Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Gelfound

Wendi Gelfound

Director of Marketing, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

As a founding member of the Sunrise Springs launch team, Wendi Gelfound played a critical role in defining brand positioning and marketing strategies. With extensive experience in the health and wellness, spa and tourism sectors, Ms. Gelfound has been recognized internationally as an expert and innovator in destination marketing. In 2015, she had the honor of speaking on the Business of Hot Springs Panel at the Global Wellness Summit in Mexico City. And, in October of 2016 Ms. Gelfound was invited to present the "American Perspective" at the inaugural Global Thermal Think Tank in Bad Orb, Germany, and on the R(E)volution of Hot Springs Panel at the Global Wellness Summit in Tyrol, Austria. Ms. Gelfound has successfully led global marketing initiatives for several New Mexico-based resorts, most notably Sunrise Springs' sister property Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa for the last eleven years, and Taos' award-winning El Monte Sagrado Living Resort & Spa. Ms. Gelfound was founder and vice president of the Taos Tourism Council, and at the state level, has been selected for a 2nd term as a North Central Region Board Member for the New Mexico Tourism Department. Ms. Gelfound's creative eye and extensive experience in branding and marketing strategies spans three decades. She was creative director for a marketing agency in Miami and owned a software and web development company in the early 1990s. To that foundation. Ms. Gelfound maintains a compelling interest in the leading edge of communications media. Ms. Gelfound attended Boston University, The Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She is passionate about adventure travel, hiking, yoga…and the occasional bungee jump.

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

Ms. Gelfound can be contacted at 505-780-8145 or wendi.gelfound@sunrisesprings.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.