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Conventionally yours

The phrase, 'though convention services is new for the hotel industry, conventions are not', aptly sums up the state of this emerging career opportunity.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 14:27 IST

The phrase, 'though convention services is new for the hotel industry, conventions are not', aptly sums up the state of this emerging career opportunity.

Convention services are fast becoming a high growth avenue in the hospitality industry. As per sources, the convention services segment in India is growing at a rate of 25 per cent per annum, with 20 to 40 per cent of the hotel revenue being generated by the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) market on an average. The MICE segment is itself an emerging growth area.

As Jaideep Khanna, Director of Sales, Grand Hyatt Mumbai says, "Convention services is a specialised department meant to assist in customising and supervising all events from start to finish.

Directly linked with MICE events, which is an emerging segment for the hotel industry, career opportunities in this arena are definitely on the rise."

Job profile
The conventions manager is the one stop shop/solution to guest needs and consolidates and coordinates all the activities within the hotel. According to Betty Remedios, Director of Marketing, Hyatt Regency Mumbai, "What was happening till recent times, was that the guest had to deal with too many people to ensure that his convention would be successful — group coordinators from the front office, the banquet manager to take care of conference facilities, the chef to do the menu detailing.

The job profile of the conventions manager now is to make the guest's life simpler." Therefore, hotels have begun the specialised unit of convention services.

"It is taking service to the next level, for satisfying, meeting and exceeding the guest's expectations, hotels today are selling this idea of conventions department as a Unique Selling Proposition," explains Remedios.

Career opportunity
"People with an experience in hotel industry in banquets or events can explore the possibility of a career in this field,"says Mona Dubey, Food & Beverage Sales Manager, InterContinental The Grand-Mumbai. Adds Julian R Groom, General Manager, Le Royal Meridien, Mumbai, "There has been a tremendous demand for people in this field.

One can start their career as a Banquet Casual and move all the way up to Banquet Manager or even be the Food & Beverage Manager."

Before a person is put on the job, exposure to other departments like Front desk, Banquet Operation etc is a must. However, in terms of specialised courses, as Chuenquan Chiang - Associate Director of Sales, Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa says, "There are no specified programmes in India.

Generally, training would be hands-on and would require the person to undergo thorough product knowledge."