James Payne Winter 2019 Blog

by James Payne, March 11, 2019

During this Winter Quarter, I took my final Professional Development class. Before I start looking at internship sites, I was given a task to attend a networking event in Chicago to learn more about the industry. When deciding on where to visit for my networking event, probably one of the most anticipated events in Chicago year-round was the Chicago Auto Show. In this case, the Chicago Auto Show was more than just about looking at new cars and future concepts. It was about how the event coordinators of the Auto Show and managers of the Hyatt Regency Hotel McCormick Place were able to work together to exceed the guest expectations.

When I was visiting the Hyatt Regency Hotel, I took the time to meet with two distinctive people at the Chicago Auto Show. Jasmine, who was one of the event managers of the Hyatt Regency Hotel working specifically at this event for guest relations; and John, a subcontractor managing the Kia car attraction. Each were able to give me a brief insight on their duties and responsibilities when working this event.

Each had years of experience in the hospitality industry and specifically working at the Chicago Auto Show. When I asked if the two knew each other after speaking with both, they said they did not because Jasmine said her job was more focused on the guest experience of the auto show. While John reported to a manager that was more focused on the car attractions themselves.

Overall, visiting the Auto Show gave me an insight in the different fields compacted within the hospitality industry. One, being a manager of a hotel working for an event dealing with guest relations. In this position, I would have to ensure guest are safe, enjoying their time, all while ensuring they have a memorable experience. However, another side of this would be working for a contractor that sets up these events attractions. In this case, I would have to find different events that relate to my given company. This does not necessarily have to be cars. I could be a subcontractor setting up food booths at the National Restaurant Association event. I could be working food attraction during Restaurant Week. This event showed me two different sides of our broad hospitality industry. While each position had its own values, responsibilities, and tasks. Each shared a common goal. Provide the best guest experience possible.

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