Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Buckley

Shruti Buckley

Vice President & Global Brand Manager, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Marriott International, Inc.

Shruti Buckley joined Marriott International, Inc. in 2008 as vice president and global brand manager of the Fairfield Inn & Suites brand. She has accountability for global brand strategy, brand positioning and integrity, and the guest experience for more than 700 hotels worldwide. Ms, Buckley has more than 15 years of experience in brand and business management, marketing, and strategy development across a variety of categories, including luxury cosmetics, apparel, food and toys. Prior to joining Marriott, she worked for National Geographic, leading all global marketing, public relations, product branding and international retail development efforts for the organization's Licensing division. Prior to National Geographic, Shruti held product development and brand management leadership roles at Estee Lauder, Unilever and Nestle. She also brings international experience and perspective, having lived and worked in Switzerland and Japan. Ms, Buckley is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in South East Asian Studies. Ms, Buckley and her family live in Bethesda, Maryland.

Ms. Buckley can be contacted at 301-380-7770 or ffiheadquarters@marriott.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.