Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Vanderslice

John T.A. Vanderslice

Global Head, Luxury and Lifestyle Brands, Hilton Worldwide

John T. A. Vanderslice serves as the Global Head of Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, of Hilton Worldwide, which includes Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Vanderslice joined Hilton Worldwide in September 2009 and has an extensive background in international hospitality and packaged goods. He has worked at such notable companies as Club Med, Inc. and Kraft General Foods. Mr.Vanderslice served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Club Med Americas, operator of more than 100 leisure resorts in 30 countries, where he led Club Med's operations in North and South America. He was credited with successfully integrating Club Med's marketing and commercial activities, finance and operations while repositioning the all-inclusive resorts as upscale destinations. Prior to joining Hilton Worldwide, Mr. Vanderslice served as Chief Executive Officer for Miraval Spa, Tucson, Ariz., where he where he was instrumental in transforming the 13-year old spa into a top-ranked lifestyle resort and launched the first branded lifestyle real estate concept, Miraval Living in New York. Mr.Vanderslice has also held executive positions with Triarc Restaurant Group, Ft. Lauderdale and its subsidiaries including Arby's and T.J. Cinnamons, Inc. Prior to that, he served in a leadership capacity overseeing legacy brands and new product introductions for Kraft General Foods.

Mr. Vanderslice can be contacted at 703-883-1000 x35255 or john.vanderslice@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.