Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Rondeau

Darlene Rondeau

Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising, Leonardo

Darlene Rondeau has more than 25 years of sales and marketing leadership focused on providing solutions for Fortune 1000 Companies, primarily in the travel industry. Currently, Rondeau is Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising for Leonardo. In this role, Ms. Rondeau has the objective of heightening awareness of new digital visual storytelling techniques that motive consumers throughout their travel shopping journey. Leonardo is an technology company serving the global hospitality industry. Leonardo provides e-marketers at hotel brands, management companies, hotel properties and travel websites with technology solutions that improve the way they present their hotels online to travel shoppers. Formerly at Leonardo, Ms. Rondeau held the position of Vice President, Hotels, The Americas. Ms. Rondeau previously served as Vice-President Sales and Marketing for G2 SwitchWorks, a travel technology company that integrates its private network of airlines and other supplier content into a web based single point of sales solution for Travel Companies. Prior executive roles include Vice President for Sabre Integrated Media, the largest access portal to the world's travelers as well as serving as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Agresso Travel Industry Solutions; a Netherlands based software provider of ERP solutions. Ms. Rondeau was with Sabre and its former parent, AMR, since 1979. Other positions with the company included Director, Airline Distribution; Director, National Accounts, Manager; Canadian Division Sales & Service; Regional Manager, Business Travel Solutions, and special assignments in Europe and Hong Kong. Her international experience contributes to the diversity and adaptability with which Ms. Rondeau conducts business. Over the last 2 decades, Ms. Rondeau's client list includes worldwide brands such as American Airlines, AT&T, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Disney, General Electric, Southwest Airlines, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, The Mark Travel Corporation and USA Today. Ms. Rondeau earned her degree in Travel and Tourism from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto. She is a frequent speaker at industry events including HSMAI, IHG Owners Association, University of North Texas Hospitality School and Eye for Travel. Additionally, she hosts regularly scheduled educational webinars on the subject of digital storytelling for the hospitality industry, along with exclusive presentations for the world's top brands.

Ms. Rondeau can be contacted at 416-593-6634 or darlene.rondeau@leonardo.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.