Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Tristano

Jodie Tristano

Business Development Manager, Technomic, Inc

Jodie Tristano currently serves as Business Development Manager at Technomic, Inc., a Chicago-based research and consulting firm that focuses on food and foodservice. Technomic provides industry intelligence, forecasts, data and training support to operators, manufacturers, distributors and others allied to the field. Ms. Tristano brings more than 20 years of experience in hospitality sales and marketing within the hotel, resort and convention industry. During her career, she has represented many prominent brands including Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Westin/Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts and Benchmark Hospitality International. More recently, Ms. Tristano served as Account Services Director, Convention Sales and Marketing for McCormick Place in Chicago, the largest convention center in the United States. With broad industry capability, Ms. Tristano has managed all group market segments including corporate, association, government and social, earning top sales performance awards with both Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Ms. Tristano spearheads Technomic's growth initiatives in the Lodging Industry through her efforts in developing the Global Lodging Practice encompassing consumer, industry and market research reports and services. Technomic's Lodging Practice provides clients with a wide range of consulting services such as operational audits, strategic planning, and concept development and positioning; consumer studies on topics including hotel food and beverage consumption, brand preferences, amenity importance and campaign effectiveness; and online resources that track and measure company performance, menu development and more. Holding a degree in Hospitality Management, Ms. Tristano is an active industry leader, having served on many committees with prominent organizations including the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and Meeting Professionals International (MPI).

Ms. Tristano can be contacted at 708-205-1427 or jtristano@technomic.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.