Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Kasner

Sara-Ann Kasner

CEO & Founder, National Concierge Association

Sara-ann Kasner has been a corporate Concierge in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area since 1992. In 1998, Ms. Kasner founded the National Concierge Association, an international networking organization for Concierge and hospitality industry businesses. As Chief Executive Officer she has been instrumental in developing the NCA Certification and NCA Endorsed Partner Programs and establishing chapters of the organization throughout the United States. In 1996, Ms. Kasner was named “Corporate Concierge of The Year” by Minneapolis-St. Paul magazine and received the prestigious gold key and lifetime achievement award from Where Magazine International in 1997. During her career, Ms. Kasner has been quoted in articles about concierge service by the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, the Japan Times and “O” Magazine. Ms. Kasner is also a sought after public speaker on the subject of Concierge service. In May of 2012 she was the keynote speaker at a customer service forum to a group of hospitality professionals at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in Basseterre, West Indies. Ms. Kasner is currently the Director of Concierge Services for Zeller Realty Group providing corporate concierge service to three office towers in Minneapolis and Bloomington, Minnesota.

Ms. Kasner can be contacted at 612-317-2932 or sara-ann@ncakey.org

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.