Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Tighe

Diane Tighe

Director of Catering & Conference Services, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Diane Tighe is director of catering and conference services of the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, the original AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hotel in Durham, N.C., located on the campus of Duke University. An award-winning catering professional, Ms. Tighe has been with the Inn since 1999.

As Director of Catering & Conference Services, Ms. Tighe leads all the Inn's conference planning initiatives, which entails collaborating with the JB Duke Hotel and servicing the many meetings, conferences, incentive trips, corporate getaways and intimate trade shows hosted at the Inn throughout the year.

Ms. Tighe and her team's efforts contributed to the Inn winning the prestigious Successful Meetings Pinnacle Award six times-a mark of a distinguished event planning team. Her role also encompasses maximizing opportunities created by the property's premier banquet facilities and special event venues including the many weddings and wedding-related events held annually at the Inn. Her and her team serve as onsite wedding consultants par excellence. Prior to her current role, she served as the Inn's director of catering and catering sales manager.

Ms. Tighe received the distinction of Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) in 2012, the most prestigious and widely respected professional designation from the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE). The CPCE is awarded after a rigorous study period and written exam that covers accounting, beverage management, catering services, contracts and agreements as well as event management, food production, human resources and sales and marketing. She also received the 2017 Peter Daymont Lifetime Achievement Award from the Triangle Chapter of NACE.

Ms. Tighe has been an active member of the NACE since 2001, serving three terms as president and in roles of program chair, treasurer and secretary. She also served as National Association of Catering and Events National secretary for chapter presidents council in 2009 and NACE National Education Committee in 2008.

Please visit www.washingtondukeinn.com for more information.

Ms. Tighe can be contacted at 919-490-0999 or dtighe@wdigc.com

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.