Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ferrier

Chris Ferrier

Executive Chef, The National Conference Center

Executive Chef Chris Ferrier joined the team at The National and West Belmont Place in 2015. The property is one of the largest meeting, training and event facilities in the nation located within close proximity to Washington Dulles International Airport and just outside of Washington, DC. Chef Ferrier's background includes experience in high-volume kitchens and 4-star resorts, banquets and fine dining. Most recently, he served as executive chef at The Fairfax at Embassy Row. His resume includes various Hyatt Hotels and resorts, Boar's Head Inn, and the Lodge at Pebble Beach. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. As a property that specializes in hosting meetings, training meetings, trade shows, weddings and special events, food is a significant factor. “Chris shares our mission and vision in working with local farmers to source local food for sustainability, freshness and quality,” Lawson explained. “He has brought our culinary offerings to the new and higher level.” Chef Ferrier is now sourcing from additional local farms for The National and West Belmont Place. This is no ordinary feat given the fact that, at times, there are more than 1500 meals prepared in one day. With new renovations throughout the property, including The National dining room, the Black Olive Bar, and a new Lavazza Coffee shop, it is only fitting that the property also features an expanded culinary program with new catering menus for West Belmont Place and great new menu items at The National. In addition, The National has added a Chef's Table where guests of the property can opt to hold a special dinner for up to 20 people in the kitchen with Chef Ferrier. In recognizing the importance of food to meetings, “We know that food plays an important role in the overall experience of our guests and their meals,” added Lawson. “And we also know the value that food plays in ensuring that meetings, including training meetings, are more efficient and more productive when participants are eating food that effectively fuels their minds.”

Please visit http://www.conferencecenter.com for more information.

Mr. Ferrier can be contacted at 703-729-8000 or sales@conferencecenter.com

Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.