Many may know Lance Hornecker, CMP, CMM, from his years as global account director with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide or as member of the board of directors of the Georgia chapter of Meeting Professionals International, but now he’s wearing a new hat. Hornecker has joined Meeting Expectations, the Atlanta-based independent meeting planning company, as the vice president of sales.
MeetingsNet: What do you wish corporate meeting planners better understood about hotel operations?
Lance Hornecker: More and more owners are expecting hotel operators to maximize profits, which affect operational margins. Those planners who go for the hefty discounts on lower margin areas, such as F&B, should expect, as the saying goes, “to get what they pay for.” A 10 percent discount on F&B may very well mean 10 percent less food.
MN: Five years from now, what won’t we be doing at corporate events that we’re doing today?
Hornecker: Traditional settings bounded by four walls are rapidly becoming less important to adult learners. Expect more creative and interesting ways to engage audiences, which will lead to higher educational retention rate, and in turn, increased morale and motivation. Ballrooms may give way to outdoor spaces, unusual venues or different meeting setups. Human interaction is still key, and planners are finding more ways to get their attendees to engage to ensure a memorable experience.
MN: What might someone be surprised to learn about you, or your management approach?
Hornecker: I have always said, “I was not put on this earth to blend.” My goal is to always make an impression, stand out, convey integrity, and engage with people. They will always remember you that way.