Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Skaife

Jennifer Skaife

Design Director, DiLeonardo

As Design Director at DiLeonardo, Jennifer Skaife believes the process of reaching successful design solutions will be enriched by the participation of all DiLeonardo team members and encourages young talented designers to offer up ideas and concepts from the get go. Ms. Skaife studied Fine Art & Sculpture at Banbury School of Art, Oxfordshire, England and received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Three Dimensional Design/Interior Design from The City of Birmingham Polytechnic (now Birmingham Institute of Art & Design) in England. Ms. Skaife has also served as a guest critic at California State University Long Beach. One of the legacies of Ms. Skaife's childhood in the Scottish Highlands is a deep love of wilderness and open spaces. She holds a Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification and when not working she likes to be outdoors with her dogs. She enjoys camping, backpacking, and ocean kayaking. Ms. Skaife also tries to spend at least one week a year on a silent meditation retreat. Ms. Skaife believes that the early involvement of all project design disciplines - in other words get as much information about the project up front from as many sources as possible - leads to greater innovation which ultimately leads to reaching exceptional design solutions. A strong design and aesthetic sensibility, supported by 'off the cuff' sketching skills, has enriched her process in successfully leading her design teams through challenging project demands from Concept through to Construction. There is rarely a day that valuable words and examples set by past mentors do not come to mind.

Ms. Skaife can be contacted at 401-732-2900 or jskaife@dileonardo.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.