As part of our on-going "5 Minutes With" series, every month we’ll introduce you to a new member of our Disney Meetings 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 Diana Voto, National Sales Director:
How do you and your team work with meeting and event planners?
I am based out of our New York offices, which are in the heart of Times Square. We also have team members across the country. I work with planners who may be considering any one of our three North American sites: Oahu, Hawaii; Anaheim, California; or Orlando, Florida.
Disney Meetings recognizes that being geographically close to meeting and conference organizers is key to being a better thought partner to our clients. When I work with clients, I want to learn all I can about the organization and the meeting experience the client expects to achieve. I spend the majority of our time in the discovery stage of their meeting. Even before the request for proposal is generated, my hope is that we know what makes the client’s meeting special, and they know how Disney can help them achieve results.
Can you describe one of your best Disney memories related to your position assisting a convention or meeting group?
Everyone deserves to host a Disney meeting at some point in their professional conference organizing career. Each meeting outcome is unique to that specific company. As we say at Disney Meetings, “It’s your story – we just help you tell it.” It’s so true! The resources and talent we have in conventions is the best in the business. Each of us has an ingrained tenant to create magical moments for our clients. I have so many highlights that are peppered throughout my Disney Career that I can fill a book. Let’s just say that I hope to create a Disney Meetings memory for every client!
What is one of the greatest Disney Differences for attendees meeting at a Disney destination?
The Disney Difference for me is that I get to bring my own personality to the experience. I use my own market knowledge and the experience I have in the meeting and event industry to speak to the client's needs. I make it a priority to know our product and what’s next on the horizon. Authenticity and relatability with clients are key. Meeting organizers have a lot of choices in placing a meeting, but my hope is that I can offer a meeting experience that is memorable and delivers results.
What are some of the latest, most innovative meeting trends you are seeing in the industry? How do you incorporate these trends into your client’s meeting?
I am seeing more use of creative spaces. The trend of breakouts is reversing itself to less confined spaces. Two of our reimagined meeting hotels, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort are turning conventional room design on its head by creating spaces that foster better networking and informal gathering spaces. It is really exciting for us to be able to present these convention hotels as innovations to our clients as they open in
2018 and 2019.
What is your favorite part of your role?
My favorite part of my job is providing solutions for our clients. I get to speak with so many layers within an organization. I may start out responding to an inquiry, but as we offer options and generate ideas, the entire value chain of that specific meeting wants to get on board. If I am working with a corporation on a national sales meeting, I will often interact with the VP of Sales and the President of a company. If I am working with an association, I might be working with the Executive Director, program manager, and marketing manager. Clients have to deliver a return on their meeting investment and achieve their meeting objective, and it helps to think differently about your meeting experience. We want to make our clients look great in the eyes of their company or organization.
What can attendees look forward to when meeting at a Disney destination?
There have been many experiences and new products at Disney Meetings throughout the sixteen years that I have been proud to be a Disney Meetings Cast Member. What excites me today is that Disney is in the midst of some of the largest renovations to meetings and convention properties. Everyone from our teams at all our locations are so excited with what is coming in 2018 and 2019. I can’t think of a better time to consider “why not Disney?”!
We're eager to help you create the perfect meeting or private event for any size group, theme and objective. To speak with a Disney Meetings representative about our pricing and options available at our Disney Parks & Resorts destinations in Florida, California, Hawaii, or at our international destinations, please Contact Us or Submit a Request for Proposal. Or, Sign Up to stay in touch and continue learning more about Disney meetings and events.