Hosts Global (Hosts) hosted more than 200 clients and hospitality industry professionals for its seventh annual Hosts Global Forum.
The invitation-only event was held at the Paradisus Palma Real in the Dominican Republic from June 27-30, 2019. It included on-trend industry discussions, educational sessions, networking events and memorable destination-specific activities.
“The Hosts Global Forum is our annual opportunity to bring together our 60-plus destination management company (DMC) members, clients and colleagues from around the world,” said Marty MacKay, DMCP, president of Hosts Global’s alliance of DMCs. “Attendees travel to one of our key destinations for a first-hand experience, while also participating in professional growth opportunities and one-on-one business meetings with our DMC members.”
The forum also highlighted the wide variety of hospitality offerings, venues and activities available for group programs, meetings and events in Punta Cana.
Hosts partnered with Connect DMC, its local experts in the Dominican Republic, to craft and coordinate the event from start to finish. The experience began right at the airport, as clients were met with VIP expedited arrivals thanks to Grupo Puntacana, who also hosted a site tour of their property and a VIP spa experience. Playa Hotels & Resorts also invited guests for an exclusive site tour, along with a spa experience. Clients were treated to three spectacular evening receptions held at the Paradisus Palma Real, Melia Punta Cana Beach Resort and the Hard Rock Resort & Casino Punta Cana. Brainstorm Décor Studio delivered stunning design and décor throughout the program.
The 2019 Hosts Global Forum wouldn’t have been possible without the Dominican Republic Tourism Board, Lenos Event Marketing Cloud, Specialty Imaging, Xplor, Inc., SpeakInc., Amusement Masters, Coco Bongo Punta Cana, Wet Paint Group, and The Perfume & Cologne Bar.
The three-day conference was the launchpad for Hosts to implement the Sustainable Meeting Planning Program (SMPP), an event sustainability management system built to guide planning teams to embed sustainability throughout their entire event in accordance with international industry standards.
Hosts partnered with the Events Industry Council (EIC) to offer their sustainability course in the days leading up to the Hosts Global Forum. After completing the program, only offered by the EIC a few times a year, attendees received their Sustainable Event Professional Certificate.
Hosts also reduced paper and instead heavily leveraged their event app created by Lenos, which featured new security elements including a one-touch emergency button and a mark safe feature. By using the conference as its official sustainability case study and delivering resources that showcased best practices, guests learned firsthand how to initiate sustainable measures in their own event planning activities.
Giving Back to Local Resort Workers
During the opening session, Hosts introduced the Forum’s exciting CSR program Boomerang! delivered by the Above and Beyond Foundation. The program was created to acknowledge and award hard-working, frontline hospitality employees who continually go above and beyond in their guest service. Using the event app, attendees had a chance to vote for which five employees of the Paradisus Palma Real, the Forum’s host resort, would receive a $2,000 cash award during an end of-program recognition night.
The winning employees hailed from various resort departments, including housekeeping, bell desk, kitchen and bar services.
Once underway, managing disruption in the event industry was at the forefront of the conference. Experts addressed disruption as a positive, narrowing in on what’s disrupting our industry today and tomorrow, and outlined solutions to evolve with the changes across the hospitality community.
Disruption pillars and keynote speakers included:
- Leadership: Steve O’Malley, Maritz Travel and Meeting Professionals International
- Professional Growth: Simon T. Bailey, Breakthrough Strategist, Innovator, Author
- Technology: Crystal Washington, Futurist, Technology Strategist, Author
- Sustainability: Dr. Aurora Dawn Benton, Astrapto & Suzanne Burke, SMPP, CGMP, Certify Sustainability
- Data Privacy: Bruce Smith, Tenax Analytics, Corinne Clinch, Disruptive Solutions & Paul Miller, Spectra DMC
- Prevent Human Trafficking: Michelle Guelbart, ECPAT USA
During the conference, Hosts proudly announced the winners of their annual Hosts H Factor awards acknowledging DMC members who exceeded expectations in the following categories:
- HIP: Client’s Choice for Most Innovative Event Design & Décor – Hosts Washington DC
- HOSPITALITY: Client’s Choice for Best Overall Hosts Program – E2 Meetings & Events and Passion for Events
- HEROES: Outstanding Leadership & Commitment – Katelyn Hill, NXTevent Inc.
- HEART: Exemplifies that Hosts Has Heart – McKenzie Portelance, Maple Ridge Events and Connect DMC
- HAPPINESS: The President’s Award – Deidre Everdij, Cream of the Crop Events & Logistics
- HONORS: DMC of the Year – Cream of the Crop Events & Logistics
Throughout the conference, attendees discovered the Dominican Republic’s spirited landscapes and Latin-Caribbean culture. From exploring mountains, rain forests and crystal-blue waters, to meeting local families and shopping local markets, to an electrifying welcome with a Coco Bongo performance.
At the close, Hosts unveiled the location of their 2020 Hosts Global Forum occurring July 10 – 13, 2020 in Seville, Spain. Nanoek Events, a Hosts Global member has begun planning the 2020 conference. Email HostsGlobalForum@hosts-global.com to submit your interest in attending this international event.