Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Wilms

Ed Wilms

Principal, DLR Group

Ed Wilms is DLR Group's National Hospitality Design Leader. In this role he is a frequent traveler, which he parlays into research for his next hotel design. This opportunity to be the end user has helped Mr. Wilms shape his definition of the definitive guest experience. Mr. Wilms is instrumental in DLR Group's ongoing design for expansion and renovations at the Mall of America including the award-winning JW Marriott Minneapolis. He works closely with flagship brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood and his projects include the Canopy by Hilton Minneapolis Mill District, AC Hotel Gainesville, Austin DoubleTree by Hilton, AC Hotel Grand Rapids, The Elizabeth, Marriott Autograph, and the AC Hotel San Francisco. Mr. Wilms's passion and focus to deliver the best guest experience has led him to be successful in developing numerous world-class memorable experiences to owners, developers, brands and guests to bring new hospitality venues to communities across the country. He draws on his 25 years of experience in design, planning, and project management to provide leadership on a wide range of complex large scale hotel projects. He understands the importance of engaging stakeholders in a highly collaborative design process to produce spaces that enhance the guest experience and build brand loyalty. His strong leadership and guidance creates an open and effective project team to accomplish the clients' vision. "I love that my job is different every day. Each day brings a new design problem and I love being able to work it out with the most talented group of professionals at DLR Group."

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

Mr. Wilms can be contacted at 612-977-3567 or ewilms@dlrgroup.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.