Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Van Nielen

Vani Van Nielen

Asset Management Analyst, Global Asset Solutions

Vani van Nielen has just graduated with high honours from Ecole hotelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, with a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management. She specialises in Hotel Planning and Development, Sustainable Innovations and Influence.

Ms. van Nielen has conducted extensive research on group meetings and the MICE segment as part of her diploma work. Her other achievements include the HAMA Europe 2020 Student Award and a nomination for the American Real Estate Society's Alpha Sigma Gamma Honour.

Since March 2020, Ms. van Nielen has been working with the leading asset management firm, Global Asset Solutions, on a COVID-19 communications project. She has written numerous articles concerning crisis management practices for hotel owners, asset managers and operators, covering topics such as forecasting, balance sheets and sustainability during recovery. She is passionate about using data and digital solutions to optimise asset management practices.

Ms. van Nielen is currently looking for opportunities to begin her career in hotel asset management, development or consulting. Her other work experiences include an internship at the Front Office and events space at The Hoxton Holborn in London, as well as an assistant project coordinator role at an experiential marketing firm in New York City. Outside of her academics or work experiences, she has held a leadership role in a non-profit association and played a key part in the organisation of a three-day hospitality summit.

Ms. van Nielen has a very international background; she is both a Russian and Dutch citizen and grew up as an expatriate, speaking multiple languages as a result. She has lived in ten countries over her 22 years, including Cambodia, Finland and Nigeria.

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

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vani-van-nielen/

Ms. Van Nielen can be contacted at +41 795528150 or vani.vannielen@ehl.ch

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.