Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Suomi

Michael Suomi

Principal and Vice President Interior Design, Stonehill & Taylor

Michael Suomi is Principal and VP of Interior Design at Stonehill & Taylor where he leads the firm's interior design practice. Mr. Suomi has an extensive background in creating unique and high-profile hospitality projects for a long list of clients including Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Disney, as well as a number of independent hotel brands. His approach to design is based on the idea of developing a strong narrative for each project based on its distinct characteristics such as its history, location, and cultural significance. His design vision ensures that a close link to the concept is maintained from initial programming and planning, all the way to the smallest executional detail. Mr. Suomi leads in the area of social sustainability in design, championing the use of design's purchasing power to create jobs and lift economies. His work for hotels and restaurants has been recognized through various industry awards including the HD Awards and Boutique Design Awards. Mr. Suomi is the co-founder of Futuregreen Hospitality Forum in partnership with Interior Design Magazine, which brings together hotel brands, designers and manufacturers every year to determine and implement actionable steps for positive impact in the near future. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Radical Innovation, an annual competition that challenges the hotel industry by seeking new ideas in design and operations. His prior executive experience includes: Rockwell Group - Senior Associate, Studio Design Director; Jordan Mozer and Associates - Director of Architecture; MacEwen + Mr. Suomi - President, Director of Design.

Please visit http://www.stonehilltaylor.com for more information.

Mr. Suomi can be contacted at 212-226-8898 or email@stonehilltaylor.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.