Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Manchester

Ayrlea A Manchester

Executive Assistant & Sustainability Supervisor, Bellstar Hotels & Resorts

Ayrlea Manchester, has been with Bellstar Hotels & Resorts, working as an EA and as the Sustainability Supervisor since June of 2014. With 6+ years of experience in the hospitality industry, Ms. Manchester feels Bellstar is an excellent fit, a great company, and a fantastic team. She enjoys utilizing her degree as well as learning new skills. She is currently working in some Purchasing and Marketing projects as well. Ms. Manchester recently wrote and submitted a nomination on behalf of Bellstar for the Hotel Association of Canada's Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence: 2014 Environmental award, which they won. A great honour, of which they are very proud. Ms. Manchester was born and raised in a small town in Ontario, with a small ski resort on one side and a beautiful lake on the other. She spent most of her childhood outdoors. As she moved through all levels of schooling, Two of Ms. Manchester's passions were reading and writing. Ms. Manchester attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where she graduated with an Honours Environmental degree. She then spent 5 months traveling, visiting Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Bali and Southeast Asia. In October of 2013 Ms. Manchester moved from Ontario to Calgary, Alberta. Ms. Manchester's hobbies include reading, writing, swimming, hiking with her dog, snowboarding and horseback riding.

Ms. Manchester can be contacted at 403-695-3463 or ayrleam@bellstar.ca

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.