Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Suttle

Denise Suttle

Assistant Director of Convention Services, Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau

Denise Suttle, CMP, has been with the Albuquerque CVB since moving to New Mexico from Oklahoma in 1991. She is the Assistant Director of Convention Services, working with citywide conventions that utilize the Albuquerque Convention Center and multiple hotels, sports events, and hotel meetings of all kinds. Ms. Suttle began at the CVB in convention sales as a telemarketer, earned increasingly responsible sales positions and eventually served as the division's interim vice president. Her switch to convention services was based on a desire to follow through with the relationships built during the sales process, to help her clients experience the best possible convention with her hands-on approach. Ms. Suttle sees each client as a potential partner and friend, and feels the convention is as much her responsibility as the meeting planner's. She believes that a successful CVB services manager must advocate for the customer, the city and the venues all at the same time—a juggling act that requires focus, patience and—above all—passion for customer service. A member of PCMA since 1996 and ESPA since 2000, Ms. Suttle has served on the board of directors, is past chairman of the marketing & communications committee, former editor of the quarterly E-newsletter “ACOMmodate,” and was a member of the continuing education committee. Ms. Suttle was part of the team responsible for writing the chapter on Convention Services Managers for the fifth edition of Professional Meeting Management published in 2005 by PCMA. She has participated in numerous panel presentations for ESPA and PCMA, and has presented convention services as a career path during Mega Mentor sessions of the PCMA Student Track.

Please visit http://www.espaonline.org for more information.

Ms. Suttle can be contacted at 1-800-733-9918 ext, 3335 or suttle@itsatrip.org

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.