Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is a specialty organization that serves sales, marketing, and revenue optimization professionals who work in the hotel industry, which has been particularly hard-hit by coronavirus, resulting in widespread property closings, furloughs, and layoffs. And while HSMAI convenes Executive Roundtable programs throughout the year that bring together senior-level member constituencies — hotel chief sales, marketing, revenue, digital, and loyalty officers — for candid discussions of emerging trends and priority issues such as COVID-19, the organization has suspended all in-person events for the duration of the crisis.
Realizing the communities of expertise that the Executive Roundtables harness are more important than ever, HSMAI hosted eight Virtual Executive Roundtable programs over the course of two weeks. Each one allowed up to two dozen attendees to participate in live online polling and face-to-face conversations specific to their area of expertise. In addition to providing a valuable experience for attendees, the programs fueled a variety of content that HSMAI has shared through its weekly newsletter and on social media and collected on its Global Coronavirus Resources page.
“Executive Roundtables are one of HSMAI’s signature programs, and using them to help our members and our industry respond to COVID-19 was really a no-brainer” said MCI USA talent Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, who serves as HSMAI’s president and CEO. “It’s less important how we bring our communities together than that we bring them together.”