Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Khan

Shujaat Khan

Chief Concierge, The Capital Hilton

Then UICH Director of the Americas and a past President of Les Clefs d'Or USA, Shujaat Khan's hospitality career spans three decades. His career began at the Watergate Hotel as a Guest Service Agent. He was quickly promoted to Reservations Manager, Sales and Meetings Coordinator, Front Office Manager and Head Concierge. Currently, he is the Chief Concierge at the Capital Hilton Hotel, in Washington DC. Mr. Khan's dedication to hospitality excellence is demonstrated by his deep commitment to fostering growth and professionalism among Concierges. For over a decade, he has served on the Board of Directors for Les Clefs d'Or, USA. He was instrumental in developing a training program for Caribbean hospitality professionals. In 2006, Mr. Khan conducted "The Art of the Concierge," training classes in Antigua, Anguilla, St. Maarten and St. Barth. This year he is scheduled to conduct classes in DC, Miami and a few other US Cities. A recipient of multiple professional awards, Shujaat was named the "Hospitality Star of the Year 2006,"from the Hotel Association of the District of Columbia. Additionally, he has received multiple Spirit of Pride awards from the Hilton Hotel Corporation, and was named the Concierge of the Year. Shujaat had a cameo appearance with Clint Eastwood in the movie "Absolute Power," filmed at The Watergate Hotel. Recently, he performed a short role in "Sheer Madness," at the Kennedy Center. Mr. Khan has initiated many philanthropic endeavors to assist local, national and international charities. His selfless fundraising efforts have raised thousands of dollars to provide assistance to victims of international disasters and Concierges in need, through the Les Clefs d'Or Foundation and the Les Clefs d'Or Relief Fund. Married to Mrs. Linda Khan for 25 years, they are blessed to have two handsome sons. Sameer, the eldest son, is a proud Marine and attends college part time. The younger son, Salim, is graduating from WT Woodson this year, and will be attending the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events at The George Mason University.

Mr. Khan can be contacted at 202-639-5712 or Shujaat.Khan@hilton.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.