Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fawell

Richard Fawell

Design & Managing Principal, VOA Associates Incorporated

Rick Fawell, AIA, NCARB, IIDA, is currently Design and Managing Principal of the two VOA offices in China and has been designing and planning Hotel, Resort and Residential projects over the past 35 years across the United States and currently in China and Southeast Asia. Mr. Fawell has studied, worked and lived in Paris, France and Helsinki, Finland as well as Boston and Chicago in the United States and since 2009 has resided in Beijing. The Beijing and Shanghai offices of VOA are responsible not only for the hospitality work in China but also currently in South Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia. VOA is also in the midst of large resort master-planning projects throughout Asia. Mr. Fawell has been with VOA as a Principal for the past 19 years, the past seven years predominantly in Asia. VOA is currently in various stages of design and construction on new luxury hotels, residential projects, and resorts throughout China and the rest of Asia.

Mr. Fawell can be contacted at 312-453-7554 or rfawell@voa.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.