HPN Global Celebrates Multiple Smart Women in Meetings Award Winners

One of the country’s leading full-service meeting planning services announced this week that three associates have received 2019 Smart Women in Meetings Awards. Desi Whitney, Jil Dasher, and Amy Walkowiak are recipients of the reward. These women work in different roles within HPN Global and were winners in the three different categories. This prestigious award platform honors women who are making significant impacts on the meetings industry as well as inspiring female meeting ambassadors worldwide.

The Smart Women in Meetings Awards recognizes the industry’s top female meeting professionals in seven prestigious categories including Hall of Fame, Visionaries, Industry Leaders, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, Stellar Performers, and Rising Stars. Nominated by their industry peers and colleagues and ranked against hundreds of remarkable, qualified meeting candidates, these award winners have earned top honors for their commitment and significant contributions to the meetings industry.

“As the leader of a Woman Owned business under the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), I am honored to promote such a worthy cause for my fellow women in meetings to celebrate our industry, and support and salute each other’s goals and accomplishments,” said Smart Meetings founder and CEO Marin Bright. “The Smart Women in Meetings Awards are especially close to my heart. I am proud to provide a platform for all the women in our industry who drive change and celebrate our progress together as one united community.”

“We can’t begin to express to how much these awards mean to us. It’s amazing to have three women from HPN Global nominated by our peers – all who truly deserve the same award,” said Desi Whitney, Senior VP, Sourcing & Industry Relations for HPN Global. “I’m in great company with Jil Dasher and Amy Walkowiak, who have both been awarded as well. We are not too modest to say we are fierce females! Fierce = showing a heartfelt and powerful intensity.”

Smart Women in Meetings Award winners will be featured in the March issue of Smart Meetings magazine and will also receive on-stage honors at the fourth annual Smart Women in Meetings Awards gala on May 8 at the Smart Woman Summit in Las Vegas.

2019 Smart Women in Meetings Awards Winners

The Smart Woman Summit

Media Contact
HPN Global
info@hpnglobal.com
(480) 998-9770

Ways To Promote Booking Inside The Housing Block

1.  Offer a big-ticket raffle drawing – if you book inside the block you will be entered in the raffle to win….name the item. Announce the winner on social media and year after year attendees will be interested in entering to win. 

2.  Charge higher registration fees to those booked outside of block. This takes a little more effort on the clients’ part. They will need to collect hotel names at the registration desk. If attendees are not reserved at an official hotel, then client can go back and charge a higher registration fee.

3.  If group is shuttling to overflow hotels, advertise the shuttle service is only available to those who book in the block.

4.  Offer coupon booklet or sheet to those attendees that book at official hotel. Engage with city or CVB to see they already have a discount program in place or if they can develop a customized sheet with discounts for local restaurants and attractions.  

5.  Negotiate low cost hotel incentives to advertise to attendees – by staying in the official group hotels, you will receive free high-speed internet, free health club, welcome reception and the exclusive group rate.     

6.  Talk up the hotels – location is convenient, you will be able to network in the hotel lobby or restaurants with your peers (attendees and exhibitors).  

7.  Add a disclaimer on housing materials educating attendees on the importance of staying at the official hotels-keeps registration expenses low and supports the group to be able to offer the best hotel rates.

8.  Use Passkey Event Connector to connect the group’s registration software to Passkey housing. This will automatically take attendees to the Passkey housing site. Reports can be run to show who has registered for the event but who has not booked accommodations. HPN Housing will send out email campaigns encouraging them to book.

HPN Global partners with Passkey to offer a streamlined and automated housing process. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to:

Brandee Johnson, Director of Housing and Registration bjohnson@hpnglobal.com
480-998-9770 Ext: 211

HPN Global: 2018 Year In Review

Here we are, past the first month in 2019! Business is already cranking – with our lead volume up over 15%! You can see flames and smoke coming from the keyboards at HQ from our Sourcing Team.

10 out of 12 months were record breaking in 2018!!

Top 10 Destinations Booked:
Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, Washington DC, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, South Florida, San Francisco, Las Vegas

Consistent with 2017, 41% of our business was in the year for the year. 25% of that consumed within 90 days of being sourced.

2018 market segments consisted of 55% Corporate, 25% Association, and 20% SMERF.

Our business is diversified! Last year we had 15% go to the luxury market, 16% to upper moderate, 45% to mid-scale, and 24% to limited service. We truly have something for everyone.

What does 2019 look like?

This year, we’re excited to continue strengthening the relationships we have in the industry, and build new ones. We remain dedicated to our SPC (Single Point of Contact) philosophy, and love the opportunity to work closely with these excellent professionals on property and in destinations.

You can find us at the brand new Hyatt Regency Seattle for #HPN19. This is an invitation-only event, and is sure to sell out quickly! Register your interest to attend here.

We look forward to spending 2019 with our friends: industry partners, our HPN associates, and our amazing staff.


 Desi Whitney

Connect and HPN Global Announce Alliance Partnership

Connect, the leader in meetings and events is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with HPN Global. Connect’s ongoing aim is to bring together meeting professionals with the services, people and ideas necessary to succeed in the meetings and events space. The new partnership was created to support this aim and enhance Connect’s and HPN Global’s mutual customers’ overall experience.


Through this partnership, Connect and HPN Global will strive to increase the availability of the important resources and services that both industry leaders provide. Representatives from Connect will attend and speak at the annual HPN Global Partner Conference in Seattle Oct. 3-6, 2019, and 20 of the 100 top HPN Global associates will attend and take appointments at Connect 2019 Aug. 26-28 in Louisville, Kentucky. HPN Global will also host a dedicated lounge area during Regicipetion.


HPN Global is one of the most respected, far-reaching site selection and venue-finding companies in the meetings industry. It is the only major company of its kind that operates its own internal sourcing system. HPN Global offers unparalleled value to its clients through its world-class service, deep vendor relationships and the industry’s most effective procurement platform.


“At HPN Global, relationships matter,” said Desi Whitney, senior vice president of sourcing and industry relations at HPN Global. “We’re excited to partner with Connect Meetings to continue our mission of bringing great people together.  We look forward to connecting with new suppliers, customers and really showcasing the HPN Global difference. Amazing things happen when people meet.”

Connect’s reverse-style trade shows provide exposure and face-to-face opportunities that are crucial to develop business. During Marketplace, planners and suppliers meet in prescheduled appointments to exchange RFPs, arrange future site visits and book events. In addition to one-on-one meetings, Connect events feature high-quality education sessions, networking opportunities with like-minded professionals and motivational keynote speakers.

For more information, contact Senior Director of Sales Kristen Francis at kfrancis@connectmeetings.com . For more information about HPN Global, contact Desi Whitney at dwhitney@hpnglobal.com.

ABOUT CONNECT
Connect is a leader in the meetings, events, travel and tourism industry. Specializing in destination marketing, the company produces digital programs, online and mobile solutions, meetings business and travel magazines, trade shows and consumer events, travel guides for newspapers and leisure magazines and destination information, which is distributed through broadcast and custom programs. Connect, formerly known as Collinson Media & Events, introduced the popular Marketplace format to the meetings industry and now produces national shows for meeting planners in the Corporate, Expo, Sports, Diversity, Association and Faith sectors as well as other state– and region-specific meetings- and hospitality-focused events. More information about the company’s brands and services is available at connectmeetings.com

HPN Global Promotes Jil Dasher to Senior Vice President & Managing Director Meeting Services

All, it is with great pride and immense happiness that I’m announcing the promotion of Jil Dasher to Senior Vice President for the firm in addition to her Role as Managing Director for the full service division.  Jil has proven to be an invaluable asset to the company on numerous fronts.
Jil is responsible for the awesome growth and overall management in Full Service and her role will be expanding into the greater company as we strategically plan the next steps in the evolution and growth of the company. She is a loved and trusted adviser.
Let’s all give up some love for Dasher!!!
BK
William J. Kilburg
Chairman and CEO
HPN Global
13825 N. North Sight Blvd
Scottsdale AZ, 85260
480-221-6647

On to 2019!

HPN Global CEO, Bill Kilburg, just announced our 2018 President’s Club Winners! This is an incredible group of top performers, and a coveted designation. We also celebrate our ‘Rookie of the Year’ by honoring our top producing new associate. HPN Global spoils these amazing people with a fabulous all expenses paid trip for two! This year, we’re excited to show our winners an unforgettable experience in Aruba!!

So 2018 was flat out the Best…. Year….. Ever…..   for HPN !!  The most bookings for a year and again currently the largest backlog ever !

Miami conference rocked !   On to Seattle this year !!!!!   You all should be proud of yourselves and we here in Scottsdale are proud to be associated with each and every one of you. This is absolutely the best team in the business.

It was truly another great year !  Awesome new associates and friends and we are more like a family than ever 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 2019!!!!

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. Hug them every day.

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  and successful 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 every day first thing in the morning like clothes, Every day is the best day of my life because I choose for it to be that ! 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, people we do business with.

Change is our Friend – It’s another fact, everything changes, We are going to continue see a ton of that in 2019 for sure . 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 are rarely successful.

Do what you say you are going to do –Business (and our 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. 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. Just get rid of the toxic people in your life.

Be a “Kid” as much as possible –   laugh easily and often, run around and play with your kids, set off fireworks, travel and marvel at the wonder of the world, do silly things with your family and loved ones, learn something new every day, cook something you have never cooked before,  just have fun…….. life is short 

Thanks again to everybody and here’s to an absolutely phenomenal 2019!!!!! Lets go do some epic shit !

Love you all!

BK

HPN Global 2018 President’s Club

HPN Global CEO, Bill Kilburg, just announced our 2018 President’s Club Winners! This is an incredible group of top performers, and a coveted designation. We also celebrate our ‘Rookie of the Year’ by honoring our top producing new associate. HPN Global spoils these amazing people with a fabulous all expenses paid trip for two! This year, we’re excited to show our winners an unforgettable experience in Aruba!!

Welcome to Aruba! The HPN 2018 Presidents Club winners!!
Patrick Halpin
Amy Walkowiak
Brynn Mehrkens
Kristin Vines
Karen Myers
Mark Dallman
Casey Kruer
Mandi Graziano
Bill Kaiser
Andre Kraft
Ken Newman, Rookie of the Year
BK

20 Year Starwood Account Director Joins HPN Global

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Lisa Farano attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and Criminology. Immediately following graduation, Lisa Farano decided sunshine was calling her name and relocated to San Diego, California.  Within a few months of the big move stateside, Wyndham Hotels took a chance on this Canadian as an Assistant to the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Wyndham Emerald Plaza in San Diego, only to get promoted to Sales Manager within 9 months, both “booking and cooking” all of her sales success. Lisa Farano moved over to Starwood Hotel & Resorts in 2004, as an Account Director managing West Coast Corporate and Association Large Group accounts at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.  It was at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina when Lisa Farano began handling the HPN Account as the single point of contact.

The San Diego Metro Market emerged in June 2010, and Lisa Farano was promoted to Account Director, representing four distinctive brands & properties within the Starwood portfolio of Hotels, including the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, W San Diego and Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina managing a variety of corporate and vertical markets.  For the last three years, Lisa Farano was promoted to Director of Citywide Sales at the Starwood San Diego Metro Market.  Lisa Farano has won several awards at Starwood Hotels & Resorts due to her consistent sales performance, exceeding quotas and Ten-time Platinum Incentive Trip success.  In 2018, Lisa Farano decided to use her 20 years of hotel experience to help clients achieve their meeting goals as an intermediary and joined HPN Global.  Lisa Farano will be celebrating 10 years of marriage with her husband, Seth Torma next December, and has two young daughters (Gianna Elyse, 6 and Lilah Frances, 4) and have no plans on leaving sunny San Diego, CA anytime soon.

Lisa Farano
Phone: 619.742.7677

HPN Global Sourcing Operations Welcomes Payton

Welcoming our newest member of the Sourcing Operations team, Payton Bolek!

 

Payton is a recent graduate from the University of Arizona. She worked as a Special Events Coordinator for a local restaurant for the past 5 years, organizing and booking special events that ranged from 20- 200 guests.  Payton also worked as a Campus Event/Travel Coordinator where she assisted in the planning and the execution of trips for students.

 

We are proud to have you be a part of the HPN family…. welcome aboard Payton!!!

Meeting Planner View Atlantic City

So Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City

Upon arrival last weekend, I was very impressed with the transformation that has taken place there. No longer is it just pretending to be a rich man in a poor man’s shirt.

The aurora is truly rising behind this solid meetings destination. With the recent opening of the Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center in the marina district, this is now one of the largest and nicest meetings spaces on the Atlantic seaboard, just over the Jersey state line. Harrah’s offers over 2500 newly renovated sleeping rooms and two stacked 50,000 square foot ballrooms, each breaking into 30 sections. The pre-function space in the conference center was huge, each level had over 25,000 square feet outside the ballroom. They also had outdoor terraces with amazing bay and ocean views. The flexibility of their meeting space was unsurpassed and impressive.



Prefunction space at the Waterfront Conference Center
One of the sections of the flexible ballrooms at the Waterfront Conference Center


…Sleeping at the beach all night.
The sleeping rooms were divided up into several towers, all have recently been remodeled or are brand new. The vast majority of the rooms have great water views. The elevators were very fast and efficient, something that is often forgotten at a hotel of this size. All the rooms I saw were incredibly nice, with spacious separate tub and shower, with exceptional lighting and counter space. Everything you need to put your makeup on and fix your hair up pretty. The beds were plush and the internet was fast, not much else you need to have an enjoyable stay.

Sleeping room at Harrah’s

…I ain’t here on business, I’m only here for fun.
One of my favorite features at Harrah’s was the massive indoor pool that they turn into a concert venue at night. This is a perfect reception space for up to 400 people. The complex has dozens of restaurants at all price points, ranging from high end steak houses to grab a slice pizza joints. Overall, I found the food to be really good, high quality, and it was not overpriced. Several venues did live music at night, adding to the energy of the hotel. The casino was huge, but not all that noisy. They also have a large performance theater that seats 1200, this can also be used for private events or general sessions should the need arise. Harrah’s offers a very unique offering, a large Viking cooking school. This gives people the opportunity to cook their own meal and learn from professional chefs, then eat what they made in a back room with wine parings. It looked like a lot of fun, this type of experiential activity is really popular right now.


Indoor pool at Harrah’s
Viking Cooking School inside of Harrah’s

…Rich man wanna be king
Over in the center of the boardwalk is Caesars Palace, an 1100 room hotel. This hotel is smack in the center of the action. This is a miniature version of the iconic hotel in Las Vegas. They have 28,000 square feet of meeting space, highlighted by a 17,000 square foot ballroom. The hotel has some of the best restaurants on the boardwalk, Morton’s, Nero’s Italian, Phillips Seafood, and Gordon Ramsey’s Pub and Grill. This is a truly great hotel for groups of 250-300. The rooms were very upscale and large, all with nice water views.


Sleeping room at Caesars Palace

…Running off down the boardwalk
Next to Caesars, is Ballys, a 1200 room hotel. Ballys is a really nice option for groups more on a budget than Caesars or Harrah’s, but still a nice product. The 80,000 square foot meeting space is all on one level, making it very convenient. They also offer the largest casino floor in Atlantic City, and also have a number of restaurants at all price points. Both Bally’s and Caesars are right across from a massive outlet mall. The prices and selection were outstanding here, I am not a shopping fan, but this was one of the best outlet malls I have ever been to.


Sleeping room at Bally’s
Some of the meeting space at Bally’s

…Never gave no thought to landing.
The Atlantic City airport has very limited service, right now only Spirit flies in there. The Philadelphia airport is about an hour away, giving you a ton of flight options. This time from the airport should not be a huge impairment to booking there, as it is often an hour or more to get to the main downtown hotels in cities like Chicago, LA, New York, Houston, and plenty of other cities. As an added convenience, one-third of the US population is within one tank of gas to get to Atlantic City, tearing down the highway like a big old dinosaur. So Mary, climb in…We’re pulling out of here to win.

…Cant start a fire without a spark.
For many people, the first thing that they think of when entering a casino is the amount of smoke that is used to be omnipresent. The filtration systems that casinos have installed recently has changed this reality. I spent extensive time at three large casinos and never once smelled smoke in any public area. The meetings spaces are all non- smoking, as are the restaurants. In years past, it was impossible to enter a casino without smelling like an ashtray, but these are better days shining through now, making this a non-issue in most casinos.

I was impressed by the transformation that the city and the hotels that I visited has undergone. It is a city I would enjoy going back to, and one I can see bringing groups of all sizes to in the future. There is still a lot of value to be found here, especially for groups booking during the week. It has all of the amenities that my groups are looking for, and is perfect for those groups that has a big driving contingent and those looking at the Northeast.

I will say it again, Meet me tonight in Atlantic City.

All photos were taken by Timothy Arnold, May 2018. Most quotes shamelessly stolen from the immortal Bruce Springsteen.
**Guest Written by Timothy Arnold, CMP, CMM – Regional Vice President of HPN Global


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

972-624-1144 Phone
http://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyarnoldhpn
tarnold@hpnglobal.com