Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Guillemot

Armand Guillemot

Director of MICE, Great Hotels of the World

Originally from France, Armand Guillemot joined Great Hotels of the World in September 2009. He started as MICE Sales Executive and was responsible for dealing with inquiries through the Great Hotels MICE sales desk, placing MICE business in member hotels and developing relationships with key buyers from Europe. Mr. Armand was swiftly promoted to MICE Sales Manager, focusing his sales efforts on the top European markets. In October 2010, he was promoted to Director of Sales - Meetings and Incentives and is now responsible for the overall performance and management of the Great Hotels MICE sales team (GSO based in London). This includes the proactive promotion of member hotels to the MICE market, ensuring request for proposals are responded to within the 24-hour guaranteed time frame, organizing sales and familiarization trips and road shows as well as guaranteeing the best possible rates for clients. Prior to joining Great Hotels of the World, Mr. Armand worked in various MICE positions, including Diary and Events Manager for De Vere Venues, where he managed sales office activities, maximized revenue, continuously worked to strengthen and build business by leading the team and managed rates. Previous to this, he worked for Accor Hotels for three years as Conference and Revenue Manager where he managed the MICE sales budget by maximizing the revenue and occupancy through competitor intelligence, pricing and managed function room inventory. He also oversaw the contracting and re-contracting of events, maintained relations with customers for ongoing events, ensured all bookings and cancellations were up to date and facilitated the smooth running of events with a personalized service. Mr. Armand also worked for two years at Concorde Hotels at the beginning of his career where his titles were Conference and Event Coordinator and Front Office Manager. Mr. Armand has a degree in Tourism, Hotel Business, Leisure and Sport and has a master's qualification in the Hotel and Tourism industry. He is fluent in French and English and is conversant in German.

Mr. Guillemot can be contacted at 44 0 20 7383 2335 or aguillemot@ghotw.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.