Sharing an Anniversary
This month I had the opportunity to tour the newly renovated Hilton Minneapolis. I was stunned by the dramatic transformation of the lobby and ballroom spaces.
We are excited for clients and their guests to experience the “new” Hilton. The completion of the $27 million renovation inspired us to feature our Hilton contact, Kathy Roberts, in this month’s newsletter.
During our interview with Kathy, we discovered that she shares a milestone anniversary with Ann Plans. She joined the Hilton team ten years ago in 2007, the same year we launched our company.
Cheers to Kathy, who is one of the best in the business!
Kathy Roberts: Making Your Venue Work for You and Your Guests
If we could clone Kathy Roberts, that would be a wonderful thing. One thing we love about Kathy is that she has a special place in her heart for nonprofits.
Kathy is professional, fun, positive, and a generator of new ideas and better ways of doing things. There is a reason why many of us in the industry turn to her for ideas and advice.
As our interview with Kathy illustrates, she has a passion for helping organizations infuse their events with hospitality.
What do you most enjoy about working with nonprofit organizations?
Working with the nonprofit community allows me, in my own way, to give back. I love being able to share some of my humble skills in helping guide and assist groups in executing an amazing event!
When researching a venue for an event, what are the top factors an organization should consider in making their decision?
When a group comes to visit me I always ask, “What is important to you and your organization?” In my opinion it is “all about the client” and how they want to showcase their experience to their constituents.
A critical consideration for most clients is making sure there is plenty of space for the silent auction and reception so guests aren’t too crowded. Other factors clients should be assured of are that the food will be top-notch and the staff will be plentiful, professional and friendly. A shared goal is that we want guests to be very well taken care of!
What are some creative ways to stretch a nonprofit budget?
Events with a shorter format typically have lower food and service costs. For example, a one-hour fundraising breakfast or lunch event will be significantly less expensive than a night-time gala.
How does hospitality factor into your work with clients?
My entire career has been supporting a very simple, very old-fashioned golden rule, “To treat people as you would like to be treated.” I have lived my life treating people as if they are coming into my home. Here at Hilton Minneapolis we try to embody this type of hospitality in creating that exceptional experience. When a client has that same level of commitment to hospitality, we know that together we are going to hit it out of the park for their guests.
Is it important for a client to take the time to do a tasting?
I believe it is 100% important for an organization to do a menu tasting. During the tasting we have the opportunity to introduce you to our culinary, banquet and catering teams. The tasting is a time when we work together to determine the menu items that best fit with the style and theme of the event. This is a time to get creative on how we can maximize the budget, delight the guests, and look at doing some customization to make the menu offerings special.
What are some of the renovation highlights?
I am so proud of the overall change. Hilton Minneapolis has completed a real transformation. Our restaurant, Ten01 Social, has a new concept focused on fresh ingredients with a menu that intrigues. The renovated banquet space is spectacular! It is beautifully enhanced with modern, geometric lighting and artwork. The color scheme has changed dramatically, now showcasing lighter hues of creams, grays and taupe.
Take a Break! Be Generous through Team Building!
Next time you are planning a team building activity or another gathering for your staff, donors, clients, or vendors, consider giving back by doing a service project. Last week the Ann Plans team, family and friends served a meal at Ronald McDonald House. We had more fun – and felt better – than if we had done a happy hour!
In closing, here’s a tip for something fun to do this coming Saturday. Check out Brit’s Pub Vault, a world-class pole vaulting competition on the restaurant’s rooftop. And, while you are downtown, stop into the Hilton to check out the amazing renovation!