by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | April 01, 2004

Kevin Kowalski

Atlanta-based Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, part of the InterContinental Hotel Group, is seeking more action in the meetings arena. M&C recently spoke with Kevin Kowalski, Crowne’s vice president of brand management, North America, about the effort.

M&C: What was your first move to snag meetings?
Kowalski: We debuted The Place to Meet program, which guarantees a two-hour response to a request for proposal, the services of a Crowne meetings director, or CMD, and a daily on-site meetings debriefing.

M&C: Why did you create the role of CMD?
Kowalski: Our board told us meeting planners want an experienced go-to person at the hotel; someone to partner with throughout their event.
Our CMDs must have at least eight years of meetings experience and hold CMP credentials. Today there’s a CMD at every Crowne Plaza worldwide. In the United States, 88 CMDs have gone through our boot camp, and 21 are CMPs. We expect the rest to be certified by the end of the year.
M&C: What’s the purpose of the daily debriefing?
Kowalski: It lets planners go over everything that happened that day and how they want it billed, so when the final invoice arrives in the mail, it is clean.

M&C: Are other initiatives in the works?
Kowalski: We are rolling out our Sleep Advantage program dedicated rooms with special lighting, ear plugs and clips for the drapes.