Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Evans Parker

Deborah Evans Parker

Principal, Deborah Evans & Associates, LLC

Deborah Evans Parker is the founder and principal of Deborah Evans & Associates and has created and designed, developed, consulted, marketed and managed select destination, resort and day spas and salons throughout her career. With over twenty - five years of hands on spa experience and a proven track record. Ms. Evans is a dynamic visionary and recognized industry leader in planning, programming, marketing and public relations and successful management of hotel and spa operations. As a perpetual student, spa chef, licensed massage and spa therapist, author, educator and spa aficionado, Ms. Evans has developed a unique background and expertise in spa cuisine, massage and spa therapies, fitness and outdoor recreational programs and holistic health. Combined with expertise in strategic business development, branding and imaging, retail development and management, staff development and team dynamics and sales and service training. Ms. Evans is a highly sought after spa and salon consultant, providing expert advice to both new and existing spas. Seeing both a need and an opportunity, Deborah launched her new spa and salon distribution company in 2010 and now represents ten quality spa and salon brands in the national US market. Ms. Evans oversaw the development and repositioning of two leading destination spas, Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas and Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah. Serving as General Manager of both of these "top ten" spas, Evans oversaw the re-tooling of "Bermuda Inn" to "Lake Austin" and "National Institute of Fitness" to "Red Mountain Spa". Sensing a need and an opportunity in the industry, Evans developed and conducted a spa management training program and founded her spa consulting business in 1995 and was selected to develop The Grand Floridian Spa at Disney World in Orlando, Florida as her initial project. As a spa industry expert, Ms. Evans has been interviewed and quoted in hundreds of publications and by most leading spa, health, and beauty and travel publications. Ms. Evans has served on The International Spa Association Board of Directors and Foundation Board. She currently serves as President of the Spa Consulting Chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants and is dedicated to setting ethical standards and certification for spa consultants. She is a member of the International Spa Association, The Institute of Management Consultants and The Manufacturer Agents National Association.

Ms. Evans Parker can be contacted at 901-221-8283 or deborah@devansassociates.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.