Editorial Board   

Mr. Schuurman

Darrell Schuurman

Co-Founder, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Darrell Schuurman is the co-founder of Travel Gay Canada, working towards improving economic opportunities for members through research, product development, and the promotion of Canada as an LGBT travel destination. Mr. Schuurman is also the co-founder of the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Schuurman has over 20 years experience in tourism, working in the accommodation, transportation, tourism services, and travel trade sectors of the industry. Mr. Schuurman is currently the Managing Partner at DNA Marketing Group, a specialized marketing company offering a full-range of services for the tourism industry. Prior, Mr. Schuurman spent 6 years with VIA Rail Canada as Manager of Market Development and 5 years with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council as Director of Sales & Marketing. Mr. Schuurman completed his Bachelor of Commerce Degree concentrating in Tourism at the University of Calgary, and completed his Executive MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University.

Mr. Schuurman can be contacted at 416-761-5151 or darrell@cglcc.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.