The Big Cheese

The Big Cheese with The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort’s David Shao

This week, we sat down with The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort’s assistant director of sales and marketing to get the latest scoop. And yes, that does mean we went out for ice cream straight afterwards.

The great thing about my job is…

When guests have an amazing experience resulting from the expertise and service of our sales and operations team. We are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities and experiences that appeal to clients and guests who travel frequently for events and conferences.

We partner with our customers to co-create experiences that matter through a wide range of on and off-site destinations, spaces and services, ensuring guests leave feeling like they have been part of a worthwhile experience and event.

The challenge for the industry is …

New products appear constantly, forcing us to update our offering frequently to ensure we stay at the forefront of the industry.  Innovations such as Marriott International’s Meetings Imagined website offers a visual, social and collaborative website designed to change the way meeting planners plan, shop and buy meetings.

Modelled on Pinterest and Huaban, planners can access tips on anything relating to meetings including networking activities, how to maximise social media exposure and create the right meeting environment. It also includes hundreds of inspirational images and galleries to spark creativity

My greatest achievement is…

Turning our forecasts into a reality and achieving higher revenues.  Of course, customer experience is of utmost importance, but commercial realities are a top priority for professional sales teams!

The biggest thing in MICE this year will be…

Optimising our team’s skills and experience to provide a higher quality level of service to our customers and anticipate the needs of events planners and guests.

I try to relax by…

Reading books and doing exercise.

I don’t understand why…

The price competition among peers is given more focus than the quality of products and services offered.

My favourite venue/destination is…

Bali, Indonesia and Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan.

I’ve always wanted to travel to…

Europe and explore the different countries and cultures there.

I am scared to death of…

A sudden group cancellation, or last-minute changes to a rolling out project, or too many decision makers on the team trying to come to an agreement. Luckily, with a mission to inspire, redefine and lead the world of meetings and events, this doesn’t happen very often!

I can’t live without…

Exercise. A long period of inactivity makes me more passive and grumpy.

I really wish I had…

More time to personally experience the best of Marriott International hotels around the world so that I could learn more from them.

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

A reader, a tech geek, a beautiful person and an old person.

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

To get in and do the little things well. One day you will be thankful for doing the little things well as it will provide you with a broad understanding of all aspects of the business.

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