IBTM World Barcelona Spain

Mark Dallman sharing his thoughts on some of the trends he is seeing in Barcelona while attending IBTM World.

Virtual reality has really taken the show by storm. Countries, cities, destinations even hotels are using VR to showcase their product or service. Visit Virtually.

Business is back, there are people having one on one appointments all over the trade show floor. The International business is buzzing. People are showing up. The attendance is extremely strong.

Great vibe follow Mark for more updates from the show and other important meeting planner tips.


HPN Global – Partners of the Year Award

Each year we announce our “Partners of the Year” during our annual conference. In case you were unable to make the Conference last week, we have included the full list of winners below:

Small Mid-Size Meetings Partner of the Year:
Carmen Cruz; Marriott International

Large Size Meetings Partner of the Year:
Harold Batiste; Marriott International

Total Account Management Partner of the Year:
Catherine Stadel; Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

Boutique Chain Partner of the Year:
Kerri Metcalf; Loews Hotels & Resorts

Luxury Segment Partner of the Year:
Herb Bayard; The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group

On-Property Sales Partner of the Year:
Brian Bloom; Atlanta Marriott Marquis

CVB Partner of the Year:
Julie Greer and Cherise Wilson; Reno Tahoe USA

Meeting Services Partner of the Year:
Stacey Crivello; ACCESS

Congratulations to Jil Dasher

Hey all, just a note of congratulations on a new title for her as she continues to do fantastic things on our full service side of the business.

We are moving her title from “Vice President, Meeting Services” to “Vice President and Managing Director, Meeting Services” to reflect her ever growing role in the overall management of that area of the company.

Jil continually expands her expertise and knowledge. She has gone from running programs for us to selling Meeting Services for the company to now overall management responsibility for that division. She is thoughtful and enthusiastic on everything she does. She truly and constantly represents the company at a world class level.

Great Job Jil ! – we are thankful to have you as a part of the company

Everybody give up some congrats for Jil !!!

HPN Global 2015 President’s Club

These 10 people have won an all-expense paid trip for two to the gorgeous Ritz Carlton Puerto Rico. Here’s the HPN Global Presidents club for 2015 !!!!!

Congratulations to all!

Let’s Have An Absolutely Awesome 2016!

Ok, all, we blew the doors off 2015!  Best month and year in the company’s history by a wide margin and the best conference ever!!!!

It was truly another great year!  Awesome new associates and friends and too much fun …….. Thanks to everybody!!

So here again are those basic founding ideas of the company and our culture to set out a basis for our combined success in the New Year.

Love you all and let’s go have an absolutely awesome 2016!!!!

Family First – for most of us our family and loved ones are why we do this, they are why we get up in the morning and go do what we do, time with them is the most precious thing we have.

Have FUN – Have fun every day doing what you do. If you enjoy what you are doing, it pretty rapidly ceases to be work, it’s pretty cool to do something every day that you are having fun at! A lot of people go thru life without ever having that opportunity. We are in the best business in the world! I’ve never met a happier, more fun group of people in my life!!

Be Nice to People – It’s a basic fact, People are nice to people who are nice to them, we are in the service business, people buy from people they like!

Be Passionate and Enthusiastic Both are absolutely infectious, I put on a positive attitude on every day first thing in the morning like clothes, every day is the best day of my life! Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you do and success will certainly follow.

Life is all about Relationships – Relationships, Relationships, Relationships! At the end of the day nothing else matters but the connections we make with other people, people we work with, people we love, and people we do business with.

Change is our Friend – It’s another fact, everything changes. No matter what you think is the status quo, it is in fact, going to change and increasingly rapidly. The people that can assimilate and appreciate, and perhaps even lead change, are the ones who are successful, the ones who hate change end up working at the post office.

Do what you say you are going to do –Business (and are competitors) are full of people that say “yea, I can handle that” and then drop the ball or don’t follow through. Nothing is worse in business than relying on somebody to get something done and then having it not happen, most especially in the service environment. Do what you say you are going to do every time!! Success will follow!

Let go of negativity – Stuff is going to go wrong, somebody is going to make you mad, deal with it and then let go of it and move on, harboring ongoing negativity hurts you not them J I’m by no means saying to put up with bad behavior from toxic people but get over it and realize life is too short. The past is the past, the only things we can affect are in the future.

Thanks again to everybody and here’s to a fantastic 2016!!!!!


Love you all J




Wrapping Up 2015 to take on 2016

HPN Global Conference Engagement Recap!

Each year we deploy mobile event app technology for our annual conference. Each year we learn something not only about the technology and how to execute it, but we learn more about our organization, our attendees and how our attendees want to receive information. The thing we have figured out, that with the use of mobile technology, we are able to have a better control of our message and communication in real time.

Some quick ‪#‎HPN15‬ event app stats:

Adoption rate 73%
Total device activations 529
Total unique users 411
Total # of attendees 562
Total # of times the app was opened 31,665
Total time spent in the application 239 hours
Total number of pictures submitted 515
Date of most activations 8/24
Date of most engagement 8/26
Apple phones 72%
Android phones 19%
iPad 5%
Mobile web 4%
Number of messages sent 179
Number of tweets sent 153
Most popular areas of app Agenda, Quick Meetings, Gallery, Messaging, and Twitter in that order.
Access Destination Services, Visit Newport Beach, Host Global Alliance and Hard Rock Hotels were the most popular sponsors.

We did good!

Posted by HPN Global on Monday, August 31, 2015

Meet HPN Global Meeting Services’ New VP

We are very excited to announce another well-deserved promotion! Jil Dasher is being promoted to Vice President of Meeting Services division for the company. In this role, she will have overall responsibility for both the operations and sales of the division. Please join us all in congratulating Jil on an absolutely fantastic job and an overdue promotion!

Learn more about Jil here.

Destination Review: Moscow, Russia

Since I was very young, I have enjoyed reading, especially spy novels and thrillers. The ones I truly loved were the CIA vs. KGB, the ones that pitted the US against the Communists. Tom Clancy, John LeCarre, Grahame Greene, Ian Fleming, Nelson DeMille all excelled in this theme. In the past going behind the Iron Curtain was something forbidden and taboo for Americans, so naturally I have always wanted to travel there. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Russia has steadily become more accessible. Visitors from the US must obtain a Russian visa, at the cost of $235. This complicated process requires a copy of your passport, hotel reservations, airline confirmations showing entry and exits, letters of invitations (you get these from your hotel), and several other forms. Kind of a backward process, as you are required to have plane tickets and hotel rooms before your visa is approved. Mine was approved within a week.

red-square-moscowThere are two main airports serving the Moscow area. Expect a ton of security, including metal detectors to enter the airport, customs, and to access the gates. Sheremetyevo (SVO) has a horrible reputation and I would avoid that one if at all possible. The newer one is Domodedovo (DME), and was quite nice. Though only 26 miles from downtown Moscow, it can take almost two hours during rush hour. Budget your time accordingly. For $50 each way, I set up round trip taxi service with Angel Taxi, and was able to do this online in advance. This made traveling easier and less stressful. I did not have to worry about traffic increasing the fare, or have to search for a taxi at 3am when I was returning to the airport.

Most of the main tourist attractions are in the center of Moscow. This is where most groups would enjoy staying, as many things are easy walking distance. Located on the banks of the river is Red Square, in the city center. Entering Red Square, one of the most iconic places on Earth, literally took my breath away. St Basils Cathedral, with the amazing onion domes, decorated in whimsical gingerbread house colors, dominates this massive square. Built in 1555, it has survived tyrants, tsars, Napoleon, communism, World Wars, and more. You would be hard pressed to find a more interesting and beautiful building in the world than St Basils.

Other sites in Red Square include the sprawling Kremlin complex, Russian history museums and the GUM, a huge upscale shopping complex in a historic building.

red-square-moscow2Despite having 11.5 million citizens, Moscow still does not have a huge international hotel presence. For the most part, all are small by American standards, most having around 300 rooms. Compare this to a city like Shanghai which has a similar population, but countless international hotels. Thus, Moscow hotel rates are apt to be much more expensive, as the supply is much tighter than other cities. Average rates are $407 USD, and were noted by Bloomberg to be the highest in the world a few years ago. In Moscow, you will find the major international hotel chains. Ritz, Kempinski, Crowne Plaza, Doubletree, Four Seasons, Hilton and Hyatt each have one of their flagship brands in Moscow. Marriott and Radisson both have three locations throughout the city.

The soon to open Four Seasons Moscow, just steps from the entrance to Red Square, is far and away the best location in the city. This hotel has 180 rooms and will be a bargain if you can ever find rates under $600 USD a night.

I stayed at the Marriott Royal Aurora, which was just a pleasant ten minute walk to the Kremlin. This hotel has 232 rooms with meeting space for around 200 people. Truly an exceptional location, the rooms are well appointed and nice. It is about 2 blocks from the stunning Bolshoi Theatre. I was able to enjoy a ballet on the historic stage for 100 rubles (about 3 US Dollars) by buying it from the ticket office a few minutes before it started. Still not sure how I scored that deal, but I did not ask or complain, I just enjoyed watching it on the preeminent theater in the world.

Between the Marriott and Red Square, is the 206 room Park Hyatt Ararat, which has meeting space for 100 people.

Lobby of the Marriott Royal Aurora

Situated on the banks of the Moscow River, the Radisson Royal Hotel has 497 rooms and is housed in one of the Seven Sister buildings. They were built by Stalin as a symbols of Soviet power between 1947 and 1953. Rightfully so, no one has ever praised the Communists on their architecture prowess. These buildings are an exception to that rule. The Radisson Royal has large meeting space, perfect for up to 500 people. It was the tallest hotel in the world until 1975, when the Peachtree Plaza Hotel opened in Atlanta.

radisson-royal-moscowRadisson Royal Hotel

I also stayed one night at the Hilton Leningradskaya hotel, which is also housed in a Seven Sisters hotel. I found the staff here to be very pleasant and they went out of their way to make me feel at home. This one has 273 rooms, and some exquisite meeting space. It is also right across the street from a major train station and metro stop. Red square is only a few minutes on the metro vs. a 30 minute walk.

ballroom-hilton-moscowBallroom of the Hilton Leningradskyaya

Moscow also has some massive Russian hotels, the Izmailovo complex has over 7,000 rooms and conference facilities for up to 500 people. The Cosmos Hotel has 1,777 rooms and meeting space for 1,000 people. I did not visit either of these hotels, as they were not close to the city center, but from their websites, they appear to be three star quality rooms.

Visiting Moscow was fascinating, but felt more closed off than any other place I have visited. The city itself was amazing, though it was not the most tourist friendly. Signs were all in Russian, and there are little accommodations to assist foreign visitors. Most people I met were extremely brisk, if not outright rude. Very few people spoke English, even in the hotels. But the trip was awesome, and I will not hesitate to go back one day. Stunning architecture, amazing history, just as many breath taking churches as Rome. Moscow was one of the most interesting places in Europe I have been to in years.

Top Image: Cathedral of the Annunciation, inside of the Kremlin.

All photos taken by Timothy Arnold, May 2014

All my best,

Timothy Arnold, CMP, CMM
Regional Vice President
Hospitality Performance Network – HPN Global

Bill’s Beach

OK so this is for all our great hotel partners out there, Over the summer I’m doing something I’ve wanted to do for a while — taking a big part of my office and building a “beach” in it to celebrate the HPN entrepreneurial lifestyle !! Sooooooo, if your hotel is at or near a beach and you feel like it send me some sand from your own beach, I’d love to have a bunch of partners to participate in the sand to recognize the great relationships we all have together. Send it to “Bill’s Beach” at the corp office. Thanks all and see you in august in DC !!