Editorial Board   

Ms. Connolly

Zoe Connolly

Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight

Zoe Connolly is the co-founder and managing director for Hospitality Spotlight, a full service executive search firm for the hospitality and travel industries. For more than a decade, she's pioneered innovative and proactive recruiting efforts, connecting the best talent with the best companies, across all levels of organizations.

In her career, Ms. Connolly has worked with a variety of companies, from startups to Fortune 500 firms. While her focus early in her career was in technology and linguistics, her passion for the travel industry was spawned from working with her husband to start a hospitality enterprise that included multiple food and beverage operations, as well as an online food ordering site.

Having recruited at all levels and for different industries, Ms. Connolly has learned to focus on the human connection and their passion for what they do. The search process is just as much about the candidate as it is about the employer. If a candidate and a client have made a connection, this will fuel and drive their passion for their everyday functions. This connection places an unconscious goal for the new employee to meet, the goal to make their employer happy. In turn the Employer will also work harder for the employee. This connection turns a job into a career and co-workers into an extension of friends/family.

Currently, through working with clients like Starwood, Viceroy and Pacifica Hotels, Hospitality Spotlight has emerged as one of the go-to firms for senior level talent in the hotel and travel technology space. A refreshing combination of an expansive network and brutal honesty continues to push Ms. Connolly and her clients, both companies and candidates into a bright spotlight.

Please visit www.hospitalityspotlight.com for more information.

Ms. Connolly can be contacted at 858-230-8501 or zoe@hospitalityspotlight.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.