Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Neal

Bob Neal

Principal, Cooper Carry

As a principal in Cooper Carry's Hospitality Studio, Bob Neal has directed the design of hospitality-related projects in the United States, Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

Mr. Neal is particularly focused on the design of upper upscale and luxury properties and specializes in conference and convention hotels, boutique properties and resorts. He has practiced architecture for 39 years, specializing in hotel design since joining Cooper Carry in 1988. His work has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the National Register of Historic Places as well as various other national and local associations for design excellence and urban responsibility.

In additional to the development of Columbia Place in Washington, D.C., Mr. Neal is responsible for leading recent projects including the 1,175-key Washington, D.C. Marriott Marquis Hotel & Convention Center; the 600-key Hilton Cleveland Downtown in Cleveland, Ohio; the 217-key Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina; the 325-key Hotel at Avalon and Alpharetta Conference Center in Alpharetta, Georgia; the forthcoming 800-key Kansas City Loews Hotel designed for maximum connectivity to the new Kansas City Convention Center; and the historic renovation of the 88-year-old, art-deco style El Paso Plaza Hotel into a 131-room, upscale boutique travel destination in El Paso, Texas.

Mr. Neal received his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and worked as a designer at Harry Weese & Associations and Clark Tribble Harris and Li prior to joining Cooper Carry. He is licensed in 21 states, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration.

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

Mr. Neal can be contacted at +1 404-240-9532 or bobneal@coopercarry.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.