Marilieke Elings - Hotelmanagement - 2006

Director of MICE Sales Benelux with the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

What does that entail?The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the largest and most dynamic hotel groups with a portfolio of nearly 1,350 hotels all over the world. As Director of MICE Sales Benelux, I am responsible for the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Events) clients within the Benelux market and I represent the overall portfolio of hotels. 
I mainly cooperate with large international corporates, government, and travel and entertainment agencies to discuss strategic meeting management and negotiate multi-property and general contracts. A few examples of what can be organised: European or general product launches, new training programmes, all sorts of meetings, customer events, team building events, conferences, …..
Moreover, I work closely together with our hotel sales teams. It is important for them to have an accurate insight into the diversity of the Benelux market, but also to understand the market procedures and the potential of our partners in order to optimise collaboration.
What keeps you alert in this job?The dynamics & diversity in my job and environment. Every day is different. You learn so much from operating in an international setting which changes really quickly and is dependent on so many different factors. My clients represent a wide variety of sectors: from (European) parliament to film productions, from fashion to the pharmaceutical industry, I take something from all of this and I have to be conversant with the general trends and prospects in order to serve them effectively. Moreover, as a chain, we are constantly developing ourselves further, by thinking out of the box and staying ahead of the competition. 
Advice to students:Take your time to discover as many as possible aspects of the hotel world during your studies and your internships. It is a highly diversified industry with plenty of possibilities! Try to find out what really makes you happy, I believe that if you are passionate about something, you will automatically become an expert at it.
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