Letter from the Chair

Hello fellow HUGgers!

It is starting to look a little like Spring here at Mesa Verde National Park. The snow is melting and leaving us wonderful puddles of mud to play in. Mud season is not my favorite but I can tolerate it because it means wildflowers and warm sunny days are just around the corner! And with anticipation of the change in the season we are also starting to get excited about the planning of the November HUG conference!

Regonline is up and ready for you to sign up to attend this year's conference at Nemacolin. Our website has the link where you can go and make your room reservations. Our Vice-Chair, Justin Davis, is lining up exciting vendors for you to visit with and collecting proposals for properties interested in hosting us for the 2018 conference. If your property is interested, the RFP can be found on the website or by emailing him at jdavis@smshug.org. You can also reach out to him if you have a favorite vendor that you would like for us to invite! The board will be getting together for our in person meeting in April to plan the sessions we will be offering. If you have a particular subject that you would like to see presented, please just reach out to any of us or through our facebook page. Along those same lines if any of you are interested in teaching a session, contact Rich Morehouse at rmorehouse@smshug.org.

We know that it is sometimes hard to justify to your property the value of attending the conference. We want you to know that we are available to speak with your department head or general manager and do the convincing for you! Reach out to us and we will charm them and educate them on the value of what we do at HUG. We can provide a detailed list of important takeaways and well as offer testimonials from past attendees.

This board is here to serve you and make sure that the conference we plan gives you exactly what you need to take back to your property - expert advice, more efficient and profitable ways of doing your jobs and the abilities and tools to share these new things with your co-workers. Please let us know how we can best serve you!

Until April!

Excel Tip
by Justin Davis

Do you know about Excel's VLOOKUP?
                In one of my previous articles I discussed about Excel's Text to Columns for modifying reports out of SMS|Host. Now it's time to talk about Excel's VLOOKUP, which is a wonderful tool if you are trying to get information from one spreadsheet to match common information in another spreadsheet. I have found this exceptionally useful when I want to compare my owner charge backs to my purchase invoices in our accounting software. I will run a detail report on our transaction code for the postings to the owners and use Excel's text to columns. I will then run my purchase detail from our accounting software and use text to columns again in Excel. However; the owner postings and invoices out of my accounting software are not going to match up in the spreadsheet for automatic comparison. This is where Excel's VLOOKUP comes in handy to match up the postings from Host and from my accounting software to make sure that I am not missing a posting to an owner or missing an invoice that has not yet been entered into the payables for my accounting software.
                Now I'm not going to get into major detail with all the options with VLOOKUP, because there are quite a few. I am just going to go over the basics. Your basic formula for VLOOKUP is:
=VLOOKUP(Value you want to look up, range where you want to look up the value, the column number in the range containing the return value, Exact Match or Approximate Match - indicated as 0/FALSE or 1/TRUE).
I know it seems a little complicated but it is quite easy to use.
  1. The value you want to look up, also called the lookup value.
  2. The range where the lookup value is located. Remember that the lookup value should always be in the first column in the range for VLOOKUP to work correctly. For example, if your lookup value is in cell C2 then your range should start with C.
  3. The column number in the range that contains the return value. For example, if you specify B2: D11 as the range, you should count B as the first column, C as the second, and so on.
  4. Optionally, you can specify TRUE if you want an approximate match or FALSE if you want an exact match of the return value. If you don't specify anything, the default value will always be TRUE or approximate match.
Here is an example of how the formula will look within Excel.

                For more detailed information you can always check out this YouTube video.

SMS Dollars

SMS dollars
by Marie Bell

Did you know that you can get nearly all of your HUG conference dues back in something called SMS Dollars. The SMS dollars program has been part of the HUG conference for years. Originally, the certificates were handed out as paper copies at the end of the conference. A couple years ago, to ensure proper delivery and avoid lost or forgotten certificates, SMS changed the program to an emailed certificate.  For the 2016 HUG conference, every full registration attendee received $500 in SMS dollars! That was nearly the entire cost of the HUG registration fee being gifted back to the attendee in monies that can be used to buy Springer Miller services and products. 
I have tried to use my property's SMS dollars every year. Normally we apply our SMS dollars to a few days of onsite training or audits. Back in 2009 my property sent 5 attendees to the conference. Our SMS dollars went a long way that year.  We needed a new interface to our POS, so in 2010 we applied our SMS dollars to the cost of this interface.  This year, we plan to use our SMS dollars for an onsite training. The dollars feel like a special door prize that I can offer to my company. It's great to say "Remember when you approved that few days for training at the HUG conference? Well, I now have a gift certificate towards more training here at the property!"
I asked around to some of my HUG buddies to see how they use their SMS dollars. I heard quite a few replies where people had used their dollars for new SMS product offerings or even interfaces. It seems the greatest value that people are using them for is the same that my property had selected with the Onsite Trainings or Audits.  I had one friend respond with, "I just found out my property didn't use our dollars from 2015. We sent three people! You better believe we are going to use our dollars from 2016!"
SMS dollars turn the HUG conference into the gift that keeps on giving. We normally get home from the conference and spend days bragging about all the new features we learned about, or the new products that are available, or even all the things that we never knew we could do differently to make the system work for us even better.  These SMS dollars give us the ability to help apply not only what we learned, but also what we were gifted in dollars toward a pathway to applying these new features or audits/training at our property.  
In 2016 an average attendee paid $519 for HUG registration. That same attendee received $500 in SMS Dollars! Effectively, they received a five day conference filled with training, food, and fun for only $19! 
According to the terms and conditions on the certificate: SMS Dollars are valid for Springer-Miller Systems Software and Training purchases, Springboard, Development Services, Site Audits and Consultative Services. They are not valid for payment of Support Fees, Third Party Software or Travel Expenses.
So basically, you can learn all about SMS|Anywhere at the HUG conference, then turn around and use your Gift Certificate of SMS Dollars to pay for part of it!  That's not a bad deal!
Did you attend the 2016 SMS conference? Good news! Your SMS dollars are still valid until May15th, 2017. Did your property send more than one attendee? Contact those attendees and have them check their email for their certificate. You can pool up your certificates and buy some cool SMS stuff! Happy SMS shopping!

Board Member Bio - Justin Davis, Vice Chair
Justin Davis, your 2017 Vice Chair, hails out of Pinellas Park, Florida. But he originally hails from Pensacola, Florida in the panhandle of the state. He has lived in the Tampa Bay area since July 3, 2000.

Quick Six about Justin:

1)Justin is warmer climates and his favorite vacation spot is Hawaii

2)Justin enjoys the company of good friends over dinner or out for live music. His favorite band is Here come the Mummies.

3) During the NFL season Justin can be found at Raymond James Stadium cheering on his Buc's from his season ticket holder seats.

4) Justin is excited for the new Derived Rates Feature in version 21. Check out the recorded webinar on Springer-Miller's website.

5)Justin's favorite pets are English Bulldogs

6) Word on the street he  has a complete set of Post Integration give away animals 


HUG 2017
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Farmington, PA
Nov. 12 -16, 2017

In This Issue

Calling all Vendors!

Interested in joining us at the conference this November?  Sign up now to lock in your Conference Sponsorship.  Contact Justin Davis at Jdavis@smshug.org for more details.

2017 Dues in the Mail

Check your mailboxes invoices have been sent for the 2017 property dues.

 Contact Marie Bell our treasurer with any questions mbell@smshug.org

HUG Session Videos
Want to check out some of what happened at last year's HUG?  We have our "New Features" and "Resort Scheduling" sessions from the 2016 HUG Conference available now on our members only side of our website  at  http://smshug.org/member-videos/ .  
If you don't have a login to our SMSHUG.org website, you can sign up here for a login.  Our site has many useful tools, conference updates, pictures, R&R/Crystal report templates and videos of sessions from previous years.  The members only side of our website is for properties that are in good paid status for their HUG dues.  If you have questions regarding your property's dues status, please contact Marie at mbell@smshug.org.
2017 HUG Board

Denise Spain  - Co-Chair
ARAMARK Mesa Verde  
Rick Arrington - Co-Chair 
Resort Collection  
Justin Davis - Vice Chair 
Provident Hotels & Resorts
Marie Bell  - Treasurer
Darien Lake
John Miller - Secretary
Purgatory Resort
Adrienne Dyson - Trustee
Lake Austin Spa Resort 
Heidi Rumble - Trustee
Basin Harbor Club 
Rich Morehouse - Past Chair
Amanda Wisell- SMS Liaison
SpringerMiller Systems  
Session Leaders Call out

Do you have a session you would like to lead? Is it a new session or an old one the conference needs to put a new spin on? 

Session Planning at our quarterly board meeting in April. If you want to lead a specific session please let me know before March 31st.

Session Leaders from the membership are a value part of our conference. If your interested leading please contact Rich Morehouse, rmorehouse@smshug.org

Remember session leaders get a free conference registration.

Helpful Links
Past Newsletters