Hosts Global Forum, let the good times roll!
This year’s Hosts Global Forum was held in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Hosts Global team, along with our local experts at Hosts New Orleans, produced an experience that all attendees will not soon forget. In lieu of summarizing the conference and surrounding events, we sat down with Patti Palacios, president of GlobauxSource, Hosts Global client advisory board member, and 2017 Forum attendee, who was kind enough to share her experience with us. Thank you, Patti!
Q: If you could pick a few words to describe the Hosts Global Forum, what would they be?
A: In keeping with the “H” Factor’s play on words, I would best describe this year’s conference as Happening, Happy, Hard-working, Heartwarming and for some, maybe just a little Hazy after all the great presentations, activities, events and delicious New Orleans cuisine.
Q: Industry awareness is always at the forefront of the Forum, which of the topics, from keynote speakers or trend talks did you find most interesting and why?
A: Michael Cerbelli’s: The Hot List™ certainly was a favorite among many. Some of the hot list items we have seen before, however there were a lot of awesome new ideas. Greg Karl with Epicurean Group also shared some great ideas and photos of amazing catered events around North America. For those of us in sales, we all know you’re only as good as your last sale, but for those more involved in planning and destination management, it’s said that you’re only as good as your last idea. This was a good topic for discussion led by Keith Harmeyer with SmartStorming who drove home the point that no matter your role, we can all contribute to the creative process. Hosts’ “innovation labs” are brilliant, I love having these opportunities to dive into selected topics and would love to see a future lab centered around event technology.
Q: One of the convenient perks of attending Forum is the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Hosts’ 50+ member Destination Management Companies (DMCs) to discuss our 300+ global destinations. What do you find most beneficial about this time?
A: I always aim to meet with Hosts’ DMC members who I have not had the opportunity to work with yet. This is truly my favorite part of the Forum – learning about destinations I may not be as familiar with and getting to know the Hosts Global teams.
Q: Was there a specific moment that stood out to you during the Forum that showcased Hosts’ H Factor?
A: I know I speak on behalf of everyone who attends this conference when I say that giving back to the local community is the perfect way to kick off each Forum! We love that Hosts Global always integrates local charities. This year we participated in a Corporate Social Responsibility activity that gave back to two local non-profit organizations – the Audubon Nature Institute and One Heart NOLA, plus the conference contributed to the New Orleans Preservation Hall Foundation in honor of all Forum attendees. We are blessed to work in such an amazing industry – it is imperative we give back.
Q: What was your biggest highlight from the experience?
A: There really are so many highlights, it would be hard to name just one. I particularly liked the offsite event at The National WWII Museum. The museum’s 4-D film “Beyond All Boundaries” was heart wrenching, but I believe it was important for all of us to see, no matter where you are from. The evening was capped off by a big band playing many great hits from the 40’s – they were fantastic.
All that being said, you know the old saying “save the best for last” – that’s exactly what occurred during our last night in New Orleans. Huge kudos to Mr. Terry Epton and his team at Hosts New Orleans for orchestrating an amazing progressive celebration. I am not sure there are enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe the incredible experience. The evening starting with all attendees participating in a famous New Orleans “second line” parade through the French Quarter. Really, what’s not to love about a Parade? In that moment we were all famous, cheered and waved on as we made our way to Arnaud’s, our first stop of the evening. I’m not sure if anyone had time to visit Arnaud’s Mardi Gras museum, but it was definitely worth a look. The party continued to Le Petit Theatre and Dickie Brennan’s Tableau where Terry and his team delivered yet again. If you love Jazz music it does not get any better than Kermit Ruffins sparring with Irvin Mayfield – what an incredible private performance! The final stop on the now glowing nighttime parade provided guests with the ultimate Mardi Gras balcony experience, but I have to admit, by that time in the evening, I traded in my beads for bedtime.
Overall, the 2017 Hosts Global Forum was an amazing experience that I was so pleased to have been a part of. I look forward to the lineup for next year’s conference in Belfast Northern Ireland.