Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cario

John Cario

General Manager, Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown

John P. Cario, a longtime respected hotel manager in the Richmond area, has served as general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown in the historic Miller & Rhoads complex since April, 2010. Mr. Cario is a past board member of the Richmond Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau and currently serves on the board of the Greater Richmond Hotel & Motel Association. He has worked in a number of management capacities in Richmond area hotels under the Wyndham, Doubletree and Embassy Suites flags. During his career with Wyndham, Mr. Cario opened or operated seven hotels in Chicago, Nashville, Maryland and Arizona. His Chicago-Oakbrook Terrace Wyndham received “Best New Hotel Award” in 1996. Most recently, he served as general manager of another downtown Richmond hotel, advancing operations following a $10 million renovation. Mr. Cario earned his bachelor's degree from James Madison University in Harrisburg, VA.

Mr. Cario can be contacted at 804-344-4300 or john.cario@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.