One thing I absolutely love about my profession is building relationships with hoteliers and Convention and Visitors Bureau personnel. Without them, I would be doing business in the 100-mile radius around my home! They are the “boots on the ground” in each locale that help me produce quality conferences around the country, and sometimes beyond!
One thing hoteliers and CVB’s love to do is wine and dine, which works well for me, because I do, too! I am a firm believer that a lot of business gets done over drinks, golf, and other activities not involving conference tables. That being said, I am beyond excited to see some positive trends in mindful hospitality – such as the selection of amenities for guests and VIPs.
Let me go on record by saying that wine and cheese are two of my favorite things in the whole world. But, when I am traveling alone (especially for one night only, or in a room without a refrigerator), these items don’t always make the best in-room amenities. I recently spent a night at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson, and my host sent to my room a branded bag of their signature trail mix and another bag of their chocolate bark. Not only were these items easily portable, but they also allowed me to taste something special that was made by their chef. No half eaten cheese plate left behind, no waste.
Tips: Mindful Hospitality
- Know your audience – some hotels do a client profile sheet prior to arrival – find out in advance if your guest does or does not drink alcohol, if they have any dietary restrictions, etc.
- Consider sending up a smaller portion or smaller bottle if the guest is only staying one night or there is not a refrigerator in the room – 2 local beers on ice is lovely upon arrival, and the chance for waste is a lot less than if the person were to open an entire bottle of wine to have one or two glasses, then leave the rest behind.
- Keep it light at pre-cons – find out how many client representatives are actually attending the pre-con and plan the beverage and snack accordingly. I’ve had a full continental breakfast for 12+ people set out when I was the only client rep in attendance – hopefully the staff got to eat it afterwards, but better to not put it out in the first place.
- Be mindful when planning FAM trips and site visits – YES, we absolutely do want to sample the wonderful restaurants your city or hotel has to offer, but we don’t need pre-ordered appetizers plus three courses at every meal – more importantly, we don’t want to send half of it back into your kitchen to be scraped into the garbage bin. (And I’m sure your chef doesn’t either).
Send me examples of how your property or CVB is mindful in its planning – I’d love to feature you in an upcoming post.