HSMAI Profile: Stephen Williams

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Stephen Williams
Sales and Marketing Director
Windward Management 

Stephen is the Chair of HSMAI Europe Irish National Advisory Board and also a member of HSMAI Europe Digital Marketing Advisory Board

Q: What does a day at work consist of for you?

A: Each day is different, we are involved in either the ownership or management of almost 15 properties in Ireland and Europe. A typical day would involve reviewing each hotels performance from the previous day, analysing rates with the revenue management teams, optimising websites and booking engines, meeting with sales teams and ensuring that all our hotels are performing, plus PR, Branding, Social Media, analysis of hotel reviews, CRM systems, GDS, E-mail marketing, advertising, trade fairs, meeting with suppliers and partners.  The role involves some travel and this can either involve face to face meetings with our hotels or participation at foreign trade events. We also try to be innovative in our approach to our Digital Marketing strategy and typically we implement 2-3 new marketing, distribution, on-line advertising or revenue management technologies each month.

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: The best part of my job is working with the teams within the hotels and the very experience team within Windward Management. There is tremendous energy throughout the Group and we have the freedom to innovate, come up with new ideas and implement new marketing and sales tactics. My role is continually evolving and it is definitely not boring!

Q: Do you have anyone you’ve looked up to?

A:  I couldn’t choose one individual, throughout my career I have been lucky enough to have worked with some of the most experienced business leaders and hotel operators within Ireland, working with these individuals was an excellent opportunity to learn and I am very grateful for their support and guidance.

Q: How long have you been a member of HSMAI?

A: 13 years.

Q: What do you think is the best thing about HSMAI?

A: HSMAI is a wonderful organisation which allows people within the industry to learn and network. I spent two years in New York and was welcomed into the HSMAI New York Chapter and served on their Educational Board. As the HSMAI Europe Irish National Advisory Board are all working at the coal face of the industry, we would hope that we are in a position to offer our members practical and relevant industry training, combined with mentoring for newer entrants to our industry.

Q: Are there any activities or projects you think HSMAI should start up?

A: We have a lot of activities planned for the coming months concentrating on Revenue Management and Digital Marketing, however, being a member of HSMAI should also be fun and we would hope to revive our HSMAI Awards night in 2016.

Q: Describe your perfect weekend.

A: Time with wife, daughter, family and friends, going out or cooking dinner, nice bottle of wine.

Q: If you were trapped on a desert island, what would you take with you, if you could choose only one thing?

A: Other than a boat or my wife and daughter, I would have to say my phone.

Q: What is the title of the book about your life?

A: Probably “Gadgetman” (see the last question)

QWhat is your next travel-destination?

A: United States next week for work and Gran Canaria for family vacation.

Q: Do you have any special hobbies?

A: Gadgets, technology and travel. I’m also not a bad cook and I haven’t poisoned anyone yet!

Photo: Stephen Williams, Sales and Marketing Director at Windward Management