Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Diggins

Catherine Diggins

General Manager, Hewing Hotel

Catherine Diggins is General Manager for Aparium Hotel Group's Hewing Hotel the Minneapolis hotel set to become the gateway to the North Loop's vibrant culture. An 18-year veteran to the industry with experience in 16 hotel openings and transitions, Ms. Diggins currently oversees the pre-opening period of the hotel, and is poised to manage day-to-day operations upon opening. “With the opportunity to open Hewing Hotel, the prospect of building a pivotal Minneapolis destination for visitors and social anchor for the North Loop neighborhood is invigorating,” says Ms. Diggins. “I am honored to be a part of the team that the Aparium Hotel Group has assembled to foster vibrant and eclectic experiences in the North Loop and beyond.” Ms. Diggins' dynamic and energetic hotel management skillset has fostered a successful hospitality career. Her passion for the industry evolved from a summer job she held in college as the front desk agent at the Westin Beach Resort, Key Largo, to an impressive portfolio of hospitality projects across the country. Spending fourteen years of her career at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Ms. Diggins developed her expertise as a Front Office Manager with Hyatt Regency Sarasota, Hyatt Regency Tampa, and Park Hyatt Los Angeles. Following these roles, Ms. Diggins held multiple leadership positions in the rooms division as the Assistant Director of Rooms at Grand Hyatt New York, Director of Rooms at Park Hyatt Washington, and Corporate Director of Rooms at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts amongst other positions. Following her time at Hyatt, Catherine transitioned to Marriott as the Resident Manager of JW Marriott Indianapolis from 2014 - 2015, and most recently served as the Director of Operations at the JW Marriott Minneapolis, overseeing the hotel operations during the hotel's opening and beyond.

Please visit http://www.hewinghotel.com for more information.

Ms. Diggins can be contacted at 651-468-0502 or cdiggins@hewinghotel.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.