hospitality technology made simple by kevin sturm Consulting

secrets to a successful . . . breakfast?

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. And my favorite thing to do at breakfast is to share good conversation.

I'm on a workation in Phoenix and when I travel to any city I try to connect with at least one person over breakfast (this is great way to network with other consultants, meet prospective clients, or catch up with friends). Last week I sent an email to John Burns to meet for breakfast. I'd met John once before at the HOT Conference and was eager to learn how he got to where he is and hear his take on consulting in this economy.

For those of you who don't know John, Mr. John Burns is and has been one the most influential figures in hospitality technology and was honored in 2006 with an induction into the HFTP Hall of Fame (yes . . . there is a Hall of Fame for hospitality technology). He is arguably the expert in electronic distribution systems for hotels with a very impressive list of clients all around the world.I'm not sure if I can say it's a "goal" to be in the HFTP Hall of Fame but it would be an honor to be recognized among the names in this group.

John recommended we meet at Cafe ZuZu in Hotel Valley Ho. It was AMAZING and we were blessed with a summer storm. We enjoyed awesome food and great conversation on the outdoor patio (which is not generally done in Phoenix in May) as a light rain pattered on the tin umbrella over our table with casual 50's classics offering a chic atmosphere. I had Brioche french toast with lemon cream cheese and fresh berries . . . can I say "AWESOME!" Hotel Valley Ho is cool retro-modern hotel that was renovated a few years ago to highlight and capitalize on it's 1950's style. I'm in Phoenix often and I will now be frequenting Cafe ZuZu.

John lived up to his reputation of being amazingly knowledgeable, but beyond that he was amazingly open about projects he was working on and an wonderful breakfast companion. He left me with some gems of wisdom to take away as a consultant. I have been extremely blessed and always grateful for the guidance and direction other consultants have given me (mainly this amazing guy).

So thanks John for a wonderful breakfast!

An interesting thing I've noticed throughout my career is those with the most success are also the most willing to share about how they did it. So here's a question . . .

Are you working to keep your reasons for success a secret and why? Or, do you openly share your secrets for success and why?

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santa barbara zoo

I always enjoy when the effort invested into a project culminates in a successful go-live. But occasionally I get to be involved in very special openings. By special I suppose I mean memorable. Memorable because it is a miracle the venue actually opening on time (ya'll be there, right?), or memorable because of witnessing something I'll only get to see once, or memorable because I get to be part of something historical. . . even if my part is just a bit part in the periphery of the actual event.

Once I got to see the Eagles jam together in a warm-up sound check at American Airlines Center in 2001. It was the only US stop on their 2001 tour. The day before opening the stadium was supposed to be completely empty of anyone but the band, security, and roadies. But me and few others were preparing for opening the next day and had the opportunity to sneak in and listen to them warm-up. That huge stadium seemed tiny to us in that moment. . . like the warm-up was a jam session was for us. It was awesome!

My most recent client go-live at Santa Barbara Zoo was my recent memorable opening. Not because of a classic classic-rock concert, but because they made history. And not because of the technology. The logistics of the project were not complicated. The Zoo was opening a newly remodeled retail outlet and a new restaurant with the Agilysys POS system. By the way, the project went very smooth if I do say so myself and ended about 25% under budget. But that's a side point really. . .

The point is the Zoo made history with this opening. In addition to opening Explore Store, a very eco-friendly gift shop with most items made entirely of recycled material, Santa Barbara Zoo became the third zoo in the world to open a California Condor exhibit (they were heavily involved in the first exhibit in Baja California, Mexico).In 1987 there were only 27 California Condors in the world! Today there are now 325 with 138 now living in the wild. This exhibit is amazing and these birds are HUGE. The Zoo is a wonderful place which has only been enhanced by this new exhibit. I so appreciate and commend the Zoo's achievement in helping return these majestic birds to the wild and continue educating the public on their importance to our environment.I got to be a part of the Zoo's Grand Opening and felt honored to be there. . . if only to make sure the point-of-sale was working. It gave me another reason to be grateful for my job!

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i can't make up my mind

Here's the deal...

A few months back I switched this blog to Wordpress from Blogger. I felt the UI for Wordpress was better as well as some of the other stuff they offered. What I did not account for was my free blog was no longer free if I wanted to republish the layout with some customizations. For that I had to purchase Wordpress CSS editor...LAME!So I'm back to Blogger with a new layout and new RSS feed. For the 5 of you that actually read this blog sorry for the confusion. But I'm here to stay now!

By the way, if you want to know how I got the sweet Flash header leave a comment with your email address and I'll shoot you a message.

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