As part of our on-going "5 Minutes With" series, every month we’ll introduce you to a new member of our Disney Meetings & Events team at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California or Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii. Whether they work in our Disney Convention Resorts, Theme Park Operations, Catering and Convention Services, Sales, Entertainment or dozens of other event-support areas, these Cast Members and their teams are responsible for creating magical experiences and unforgettable events for meeting and event industry professionals, and their important attendees and guests, every single day.
Let’s meet Misty Hatcher, Senior Catering & Convention Services Manager at the Disneyland Resort:
How do you and your team work with meeting and event planners?
As a Catering & Convention Services Manager, we work with meeting planners to bring their envisioned events to reality. The planning process is more than determining room sets and menu selections…it is a journey. We start this journey by relating to our meeting planners to build a strong partnership based on trust and teamwork. We ask questions “to peel the onion” and discover the needs and goals of the client. We use our resources and experience to advocate solutions that will achieve the best event possible. Finally, on the day of the event, we are there to support the implementation of the plan and add some magical moments where possible. The event is not the end of the journey. We work hard so that the event is such a success that the client will want to return again and again and have their journey with us continue well into the future.
What is one of the greatest Disney Differences for attendees meeting at a Disney destination?
People will often stay a few days before or after the conference to enjoy the parks with their families. Adding a Disney touch such as incorporating Disney Characters or a Disney Institute experience makes the event more memorable and will differentiate a conference from other events.
What are some of the latest, most innovative trends you are seeing in the industry? How do you incorporate these trends into your client’s meeting or event?
Second screen technology is my favorite trend as it has so much potential. This replaces the traditional lecture with a PowerPoint presentation. Almost everyone is carrying a smart phone and/or tablet now days. By using the attendee phones and tablets as screens, a planner can have the audience actively participate in the presentation. This technology allows the personalization of the conference experience, and it keeps attendees engaged. Instead of mobile devices being a distraction, they are a valuable tool. Our high capacity complimentary WiFi in the meeting space makes using second screen technology easy and budget friendly.
What is your favorite part of your role?
Getting a call or email from a past client that says they want to bring their event back to the Disneyland Resort. I have received e-mails from planners that are working on an event that had previously been at the Disneyland Resort, and the planners tell me that they miss working with me and they wish that their event was at the Disneyland Resort instead. I love the feeling of a job well done. I am proud to be part of a great team that can deliver that type of experience.