Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Casale

Virginia Casale

Director, Global Education, Hospitality Excellence, Inc.

Virginia Casale is an expert in ultimate guest service and an inspiring leader, teacher and guest lecturer of hospitality excellence. Her work and expertise in the hospitality and tourism industries for more than 30 years has placed her at the top of her profession. Most recently she served as President of UICH “Les Clefs d'Or ”, the prestigious international association of the world's best concierges. Madame Casale rose to this coveted leadership role as only the second woman to do so in 62 years and the first Canadian. Over 25 years, she promoted the management of guest service to levels beyond expectations and successfully orchestrated international congresses featuring global hospitality leaders and the top 3% of the concierge profession in Quebec City, Banff, Niagara Falls, Toronto, London and Queenstown, New Zealand. Les Clefs d'Or Canada, Austria and New Zealand awarded her with honorary membership for her leadership and service. Virginia's hotel experience comes from many of Montreal's premier hotels including Chef Concierge at the first boutique hotel in the city, the Loews Hotel Vogue. At the Delta Centre-Ville she overlooked the lobby and executive floor desk and most recently led guest service at the Sofitel Montreal, a five star property. She made her concierge debut at the Hyatt Regency after serving four years at Regie des Installations Olympiques, the 1976 Olympic games. Madame Casale was a guest lecturer at the International Concierge Institute in Montreal and Quebec City and gave courses in Conflict Resolution as well as Ethics. She has been a featured speaker at the HORECAVA Event in Amsterdam on the She -Economy, in Mumbai, India at the second national Les Clefs d'Or Congress and at programs in Japan, Los Angeles, Miami and Qatar in the Middle East. She represented Montreal Tourism at the EIBTM Conference in Frankfurt and Barcelona. Madame Casale is a graduate of McGill University in Languages and Literature, with honours in Italian and is fluent in four languages.

Ms. Casale can be contacted at 877-436-3307 or Virginia@hospitalityexcellence.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.