Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Pepe

Dianne Pepe

Director of Group Sales, Millennium Broadway Hotel, New York

As director of group sales for the 750-room Millennium Broadway Hotel New York, Dianne Pepe has responsibility for the property's 110,000 square feet of meeting and business space, including the only residential IACC-accredited conference center in New York City and the iconic and historic Hudson Theatre, an immensely popular choice for special corporate events, product launches, private social events, and weddings, including the largest number of same sex marriages in the city. Prior to joining Millennium Ms. Pepe was area director of sales for the Pyramid Hotel Group where she directed the sales operation and managed a staff of 16 for two “big box” central New Jersey IACC certified conference center hotels totaling 770 rooms and over 110,000 square feet of meeting space. Before that, she was director of group sales for The Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village, a 294-room hotel with 22,000 square feet of conference space. Ms. Pepe began her sales career as catering manager at the all-suite Madison Suites Hotel before moving on to the 204-room Radisson Hotel Princeton. In 2004 she was recruited by the prestigious Doral Forrestal Conference Center and Spa where she received recognition as the top hotel sales manager for Interstate Hotels and Resorts Northeast 2005 and began her love affair with IACC. She holds an A.A.S. degree from Sullivan County Community College, part of the State University of New York system.

Ms. Pepe can be contacted at 212-789-7566 or dpepe@mill-usa.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.