Editorial Board   

Ms. Dochen

Dee Dee Dochen

Founder & Owner, DDD Marketing Communications

Working since 1980 to help businesses and organizations manage their messages, Dee Dee Dochen founded DDD Marketing Communications in 1994 on an established record of professional service, personal attention, creativity and collaboration. Ms. Dochen's marketing communications career has its roots in the hospitality industry. As Director of Convention Sales for the Austin (Texas) Convention & Visitors Bureau in the mid-80s, she fine-tuned the notion of combining creative ideas and a team of "specialists" - hotels, attractions, restaurants, musicians - to help manage the message of, in that case, a city. In 1988, she moved to Washington, D.C., and served as a Director of Public Relations and Marketing Programs for Marriott International, Inc. It was here that she gained deep experience in integrated communications, affiliate marketing with Fortune 500 companies, crisis communications, and in creating and executing marketing communication solutions for a nationwide network of hotels. In late 1994, Ms. Dochen relocated to Houston and opened her business with Marriott International, Inc. as a client. She has since expanded both her client reach and her network of affiliated professionals, surrounding herself with associates and partners who share a commitment to excellence and enthusiasm for results. Ms. Dochen is an active community leader, involved with organizations that support the arts, children with special needs, human and civil rights, and education.

Ms. Dochen can be contacted at 713-432-7575 or ddd@dddmc.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.