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“Gaining a client’s trust is the most important aspect during the planning process”

Entrepreneur Jana Urban

Jana Urban has just moved from New York City to become the new Sales and Marketing Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn Detroit Southfield. She has been working in the hospitality/event planning industry since 2006 and loves her work!

At the new Hilton Garden Inn Detroit Southfield hotel in Southfield, Michigan guests will find everything they need, including deluxe accommodations, friendly service and a relaxed atmosphere. They also specialize in hosting events large and small from corporate meetings to lavish weddings.

MO: You recently moved to Michigan from New York City. What’s the transition process been like for you so far?

Jana: It has been a pretty smooth one! I have always loved to travel. Living in another state that is very different from the one I have lived in my whole life has been fun and challenging. I am very open minded and I think that kind of attitude is essential when making a big move. I miss my family and friends very much but, New York is not far away and I visit quite often.

MO: What’s your favorite aspect of planning an event? On the flip side, what’s the most challenging aspect?

Jana: My favorite thing about planning an event is interacting with my client (s). I love to learn about them personally as well as professionally. Gaining a client’s trust is most important to me during the planning process. I believe that once the client trusts you, the coordinating is easy and fun. The most challenging aspect is making sure that all parties involved are in communication with each other. When there is more than 1 decision maker to an event there are many opinions and visions for what the event should be like. Also, scheduling can become tedious because everyone has a busy lifestyle. It can be challenging to get each person on the same page, at the same time. If it were easy, it would be boring so I do enjoy the challenge.

MO: What are some of the main differences in working for a large corporate hotel as opposed to independently owned small business?

Jana: Working for the Hilton Garden Inn Southfield is great. I am strictly the Sales and Marketing Manager for the one property; planning events in one place. In the past I was working for smaller companies and planning events all over the city of New York. I eventually started traveling all over the USA as a Group Coordinator of Events! Also, working for a big corporate company includes following strict branded policies. The past independently owned companies that I had worked for did not have such policies. I have made the necessary adjustments and I continue to learn more each day. I think that knowing both sides of the spectrum will absolutely benefit my career in the future.

MO: You have extensive background in musical theatre and acting. How have you been able to use those skills to your advantage within the hospitality industry?

Jana: When working and training as an actress it was embedded into my brain to always have a smile on my face and to be “on”. This is also true in the Hospitality Industry. It is my job and responsibility to please every one of our hotel guests and my clients. This can only be done while wearing a smile. Regardless of the kind of day I have personally, I must exude happiness and eagerness to help. This was also true when I was auditioning for that big role or commercial spot.

MO: What’s the difference between a good event and a great one?

Jana: A good event is one that is successful and runs smoothly. All parties are in on time and leave on time. There are no complaints or changes. A great event is one that makes an impact whether it is on the public, the client or the hotel. It is talked about for a long time after its end. A great event is one where the guests do not want to leave at all! That is when I mention the sleeping room rates. (HA HA)

MO: Can you talk about the process of starting the social media marketing for the Hilton Garden Inn Detroit Southfield?

Jana: Since working for the Hilton Garden Inn Detroit Southfield Hotel I am most proud of starting the social media marketing plans for the property. We have finally entered the Twitter and Facebook world. I am also starting to create our Hotel Blog. I just leaped right into posting facts and descriptions of what I believe make this Hotel great and so far it has been quite a success. It was time for us to find the guests rather than wait for the guest to contact us. It was also about time to reach out to millions of people (our goal) rather than 5 people or so. It is a great feeling to know that we are getting our voice out there. I feel excited about it! Every follower and fan is important. Every comment and visit is appreciated. We have a long way to go but we finally launched and it feels fantastic!

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