Luxury hoteliers know how difficult it is to achieve and maintain a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rating. Incognito inspectors visit nearly 2,000 hotels, restaurants, spas, and ocean cruises in more than 81 countries, evaluating excellence with hundreds of exacting standards. Since starting in 1958 as Mobil Travel Guide, Forbes Travel Guide has set the standards for luxury and excellence. That is why Encore is thrilled to announce our partnership representing the best event creative, production and technology products, and services available to the luxury hospitality industry as the Official Event Solutions Company of Forbes Travel Guide.

“Guests and clients of Four Seasons rightfully expect to receive the highest standards of service, and the Forbes Travel Guide training program has been integral to maintaining these service levels across all departments,” stated Mali Carow, General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans. “This extends to our technology partner. Encore has built a reputation for best-in-class client services, and I am thrilled to see them recognized by FTG with Brand Official status.”

Setting the standard for service excellence

One of the reasons why Encore was selected to be the Official Event Solutions Company of Forbes Travel Guide is because of the attention and care we pay to training our team to meet the white-glove expectations of luxury hotels. Service is what sets us apart.

Through Encore University we provide year-round, state-of-the-art training in customer service, as part of our team members’ focus on hospitality. Offering nine courses dedicated to our service philosophy, we ensure our team has the preparation and tools necessary to create legendary moments with our event customers. We want our staff to be an extension of our hotel partner’s brands so that when a customer encounters an Encore team member, they recognize them as a representative of the luxury hotel in which they are embedded. 

Encore invested significantly in the business in 2023 to support our team members, partners, and our end-user customers. We made record high investments in new equipment, sales tools, process improvements, and achieved an unprecedented amount of training and development hours towards workforce improvement.

What is particularly thrilling about being named as the Official Event Solutions Company is that Encore team members will have access to Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Service Training and Service Energizers. 

“We have been proud partners of Forbes Travel Guide since Fairmont Austin opened in 2018,” stated Nenad Praporski, General Manager, Fairmont Austin. “It is exciting to hear that Encore, our in-house technology partner, was recently awarded the Brand Official designation with Forbes Travel Guide, allowing us to further align our goals of providing a true luxury experience to all our guests.”  

Putting people first

People are our priority. That is another reason Forbes Travel Guide has partnered with Encore. We give our team members tools they need to develop personally and professionally. In addition to extensive education and training, we are committed to sustainability; diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B); and the communities in which we do business. 

Encore supports business resource groups that support the interests and diverse identities of our team members. These range from LGBTQ+ Pride to women to religious groups. No matter who you are, Encore wants you to feel like you belong, that you are accepted. This is important to us because we know that this feeling of community extends beyond our walls and into the venues in which we serve.

A people strategy is a winning strategy

Hoteliers have a choice in their partners, and evaluating their workforce strategy and resources should be a vital consideration. When selecting your in-house event technology provider, remember to look through the lens of workforce strategy. It is easy to get caught up in bells and whistles when technology is involved. Everyone wants the latest and greatest for their property, their team, and their customers; however, if the team on-site does not know how to use the equipment or does not share your service, culture, and goals as a hospitality provider, you will likely end up with more challenges than solutions.

We listen to our customers and partners. We want to know and understand their concerns, what is important to create successful events and attendee experiences, and what they expect from a partner, etc. We have heard time and time again is that service is key in every instance of success. With that in mind, Encore continues to take service excellence to the next level. After the pandemic, the face-to-face event technology industry had to rebuild. We hired hospitality specialists (people who truly enjoy serving others) and began the journey of providing them with the training and tools to not only service our customers, but to grow a successful career within the event technology arena.

By adding the Forbes Travel Guide training to our robust learning repertoire, Encore has again proven that we honor our commitments within the industry and provide a great place for people to build a career. 

The Official Event Solutions Company for luxury venues

Encore already serves many of the luxury hotel properties throughout the world as official in-house providers. This partnership with Forbes Travel Guide will help us raise the bar even farther. We know that success is not final. Excellence is a continuous process, and we are thrilled to have a new set of tools and support provided by the company that sets the standard for excellence in the hospitality industry.

“Attaining Forbes Travel Guide accreditation is one of the ultimate markers for a team, exemplifying excellent hospitality that creates last memories for our guests and team members,” stated Chintan Dadhich, General Manager, Conrad New York Downtown. “As Forbes Travel Guide and guests alike evaluate hotels for everything from comfort and luxury to professionalism and technical knowledge, Forbes Travel Guide training resources have been invaluable to our property’s achievement and retention of Four-Star status in the past two years. That is why we are thrilled that Encore, our in-house event technology partner, has been designated as one of the Forbes Travel Guide Brand Officials, an exclusive collection of brands that demonstrates the same devotion to service and quality that Forbes Travel Guide-accredited hotels do. We look forward to taking our partnership with Encore to new heights as we work together on a shared vision of creating impactful experiences for our guests and team members through purposeful, passionately delivered hospitality.”

We want to be a seamless extension of every luxury property we serve… One customer, one event, one venue at a time! Thank you, Forbes Travel Guide, for acknowledging the extra steps we take to set ourselves apart from the competition. We look forward to our continued journey in exemplifying excellence as a Forbes Travel Guide Brand Official.

Want to learn more about the value of partnership with Encore? Visit encoreglobal.com/venue_partnerships.

Author: Andrew Nichols, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at Encore

Andy Nichols was appointed Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships in January 2020. His primary focus is enhancing global hotel chain venue partnership engagements, new and renewal concession contracting, relations, innovation, and driving value and productivity. Andy has been instrumental in the growth of the industry of hotel outsourced audiovisual and technology services since 1981. As one of the original employees with Atlanta-based Total Audio-Visual Services, Inc. (TAVS), he remained with the company in various executive level sales and operational roles through mergers and acquisitions with GE Capital/Technology Management Services, Caribiner Communications, AVT, Encore Event Technologies, and Audio Visual Services Corporation (formerly PSAV).

Andy’s long-term support and ongoing involvement in the hospitality industry’s national associations allow him to regularly monitor the trends and needs of meeting planners and hotel partners. This allows him to ensure the services and technology the organization provides are cutting edge and targeted to maximize productivity and to help clients meet their goals and objectives.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Ga., where he still maintains his residence, Andy earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University. In his free time, he supports the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Atlanta Food Bank and Georgia Alliance for Children, and enjoys playing guitar, golf, motorcycle touring, lake living and college football.

About Encore

Encore creates memorable experiences that engage and transform organizations. As the global leader for in-person, hybrid and virtual events, the Encore team of innovators and experts deliver real results through event strategy, design, technology, production and digital solutions. Encore operates in more than 20 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia Pacific. It is the trusted partner of choice for more than 2,100 premiere hotels and venues worldwide. The company is headquartered in Schiller Park, Ill., within the Chicago metro area.