The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M., halfway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, was the site of Hyatt's 2006 Insurance and Financial Round Table, held July 21 to 24, and the fantastic location raised the bar for future meetings, according to meeting organizer Marilyn Brumbaugh, director, national sales, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. There were more than 100 attendees, including 45 planners, 36 Hyatt representatives, and 19 other speakers and suppliers.
Owned by the Native American Santa Ana Pueblo tribe, the resort's architecture was inspired by indigenous pueblo homes. The Tamaya's ongoing conservation efforts to restore the Pueblo Cottonwood Forest engendered a “special feeling” among attendees, says Brumbaugh. The 350-room property has more than 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. Golfers have access to the Twin Warriors Golf Club, while the Tamaya Mist Spa offers a variety of Southwest-inspired treatments.
Business highlights included a “What's Keeping You Up at Night Session,” which provided planners with lists of timely suggestions to help them with some of their most difficult issues, including these:
Doing more with less
Look at the feasibility of using freelance help, have strict policies and procedures in place during the planning process, and make sure management signs off on those policies every step of the way.
Set up specific review dates into avoid surprises, make sure there is constant communication between suppliers and planners, and use online group reservation systems.
Before a meeting, send out a “Know Before You Go” notice to all attendees. As part of an emergency plan, have a backup person for every contingency. Make sure to include emergency evacuation tools, such as hotel and city maps, in attendee packets.
Another popular session was the “Hyatt Great Race.” A combinationevent and site visit, teams of planners and suppliers spent an afternoon performing tasks around the resort, such as making beds under the demanding supervision of the resort's housekeeping staff, and setting up a place setting in one of the Tamaya's banquet halls.
The big news from Hyatt is the implementation of its new brand, Hyatt Place. The company is in the process of turning existing Amerisuites properties, purchased by Hyatt in 2005, into a 130-fleet Hyatt Place brand. The first, the Hyatt Place Chicago/Lombard/Oak Brook, opened in July, and was followed by two properties in Atlanta and Scottsdale. Seventy-five Hyatt Place hotels will be complete by the end of the year, and Hyatt plans to have all 130 in operation by June 2007.
Next year's Financial & Insurance Round Table will be held at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles on a yet-to-be-determined date.