Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Stiel

Holly Stiel

President, Thank You Very Much Inc.

Holly Stiel, President of Thank You Very Much Inc is a trailblazing service philosopher who innovated a method of training based on the practices and principles of the world-class concierge. Her clients include: Disney, Nordstrom, AVEDA, American Express, Visa Signature card and Auberge Resorts, to name a few. Through the partnership with her team at StielMedia, Ms. Stiel has developed the corporate service training programs for four brands of the Hilton Family of Hotels, Hyatt Place Hotels, Auberge Resorts and Premiere Resorts, as well as three award-winning interactive DVD programs. In 1976, Ms. Stiel became the first female concierge in the country when she created the desk at the Grand Hyatt Union Square in San Francisco. Two years later she was the first American woman to be admitted to the exclusive Les Clefs d'Or Association for concierges. She recently received the association's Lifetime Achievement award for her broad contributions to her profession. Ms. Stiel was the first female and non-corporate executive to receive the "Distinguished Visiting Professor" Chair from Johnson and Wales University. Ms. Stiel has written four books : the newly released textbook, The Art and Science of the Hotel Concierge. Ultimate Service, The Complete Handbook to the World of the Concierge, Thank You Very Much - A Book for Anyone Who Has Ever Said, “May I Help you?,” and The Neon Signs of Service.

Ms. Stiel can be contacted at 415-383-4220 or Thankyouinc@aol.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.