USF Hosts 22nd Annual Hospitality Industry Symposium

The Yin and Yang of Social Media and Hospitality

SAN FRANCISCO (March 30, 2012)

The University of San Francisco (USF) is pleased to announce the 22nd annual Hospitality Industry Symposium will take place on April 27, 2012 at The Fairmont San Francisco (950 Mason Street). The theme of this year’s symposium is best practices for integrating social media into marketing and human resource strategies within all areas of hospitality. The symposium is organized and hosted by USF’s Department of Hospitality Management within the School of Management.

This symposium will highlight the most effective uses of social media in marketing, operations, and human resource strategies, and will feature panelists from such companies as Bacchus Management, Fairmont, BranchOut, Andrew Freeman & Co., San Francisco Travel Association, and HR Futures. Panelists will discuss the legal issues surrounding the use of social media, how to implement social media as a successful marketing tool, as well as explain how not to use it.

“Many may see social media as a challenge, especially considering the hands-on, people-intensive nature of the hospitality industry,” said Michelle Millar, assistant professor in USF’s Department of Hospitality Management and this year’s symposium coordinator. “Social media is the antithesis of this, but these two apparent opposites can in fact complement one another very well.”

Michael Tchong, author of the book, “Social Engagement Marketing,” will serve as the luncheon keynote speaker. Mr. Tchong is a media analyst who spent six years writing the ICONOCAST online marketing newsletter. His ability to identify emerging trends is demonstrated by the five start-ups he has founded. Mr. Tchong will speak to the trends he has witnessed in social media, while providing some fascinating statistics that will make one wonder how the hospitality industry ever thrived without it.

“Social media is front and center in just about everyone’s lives, whether we want it there or not,” said Millar. “The real issue, though, is how can businesses embrace it and incorporate it into concrete practices that engage customers, while not detracting from the face-to-face interaction that is the key component of the hospitality industry. We are looking forward to a dynamic symposium that addresses those concerns head on, and provides attendees with tangible best practices to take back to their businesses.”

For more information, please visit, or contact K.O. Odsather at 415.422.2581 or USF’s Department of Hospitality Management is on and Twitter @USFHospitality.

About USF’s Hospitality Management Program

USF offers a four-year undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Hospitality Industry Management. The program provides the training for graduates to become owners, operators, and managers in the field of hospitality. As part of the School of Management, the program is based on a strong business background — the foundation on which a career in management is built. The program was co-founded in 1980 by (then) USF President Rev. John Lo Schiavo, S.J. and the late Richard L. Swig, (then) CEO and Chairman of Fairmont Hotels.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World from Here.” For more information, please visit