Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Derby

Elizabeth Derby

Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Hotel Equities

Elizabeth Derby serves as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based, full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. She sits as a member of the Hotel Equities Strategic Alliance Leadership Team, the executive committee that casts the company vision and orchestrates its growth. Ms. Derby holds responsibility for all revenue generation for the portfolio including hotel sales and marketing, revenue management and e-commerce. She assists the hotels with setting overall sales and marketing strategies to maximize revenues. Recently, she spearheaded the revitalization of the company logo, the firm's website and all marketing materials. She oversees the firm's public relations strategy and implementation, including media relations and the quarterly company newsletter. Ms. Derby joined Hotel Equities 15 years ago as Director of Sales & Marketing for the company's portfolio that numbered only four hotels at the time. Today, the firm includes 25 sales directors serving more than 40 properties in five states from Virginia to Louisiana. With more than 29 years in the hotel business, Ms. Derby held sales positions at the The Mills House Hotel in Charleston, the Memphis Marriott, the Lowell Sheraton, and the Charlotte Marriott Executive Park before taking her present post. She began her career at the Kiawah Island Resort near Charleston, South Carolina. Ms. Derby holds a B.S. degree in Administrative Management from Clemson University.

Ms. Derby can be contacted at 678-578-4444 or ederby@hotelequities.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.