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Hosts Global Liaison Team: Straight Talk with Serena

Vice President of Global Sales, Serena Melancon, has lived all over the world but is proud to call New Orleans home. She has been a critical part of the Hosts family for almost 20 years, has worked with the Association market for over thirty years and has been a key partner to many third-party clients for over a decade. Serena is a proud member of PCMA and Association Forum of Chicagoland. Connecting with people is always at the front of her mind. Serena believes in personal touch, clear communicationand the importance of trust in today’s hospitality industry. In this month’s global liaison blog, learn more about Serena Melancon. . .

Q: What do you enjoy most about your Global Liaison role?

Serena with clients in Palms Spring

A: Honestly, the people.  Whether it is a client I am working with or a member of the Hosts family, I take pride in my level of communication. I enjoy finding out what makes someone tick, and the ability to meet so many different types of people from around the world is a huge bonus. Being able to find out more about a person allows me to communicate better with them. This is especially true for clients. I believe personal connectionhelps me find out what clientsreally want during their programso I can facilitate that for them.

Q: What do you find most interesting about your sales focus?

A: For Associations, I appreciate the consistency and the open-door policy they have to communicate their needs and allowing me to get to know them. For third-party clients, the multi-faceted markets they represent allow me the opportunity to consistently communicate with them and buildstrong relationships.

Hosts Global members and clients with Serena at the 2018 Hosts Global Forum

Q: Where do you find inspiration for innovative offerings and creative concepts that “wow” your clients?

A: What I try to do is use all of my senses as much as I can in the world around me and beyond. I constantly listen to things around me – music, conversations and nature and try to connect on a visceral level. I am constantly absorbing everything visually around me as well as it might spark something for an event. So many things inspire me on a daily basis which makes anything possible for creative events.

Q: What’s the advice you find yourself sharing with your clients regularly about our industry?

A: I am proud to always share with my clients that we are constantly growing as an alliance and appreciate what each member organization, destination and team has to offer. We are always looking outside of the box for relevance to meet the client’s needs.

Serena at IMEX 2018 with HG members

Q: What are your favorite industry trends, and which would you like to see retired?

A: I love that I am in an industry that is constantly evolving and not standing still. Some of my current favorite trends are sustainability and the wellness movement. It is so important to take care of our planet and ourselves.

I’m not sure if anything really does retire since most things find their way back into our day to day. Everything old is new again.

Q: What’s something that has surprised you during your hospitality career?

A: It surprises me when a venue thinks it is okay to cancel after contract is signed and deposit is paid.  Thank goodness it doesn’t happen often but when it does thank goodness our Hosts family has a solution with a better result for you.

Serena’s very wise mother, Nella

Q: Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

A: The best piece of advice I’ve received is from my mother do the right thing and do it from your heart.

To learn more about Serena, visit her in Pittsburgh for PCMA Jan-6, 2019 or in several other destinations for sales missions and meetings in the first quarter of 2019  or contact her via email.