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A Time To Pause...

As the leaves begin to fall and October settles in, it is the perfect time to reflect and give thanks for the year so far.  This month we are celebrating many things at The Howes Group including our company's 3rd Anniversary.  On October 4th, Lisa Sharman will celebrate her birthday (Happy Birthday Lisa!) and on October 14th, Rod and I will raise a glass to our 25th Wedding Anniversary.  Where does the time go?

Along with marking special occasions, it is important to acknowledge the folks who make our personal and work lives easier.  My favourite African proverb is, 'If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go as a group.'  

Working together and collaborating brings great rewards while it is not without significant effort.  What makes a great relationship?  If I may speak for all of us at The Howes Group, we believe the same principles that hold true for a personal relationship hold true for a professional relationship.  Every working union, friendship and collaboration requires effort, adjustment, commitment, growth, a whole lot of empathy and appreciation.    

In this industry, we hear the word 'relationship' so often that of late it seems to have lost its sincerity.  What does it mean anymore?  It is my hope that the word trust is still part of this modern union.  An assertion that ethics and leadership consultant Frank Navran often uses, but did not originate, says, "Trust is the residual of promises fulfilled."  Those are words to be very grateful for...

Thank you to everyone who makes up our day, month, year and decades!  Wishing you a most wonderful time of thanks...

Timely yours, 
Brenda
 

101 Tips:  Efficient Communication With A Hotel

It can be mutually agreed:  the meeting planner and the hotel both want the conference to go perfectly! Discussing and clarifying some of the details below just might be enough to make it happen:
  1. VIP arrivals: Tell the hotel when your VIPs have changed their arrival times even if it is a matter of a few hours.  Hotels often communicate VIP arrival times with multiple departments and it might mean the difference of having a room ready for their arrival, or a hotel favour that has sat in the room a little too long or perhaps even a missed opportunity for a senior hotel team member to give their room an added inspection. 
  2. Arrival patterns: If it seems obvious to you, don’t assume the hotel has picked up on it and has your excellent attention to detail.  Even though you might have submitted the rooming list with the flight numbers and arrival times, remind the hotel that 25 of your delegates are arriving on the red eye from Vancouver and will require luggage storage and/or priority room availability in the morning.   Bringing details like this to light will better prepare the hotels for your arrivals.  
  3. Group history and characteristics:  Whatever details you can share about a group with regards to demographics and past history (even though they might seem minor to you) might contribute to a hotel’s ability to deliver quality service.  You might want to mention that you received complaints about Room Service in your post-conference surveys last year in Phoenix.  It could be that your group has a tendency to stay in after hours and order room service, which would require the culinary team to add staff for those peak meal order times.     
  4. Past Experience:  Share your hot buttons freely if the hotel representatives don’t already ask you.  Explain what went really well at past events and similarly what did not go as well and how previous hotels might have had an impact on these outcomes. What about the time in 2009 where the hotel GM found out it was your Executive Directors 10th year with the association and sent a card and a bottle of wine up to her room to recognize this.   Your Executive Director was touched by the gesture.   You should also mention about the time a few years back how it was an unexpectedly cold September and that the heating wasn’t working properly on the meeting floor.  Highlighting this might prompt the hotel to ask the engineering staff to double check equipment and/or have the routine preventative maintenance done earlier.  Equipment will break down on occasion and it is likely beyond the hotel’s control.  You just don’t want it to happen to you again!
  5. Ask your hotel representatives for advice:  Your Convention Services Manager sees you as the confident, savvy professional that you are and might not have the confidence to make suggestions since you seem to have everything under control.  If asked the question they might feel at ease to recommend that great idea that they have for the spousal program or that memorable team building activity that worked for a recent meeting that they handled. 

If you like the content from this email, forward it to an industry friend.  Share your comments on our blog!  Prizes throughout the year will be drawn for those who engage with us.  Be the first to comment on our blog and you will receive two ballots!

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Just before we put the clubs away!  Who knew the average golf ball has 392 dimples. Most golf balls range anywhere from 300-500 dimples. The purpose of the dimples is to improve distance and height. To read more about golf ball history click here.   
Where Am I?  This eastern destination has the largest lobster in the world!  This monument measures 35 feet in length, 16 feet high and weighs over 90 tonnes!  The fresh lobster is also very tasty! Send your guess to Leslie@thehowesgroup.com for your chance to win two movie passes! 
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