Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Tabacchi

Mary Tabacchi

Professor Emerita, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration

Mary Tabacchi, PhD, RD is a Professor Emerita, at Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration and Johnson School of Management. She was a long term employee teaching in Cornell's Division of Nutritional Sciences in 1972 and as a research associate in Post- Harvest studies in Plant Science until 1978.

Dr. Tabacchi entered academic spa work in the early 1980s, working with Deborah Szekely at the Golden Door & Rancho La Puerta and Jerry Cohen and Mel Zuckerman with Canyon Ranch as well as with Sheila Cluff at the Oaks at Ojai. At Cornell University she helped found the Cornell Institute of Healthy Futures.

Dr.. Tabacchi is a Founder and member of Board of Advisors for Global Wellness Summit, Founder and Member of the Board of New York Spa Alliance, Founder and former Board Member of ISPA, Member of the Board of Green Spa Network and Advisor to the Ronald McDonald House in NYC. She and her students have completed projects with Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental, Banyan Tree, Hilton, Four Seasons, Six Senses, Mirbeau, Red Door Spas, The Spa at Norwich Inn and Mohonk Mountain House.

Dr. Tabacchi taught the first academic spa development course in 1987 and also the first academic Corporate Wellness Course in 1988. As a nutrition educator, she taught biochemical nutrition in Cornell's Division of Nutritional Science and Healthful Cuisine at the Hotel School. She still mentors students and former students, world- wide.

Dr. Tabacchi is an ardent hiker, power yogini, world- wide adventure traveler having hiked in Tanzania, Grand Canyon, The Greek Isles, Provence in France, Israel and Jordan, Sailed and hiked in the Galapagos and mid- June will hike to 15,000 ft in the Andes and descend to Machu Picchu.

Please visit http://www.cornell.edu for more information.

Dr. Tabacchi can be contacted at +1 607-255-3458 or mht3@cornell.edu

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.