This Week's Point of View


Pandemic Experiences: Hilton National Mall’s Vanessa Wilson
By Kaitlin Dunn, Writer, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)

Vanessa Wilson, director of sales and marketing at the Hilton Washington DC National Mall, has been on the job and in the office throughout the pandemic, working a modified schedule as her staff of 10 has been reduced to just her. Recently, she talked to HSMAI about her experience taking on additional work and what she expects to come in the future.
What has changed for you as far as day-to-day tasks?
As director of sales and marketing, I had a staff complement of 10 on the sales team, but after COVID-19, I was reduced to a staff of one, and most recently I am now by myself. In light of this, my tasks have changed tremendously. I wear the hat of a sales manager, a convention service manager, a reservationist, a revenue director.
Since new group business has declined, I have been mostly busy with addressing group cancellation and rebooking canceled groups across all market segments. Initially, a large number of our groups had rescheduled for later in the year, but considering the current and projected state of the pandemic, they have now had to reschedule for a second time. Most have rescheduled into next year, but some have canceled altogether.

For more information contact:

Ellen Wilson, Managing Director

HSMAI Hospitality Heroes

Given the unique current landscape of hospitality and travel and the emergence of extraordinary leaders, HSMAI has chosen to create this new recognition program which will supplement the HSMAI Adrians 2020 competition. Regardless of the circumstances, heroes rise to meet the occasion.

Nominate the industry professionals you think deserve recognition for their efforts to take a leadership position, champion a cause, or create a program that has directly benefited industry workers, medical personnel, first responders, or communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Tell us why they exhibit qualities of creativity and perseverance that make them Hospitality Heroes.

Nominations will be reviewed by a panel of Adrian judges and selected Heroes will be honored weekly online from June through September, as well as at the 2021 Adrian Awards celebration. Please complete the nomination form here for someone you think deserves to be recognized and share the link with others in your network:


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In each issue of Insights, HSMAI features articles from its Global Coronavirus Resources Center. This resource is an accumulation of HSMAI insights, customer insights, and tools for hospitality professionals who are navigating the changing industry landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this initiative, HSMAI has produced six Confronting Coronavirus Webinars that provide thought leadership on how hospitality sales, marketing, and revenue optimization professionals can overcome challenges and prepare for what is ahead. All six webinar recordings are now available online.

As a united community, HSMAI remains hospitality strong. HSMAI is proud to provide unparalleled education, thought leadership, and encouragement for hospitality sales, marketing, and revenue optimization professionals before, during, and after the coronavirus pandemic.

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