The Big Cheese

The Big Cheese with Sheraton Grand Macao’s Daniella Tonetto

We were recently joined by Sheraton Grand Macao’s general manager of sales and marketing on The Nibbler couch. For a chat, that is – not a therapy session or movie marathon.

The great thing about my job is…

The best things about my job are the amazing places and properties that I’ve been able to call home over the years – especially my current role in Macao. There really is nothing like it anywhere else in the world!

Given Marriott International’s extensive portfolio, we offer our customers unparalleled access to a variety of inspiring destinations and experiences, which in turn has given me the opportunity to experience many of these for myself.

The challenge for the industry is…

Maintaining currency in a fast-changing operating environment with more discerning tastes, as well as the added complexity of digital disruption. Making sure we exploit the opportunities of the digital revolution but also minimize the risks to our business.

We are committed to being at the forefront of technological advances, offering everything from video conferencing and webcasting to audience response systems to help keep attendees engaged while ensuring we continue to evolve our digital offering.

My greatest achievement is…

Outside of the workplace – my greatest achievement is my family. Yes, work is one of the most important things in my life, but being part of a loving family is the most important and managing that alongside my work is an achievement in itself.

From a work perspective, I’d have to say my current role has been the most challenging but rewarding – the sheer scale and variety is hard to match.

The biggest thing in MICE this year will be…

A continued evolution into the digital realm – virtual presentations and keynotes, remote breakout sessions, as well as more innovative ways to incorporate a social media element to events so that attendees become de facto event promoters.

For example, Marriott International has recognised it can use technology to elevate the meeting planner and guest experience, and we have things like mobile check in and mobile dining. Increasing access to technology means we can create experiences and bring concepts to life while enriching guest takeaway.

I try to relax by…

Not thinking about my work by either going for a run or going on holidays, except on holidays I’m normally staying at a hotel so it can be hard not to think about work!

I don’t understand why…

Sometimes guests steal things from hotels. Particularly when we know who they are and have their credit card details to charge for any losses!

My favourite venue/destination is…

I have been in and out of Asia for the best part of 20 years and I’ve enjoyed travelling to so many different countries and experiencing all the different cultures, however last year we added Sri Lanka to our list of visited places and I must say it’s now at the top of my favourite list.

A must see for everyone – the food, the culture, the people, the places – AMAZING!

I’ve always wanted to travel to…

Africa and take the family on Safari… must start planning.

I am scared to death of…

The dark!

I can’t live without…

My family of course!  In particular, my husband who is definitely Mr Mom and Mr Amazing! He has recently gone back to full-time work, so our home life is a little upside down at the moment.

I really wish I had…

More time to read more books and exercise more regularly.

If I could invite four people to a dinner party, they’d be…

My best friends who are scattered around the world – two in New York, one in Sydney and my husband and I. We don’t get to see each other enough and it’s always fun when we get together.

For anyone starting out in the industry, one piece of advice I’d give would be…

Never lose sight of where you want to be – there may be some rough patches along the way, but I’ve always found that doing your job as best you can and sheer perseverance will generally result in good outcomes.

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