Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Dooley

Shannon Dooley

Operations Manager - Quality Assurance Practice, LRA Worldwide

Serving as an Operations Manager in LRA Worldwide's Quality Assurance practice, Shannon specializes in LRA's foodservice, gaming, and boutique clients. Over the past six years, Ms. Dooley spearheaded the development and implementation of customized, experience-driven evaluations for a variety of clients, including Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts, FLIK International, The Kessler Collection, and the San Diego Zoo. In addition, she played integral roles on the project teams for Marriott International, Delaware North Companies, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and Station Casinos. Ms. Dooley joined LRA in 2005 as a Consultant handling clients in both Quality Assurance and Consulting Services. In her role, she processed and analyzed customer loyalty research for clients in a variety of sectors, including hospitality, aviation, entertainment, and sports. Ms. Dooley redesigned and coordinated in-field training for the handling of survey data for the hotels of Denali National Park, a member of ARAMARK Harrison Lodging. As a Senior Consultant, she was responsible for the day to day operations of custom service accounts, most notably with Hilton Hotels, as well as several other gaming and hotel management clients. Prior to joining LRA, Ms. Dooley spent several years with the Walt Disney Company as a Guest Services Manager for Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resort and Disney's Beach Club Villas. There, she cultivated her knowledge of 4-Diamond hotel management as well as convention, vacation ownership, and cruise line market segments. During her tenure, Ms. Dooley was selected to independently develop and implement a pilot lobby concierge program to enhance the overall guest experience. In addition, she was appointed as a resort liaison for the launch of Disney's “Magical Gatherings” program, developing a SIEBEL-based training manual to aide in resort-wide staff training. Under her leadership, both the lobby concierge program and training manuals became permanent fixtures at all 21 Walt Disney World Resorts. Ms. Dooley is a graduate of Duke University and is currently pursuing her MBA at Villanova University.

Ms. Dooley can be contacted at 215-449-0349 or Shannon.Dooley@lraworldwide.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.