On Thursday, April 6 both Jeff Beck and Lu Zhang provided a joint classroom experience to students of their Hospitality Revenue Management class and Hospitality Information Systems class, respectively. The two classes participated in a Skype presentation featuring Gregg Chapman, director of resorts revenue management with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Nearly 200 students were in attendance.
The Revenue Management and Analytics team is responsible for day-to-day yield management of the 31 Walt Disney World Resorts, the four Disneyland Resorts and Aulani (a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii). Additionally, Gregg’s team utilizes the vast amount of data from the online booking environment as well as the Disney Call Centers to provide analytical insights into the consumer sales process. Further, Gregg’s team has been asked to consult with other Disney divisions, such as ESPN and Disney Cruise lines. Taylor Kearly (BA Hospitality Business ’18) was impressed with the amount of detail Gregg provided on revenue management and the use of quantitative systems for the purpose of data analysis.
Gregg’s presentation included an interactive discussion relative to revenue management, information systems, and data analytics. Analytics and “big data” are changing the industry in several ways. These include using both structured and unstructured data to make several suggestions that affect guest experience and revenue. During his presentation, Gregg mentioned that the key to success of business analytics is talents who understand business, computer science, and statistics. Dr. Zhang was happy that Gregg pointed out the importance of information systems on decision support to students who usually think of information systems just as a tool for hotel/restaurant operations.
Gregg has been at Disney for nearly 24 years, with the last 11 being in the Revenue Management team. During this time, he has led the evolution of the science-based revenue management process at Disney through continual advancements in technology and analytical decision making approaches. Prior to his time in Revenue Management, Gregg had roles in finance, forecasting, and theme park operations. Gregg holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Central Florida, and an MBA, with concentrations in finance and accounting, from the University of Alabama.