the comment block below to add your voice.
We can also meet on LinkedIn.

As the Pendulum Swings

Hotel and resort developers are watching the mortgage industry with a glint in their eye. The good news is that glint appears to be powered by $ signs. Development of new properties depends on alignment of a number of factors. Chief among those factors are market and money. Is your resume ready for the coming shift?
The shortfall of inventory, particularly in meeting-event space square footage, is becoming restrictive. There is a lot to be said for competition and it’s really true that when the water rises, all ships float. But where will new properties come from to meet the growing need? Over the past few years the mortgage industry has championed developers focused on rehabilitation of existing properties with greatly reduced down payment requirements, while the typical new build required 40% down. As a result, new facilities have been built only in markets proven to be a “sure thing” with deep equity pockets.

The Wall Street Journal reports a shrinking call for new mortgage money. That has lenders and private insurers looking for new products and approving more loans with lower down payments. (Andriotis, 2014) As further evidence the pendulum is swinging, consider Ivar Yuste’s recent Hotels post about the upswing of resort development. (Yuste, 2014) Yuste, partner of PHG Hotels and Resorts in Madrid, cites the surge in feasibility study requests for leisure destinations and the fact that construction-cost levels are making sense again. These are indeed the first steps of development and indicate that the appetite for risk is returning.

The energy created by alignment of market and money will surely swing the pendulum. Get ready for a while ride! Is your resume ready?

Works Cited

Andriotis, N. T. (2014, April 19-20). Lenders Ease Mortgage Rules, Chasing New Business. The Wall Street Journal, pp. A1-A2.

Yuste, I. (2014, April 16). New resort activity on the horizon. Retrieved from Hotels: The Magazine of the Worldwide Hotel Industry:


Connect, Renew, and Network with GEL: Global Emerging Leaders – April 25 Deadline for FREE Membership to DCTC Students!

Putting the pieces of your hospitality or meeting-event career together is a big task that takes an entire community — the GEL Community. If you are a student, the road ahead can look particularly daunting. GEL is that center of excellence for information resources, and connections you’ve been looking for. DCTC students qualify for first year membership FREE. Details here: DCTC GEL Details colored_puzzle_globe_800_clr_13832

If 30 DCTC students join GEL by April 25,2014, GEL will give one lucky student a scholarship to attend the MPI World Education Congress this summer. If 45 students join, two lucky students will be attending the Congress on GEL.

Join me at GEL and at the 2014 WEC. We’re building community and our futures!

Call to Students and Alumni for Great River Gathering

Great River Gathering 1
Dakota County Technical College’s hospitality programs are once again honored to work with the Great River Gathering’s host organization, Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation, to produce this event. The 10th Great River Gathering will be at the Union Depot in Saint Paul on May 8. Reserve your shift now by completing this shift request and faxing it to 952-303-4060 or emailing me ( with your requested shift #, name, email address, and phone #.

2014 great river gathering shift list

This experience rocks a resume and portfolio! Program students and alumni will receive a letter of gratitude from the host organization, electronic photo and collateral sample for your portfolio. SMGT 1161 students will also receive course assignment credit.

Shift confirmations will be transmitted by April 22nd via email. Plan to attend training on April 26th, noon-1:00 p.m. at the Depot Minneapolis Renaissance.

This event is a “who’s who” of Twin Cities VIPs in corporations, government, and entertainment. Visit for more information. Here’s what they have to say about it: Presented by Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation, this annual celebration brings together an influential and diverse group of civic leaders and community members, all of whom share a commitment to the renaissance of Saint Paul and the Mississippi River valley. Be a part of this milestone year for the Great River Gathering as well as well as excitement around the opening of the Green Line with this celebration at Union Depot.

Congratulations 2014 Graduates

Dakota County Technical College Commencement
Friday, May 16, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Grace Church, 9301 Eden Prairie Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Download and share this invitation with your family and friends.

Graduate line-up begins at 6:00 p.m. Enter through doors 1 or 4 and follow the signs. All graduates must be in line by 6:30 p.m. See you there!

For more information, visit the Graduation Newsletter and access directions to Grace Church.

Questions may be directed to Nicole Meulemans, Director of Student Life, or 651-423-8403.