Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Tighe

Diane Tighe

Director of Catering & Conference Services, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Diane Tighe is director of catering and conference services of the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, the original AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hotel in Durham, N.C., located on the campus of Duke University. An award-winning catering professional, Ms. Tighe has been with the Inn since 1999.

As Director of Catering & Conference Services, Ms. Tighe leads all the Inn's conference planning initiatives, which entails collaborating with the JB Duke Hotel and servicing the many meetings, conferences, incentive trips, corporate getaways and intimate trade shows hosted at the Inn throughout the year.

Ms. Tighe and her team's efforts contributed to the Inn winning the prestigious Successful Meetings Pinnacle Award six times-a mark of a distinguished event planning team. Her role also encompasses maximizing opportunities created by the property's premier banquet facilities and special event venues including the many weddings and wedding-related events held annually at the Inn. Her and her team serve as onsite wedding consultants par excellence. Prior to her current role, she served as the Inn's director of catering and catering sales manager.

Ms. Tighe received the distinction of Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) in 2012, the most prestigious and widely respected professional designation from the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE). The CPCE is awarded after a rigorous study period and written exam that covers accounting, beverage management, catering services, contracts and agreements as well as event management, food production, human resources and sales and marketing. She also received the 2017 Peter Daymont Lifetime Achievement Award from the Triangle Chapter of NACE.

Ms. Tighe has been an active member of the NACE since 2001, serving three terms as president and in roles of program chair, treasurer and secretary. She also served as National Association of Catering and Events National secretary for chapter presidents council in 2009 and NACE National Education Committee in 2008.

Please visit http://www.washingtondukeinn.com for more information.

Ms. Tighe can be contacted at +1 919-490-0999 or dtighe@wdigc.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.