Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. McConnell

Emily McConnell

Spa Director, Dana Hotel and Spa

With over ten years of experience in the spa industry, Emily McConnell brings a strong background in dedicated leadership as well as aesthetics to the spa at the Dana Hotel and Spa. Ms. McConnell has previously worked as an aesthetician and a spa manager at a variety of prestigious Resort Spas in Chicago. Realizing at a young age that the spa industry was her passion, Ms. McConnell first attended Eastern Michigan University to earn a degree in Business. Shortly after college, Ms. McConnell traveled throughout Australia, Asia and Europe to research spa practices and treatments of diverse cultures. After working in the industry, Ms. McConnell decided to gain a more intimate knowledge of spa processes and operations. She went back to school to earn her Esthetic's License at Pivot Point International. She continues to use that vast knowledge and background to uphold the Dana Hotel and Spa name when it comes to quality and prestige. Ms. McConnell coordinates the development and technique of the spa treatments offered, and continuously researches new methods and products while referencing her extensive experience in esthetics.

Ms. McConnell can be contacted at 312-202-6064 or emcconnell@danahotelandspa.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.