Monday, March 20, 2017

Global Meetings Industry Day 2017

On April 6, 2017 meetings and events professionals all around the world will join together to celebrate the Second Annual Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). It is anticipated that there will be 115 events over 30 countries taking part in the celebration.

If you are hoping to join in on the festivities, you don’t have to look far! The San Diego Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) will host a GMID event that evening from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Float at Coasterra. MPI will be celebrating the value of face-to-face meetings and will also be hosting their annual fundraiser and silent auction at the event. For more details, please click here.

GMID was created by Meetings Mean Business (MMB)  and aims to raise attention to the impact that meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows, and exhibitions have on people, businesses, and communities on a local and global scale. Check out the MMB website to learn more about GMID and to see if your local area is participating!

Written by: Rachel DeVinny

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Get the Vegas Experience in DMV

The MGM National Harbor Hotel and Conference Center is a new, splashy, $1.4 billion Las Vegas-style hotel unlike any other in DMV (Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia) region. They offer world-class amenities, service, and product with breathtaking views of the Potomac River and the nation’s capital. It’s Conference Center offers 50,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. With a powerhouse lineup of chefs, “Farm to bed” dining with fresh options are just a phone call or stroll away… check it out here.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Steady Rise of the Boutique Hotel Collection

With many different hotel options, boutique hotels have become a top option for travelers of all types.  Boutique hotels are intimate in size and feeling, but big in personality. Most are typically centrally located in urban areas, so you can completely immerse yourself in the heart of the city. These properties offer exceptional, personal, and individualized service with a focus on customization. In the hotel restaurant and bar, you are likely to see a celebrity chef listed on the menu alongside the name of the mixologist who came up with the craft cocktail you are sipping on. This is just part of what creates the 5-star boutique experience.

Over the past few years, major hotels brands have jumped on the boutique hotel bandwagon and opened their own “soft” brand of stylish, intimate, and trendy hotels tailored to clientele that are not particularly interested in large brands. For example, Marriot kicked things off in 2010 with its Autograph Collection, now with over 100 locations around the globe. Hilton and Starwood followed suit with their collections, Curio in 2014 and Tribute Portfolio in 2015. Hyatt Hotels most recently launched the Unbound Collection with locations in North America, Europe, and Latin America.

So whether you prefer the more intimate feel of a B&B or the amenities of a big name brand, you might find just what you’re looking for in a boutique hotel!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Closing 2016 and Looking to 2017

2016 is ending with a bang for the hospitality industry, as we have seen record setting growth for about the past 6 years and it’s been primarily a seller’s market. While REVPAR and other indicators have shown some market increases for 2017, most indicators we follow show a slowdown in the meetings and hotel economy. 2017 is expected to be near flat which will provide more opportunities for planners. While we are optimistic about this shift, we are not there yet and the market remains a seller’s game for now. On top of this, the merger of Marriott-Starwood, has made it more difficult than ever to negotiate hotel contracts. While it appears that we have more options, there’s actually less competition out there. Our roles as meeting managers have become increasingly strategic and forward thinking as we seek more creative ways to negotiate and make the overall meeting experience memorable, experiential, and focused on learning retention. Looking forward. we are in a fragile time with the uncertainty of a Trump presidency and all the worldwide security issues. We remain cautiously optimistic as President Trump is a hospitality veteran who is likely to promote business policies that benefit our industry and who has actively been in support of business overall. We are excited about the potential opportunities that lie ahead for us in 2017 and about the buyer-seller relationship shift.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Voluntourism: Kick Back and Give Back

Ever wanted to go on vacation, but also give back to the local community? With the holidays near and spirit of giving in the air, you might want to give voluntourism a try!  More and more hotels are getting involved in supporting local charities and are coming up creative ways of integrating their services with charity.

Marriott and Renaissance hotels in New Orleans have created the "Big Easy Spirit to Serve" program where a portion of your room rate goes to "New Orleans Habitat for Humanity". Additionally, the hotels provide a Care Concierge service that recommends volunteer opportunities in the area.

Never let your soap go to waste at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco. After you check out, they will donate your used soap to "Clean the World", which recycles and distributes soap around the world.

Earn free room nights at the Maldives Soneva Resorts by spending some of your stay working on local community projects, such as planting trees, marine conservation, and teaching underprivileged children.

Next time you're think of taking a vacation, do some research and see what hotels partner with charities. Whether it's volunteering your time or just booking a room, incorporating voluntourism into your holiday plans will make a difference in someone's life.