Hosts Global (Hosts), a strategic partner for destination management services worldwide, hosted more than 240 clients and hospitality industry professionals at its fifth annual Hosts Global Forum, which was held June 26-29, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
During the invitation-only event, attendees participated in 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 50+ destination management company (DMC) members, clients and colleagues from around the globe,” said Marty MacKay, DMCP, president of Hosts Global Alliance. “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.”
Hosts’ 2017 conference highlighted the wide variety of hospitable offerings, venues and musical talent available for group programs, meetings and events in New Orleans. This year’s event was made possible by many contributing organizations, including platinum sponsors: the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sheraton New Orleans, Cort Event Furnishings and Hosts New Orleans.
“Hosts’ differentiator is our H Factor,” said Jennifer Patino, DMCP, chief executive officer of Hosts Global. “We shared our Hearts and Hospitality during the welcoming night event when all attendees participated in a volunteerism program organized by Give2Get that contributed to two preeminent local non-profit organizations; the Audubon Nature Institute and One Heart NOLA.”
Once the forum was underway, industry awareness was at the forefront. Featured topics included a discussion on innovative thinking presented by Keith Harmeyer, partner of SmartStorming and an informative session on brand experience led by Laura Shuler, CEO of August Jackson Communications Design.
During the conference, Hosts also announced the winners of the annual Hosts Honors awards acknowledging DMC members who exceeded expectations in four categories. This year’s winners were:
Critic’s Choice Award – Hosts Las Vegas and Destination Mexico Brand Honors Award – Roberts Event Group (Jenkintown, PA)
H Factor Leadership Award – Robyn Bass, DMCP with Maple Ridge Events (Nashville, TN) and Michael Dalton, CIS with Moloney & Kelly (Ireland)
DMC of the Year 2016 – 2017 Award – Capers DMC (San Antonio, TX)
The Forum also showcased unique events and wove New Orleans’ musical talent through all festivities. The conference opened with the Hosts & Heritage Festival, a nod to New Orleans’ Jazz Fest, and closed with progressive parade through Bourbon Street with stops at legendary venues and live performances by Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers and Grammy and Billboard winning musician, Irvin Mayfield.
At the close of the Forum, Hosts revealed that it would be crossing the pond for the 2018 Hosts Global Forum, which will be held June 21-24, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Hosts New Orleans and its partners have passed the baton to Moloney & Kelly, a Hosts Global member, Tourism Northern Ireland and Hastings Hotels, who have started planning Hosts first European conference.