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Marri-wood:  The Competition

It must have been quite a surprise for everyone at Starwood to learn on November 16, that they were now part of the Marriott family.  Having been fierce competitors for years and then suddenly on the same team can only be described as a significant mindset shift.

From this side of the merger, the first thing that began to be considered was how does this consolidation affect competition. After much reading and review, my findings are that for as long as there is a fragmented market with numerous owners, franchises and management agreements, the marketplace will remain competitive.

Hotel management companies and ownerships often have multiple brands in their portfolios and they expect each hotel to have a return on investment.  

The trend that I believe we will continue to see with this merger is a move for hotels to create more sales clusters. This means that one sales representative will represent many hotel brands instead of each hotel having a dedicated sales team. While this is efficient for the hotel brands' bottom line, it does make it challenging to get accurate information about a specific hotel as one person oversees multiple properties.  It will just mean that we as site selection professionals will continue to be the clients' advocate as the sales process becomes more commoditized.   

We love competition even in our own market space as it makes us bring our 'best' forward.  It comes down to options, choice and value.  It is easy to be good and exponentially harder to be great. Let's strive for amazing - together!

Timely yours, 

101 Tips: Conference Mobile Apps


Part 5 of 5

Events, conferences and trade shows are an essential part of communication and information flow in today’s fast paced “information at your finger-tips” world that we live in. Mobile event apps are changing the game! Once considered a “nice to have”, they are now considered a “need to have”. With your delegates living in a world where access to information is easily obtained, they expect it and can be quite surprised when there in not an app available to them at an event.

Freeman Audio Visual Canada collaborates with MyEventApps to make its multifaceted event app solution available to Freeman clients nationwide. Marie-Louise Doyle, Director of Business Development at MyEventApps, answers every event professional’s most popular question: What is the difference between a native app and web based app? 

A native app is one that is installed directly onto the smart phone or device and can work, in most cases, with no internet connectivity depending on the nature of the app. 
  • A benefit of the native app is that it can work independently of the web.
  • The native app can work much faster by harnessing the power of the processor and can access specific hardware like GPS.
A web app works via a web browser on the phone, but requires either a cell signal or Wi-Fi to function.
  • The web app must have access to browser and internet connectivity.
  • Because the web app requires internet access and its operation speeds are dependent on the quality of cell signal or the speed of the Wi-Fi broadband, you must be in the range of either connection. 
  • You might not be able to use the web app inside of buildings or in lower level facilities. 
So, when deciding from a technical or usage only perspective which model of app to use, refer to the following checklist. Remember, your goal in using any app is to promote interactivity between delegates.

Native APP
  • Native apps work everywhere! Technically, you are in a good place.
  • How much bandwidth does the venue have?
  • How much does the venue charge for additional bandwidth?
  • How strong is the signal?
  • Do they have high speed Internet?
  • Are there any "black out" zones in the building?
  • How much interactivity do you want your delegates to have when using the app?
  • What level of technology do you want to use (e.g interactive trade show floor maps, GPS, etc.)?
Marie-Louise Doyle, is Director of Business Development at MyEventAppsA third party independent planner for over 20 years and MPI (Ottawa Chapter) Past President, Marie-Louise would be happy to connect with you and introduce you to the app world.  She can be reached at or via phone at 613-818-8854.
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