Editorial Board   

Ms. Oksner

Elaine Oksner

Guest and Concierge Services Trainer, Hospitality Excellence, Inc.

Elaine Oksner is Past President of Les Clefs D'Or, USA the professional concierge membership association representing the highest standards of service excellence and ultimate service. In this role, she traveled internationally representing the concierge profession to the business community and to business leaders worldwide. She is the former Chef Concierge of the Breakers Resort, Palm Beach, one of only two Five Star, Five Diamond hotel properties in the state of Florida. Previously she served as Chef Concierge for the Four Seasons in Palm Beach and the Park Hyatt in Washington, DC. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and has served as President of Washington, DC and Palm Beach, Florida concierge associations which she helped to establish. Elaine was also one of 100 delegates selected by President Clinton to attend and participate in the first White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. Ms. Oksner is a frequent lecturer on "Managing the Guest Service Staff" and "The Ethics of Service Delivery" and remains an active teacher and leader in the concierge profession. She has been a lead instructor/trainer for the International Concierge Institute and provides guest and concierge service training, consulting, development and mystery shopper services for Hospitality Excellence, Inc. She also remains on the concierge staff of the Four Seasons, Palm Beach. She has a BA from Adelphi University and did postgraduate work at George Washington University.

Ms. Oksner can be contacted at 954-739-5299 or elaine@hospitalityexcellence.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.