Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ferrier

Chris Ferrier

Executive Chef, The National Conference Center

Executive Chef Chris Ferrier joined the team at The National and West Belmont Place in 2015. The property is one of the largest meeting, training and event facilities in the nation located within close proximity to Washington Dulles International Airport and just outside of Washington, DC. Chef Ferrier's background includes experience in high-volume kitchens and 4-star resorts, banquets and fine dining. Most recently, he served as executive chef at The Fairfax at Embassy Row. His resume includes various Hyatt Hotels and resorts, Boar's Head Inn, and the Lodge at Pebble Beach. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. As a property that specializes in hosting meetings, training meetings, trade shows, weddings and special events, food is a significant factor. “Chris shares our mission and vision in working with local farmers to source local food for sustainability, freshness and quality,” Lawson explained. “He has brought our culinary offerings to the new and higher level.” Chef Ferrier is now sourcing from additional local farms for The National and West Belmont Place. This is no ordinary feat given the fact that, at times, there are more than 1500 meals prepared in one day. With new renovations throughout the property, including The National dining room, the Black Olive Bar, and a new Lavazza Coffee shop, it is only fitting that the property also features an expanded culinary program with new catering menus for West Belmont Place and great new menu items at The National. In addition, The National has added a Chef's Table where guests of the property can opt to hold a special dinner for up to 20 people in the kitchen with Chef Ferrier. In recognizing the importance of food to meetings, “We know that food plays an important role in the overall experience of our guests and their meals,” added Lawson. “And we also know the value that food plays in ensuring that meetings, including training meetings, are more efficient and more productive when participants are eating food that effectively fuels their minds.”

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

Mr. Ferrier can be contacted at 703-729-8000 or sales@conferencecenter.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.