Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Parisi

Dawn Parisi

Area Director of Sales & Marketing, Starwood Caribbean Hotels & Resorts

Dawn Parisi, with 18 years of hospitality sales and marketing experience under her belt, leads the Starwood Caribbean Hotels & Resorts team as the cluster's area director of sales and marketing and director of sales and marketing for The Westin St. John Resort & Villas. Before joining Starwood Caribbean Hotels & Resorts, Ms. Parisi held positions at major brands from Hilton Hotels to Intercontinental Hotels Group in several key markets including the Caribbean, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Orlando, Cincinnati and West Palm Beach. Previously at Starwood, Ms. Parisi served as the director of sales and marketing for new builds and transitions as well as complex director of sales at the W Hotels of New York City. As area director of sales and marketing, Ms. Parisi oversees six properties: The Westin St. John Resort & Villas; The Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba; W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island; Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino; Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino and The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico. Among her duties, Ms. Parisi is primarily responsible for revenue and yield strategies along with directing and managing all catering and banquet sales activities. Within The Westin St. John Resort & Villas, Ms. Parisi develops sales initiatives, builds and maintains deep-rooted customer relationships, realizes strategies to meet and exceed guests' needs in leisure and group sales functions, and achieves the property's sales objectives.

Ms. Parisi can be contacted at 866-716-8108 or dawn.parisi@starwoodhotels.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.