Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. DeHaven

Christina DeHaven

Principal, DeHaven Consulting

Christina DeHaven, CMP is President and owner of DeHaven Consulting, a full-service meeting planning and event education company based in New Jersey. Ms. DeHaven takes pride in creating exceptional events with seamless production. She is a passionate logistics professional with experience in pharmaceutical, corporate and association meetings and events. Through her speaking and training engagements at industry conferences, 'lunch & learn's and FAM trips, she continues to advance professionalism and the highest standards within the industry. With her supplier consulting, Ms. DeHaven helps venues grow their group business, increase market share and make improvements to become a “Pharma Friendly” property. She is also working with the Convention Industry Council (CIC) as a Subject Matter Expert for the creation of the healthcare subspecialty designation. Before founding her own consultancy, Ms. DeHaven was a Project Manager with UniversalWorld Events. There she sourced and managed global product launches, international pharmaceutical meetings, events, domestic and international congresses, advisory board meetings and trainings across multiple therapeutic areas. She led motivated, performance driven teams to operational excellence and conducted staff training on Pharmaceutical Compliance, Venue Contracting and Negotiation Strategies. Prior to her work with UWE Ms. DeHaven planned medical education meetings for DesignWrite, a full-service medical communications company. There she was a training mentor and received five Service Recognition Awards for client satisfaction. Ms. DeHaven began her career in the meetings industry as a supplier holding various positions in Sales & Catering for Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt and Starwood. She has experience selling the SMERF and Corporate markets for both the Hyatt and Westin brands.

Ms. DeHaven can be contacted at 609-223-2229 or christina@dehavenconsulting.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.