What fuels the shift to private settings when it comes to corporate retreats? Heidi Phan has the answer. She leads our Corporate Partnerships team. According to her, our stays in spacious, sanitized, private homes can be a social distancing-friendly alternative to staying in busy hotels. Her team makes it a seamless experience so that executives can focus on the important stuff.
Looking to design your next corporate retreat? Read on to discover how Heidi can help:
How is your team dealing with the COVID-19 situation, and how do you think the pandemic will impact our business?
H: Like many people and organizations, the company is staying on top of the latest news and developments and following the lead of the experts. It remains top of mind to adapt cleaning and service protocols designed to enhance the safety of our guests and staff.
That said, by the nature of our service, I think we offer a more pandemic-friendly alternative to hotels. Staying in a private property usually means contact with fewer people. There’s no running into others in the hotel lobby, restaurant, elevator, common area bathrooms, lounges. Many of our properties are quite spacious, allowing guests to spread out. Finally, we’re happy to arrange for grocery delivery, personal chef services, running errands, or other services to minimize the need to leave the house or otherwise create a space in which our guests feel safe.
I think it’s important to emphasize that we’re full service – the property is but one ingredient and the tailored service pre- and during completes the recipe for a fantastic stay. Think 5-start hotel service added to an amazing accommodation. This highly personalized approach to serving guests means that whatever they need to feel safe, we’ll work to make happen.
What are your next plans to get the travel industry to a new level? What are the future projects you want to develop at Omnifique?
H: We’re at an exciting time for serving corporate clients, given the shift to so many office workers working from home on a potentially permanent basis. In the absence of the more regular office face time, we can imagine teams being more deliberate in planning events to bring their members together. When they do get together, they may feel more inclined to make it count. This presents an incredible opportunity for Omnifique to host occasions for corporate professionals to retreat for team-building, strategic planning, work/play sessions, small conferences, entertaining clients. There’s an endless list of possibilities that we’re excited to explore.
In terms of moving the travel industry to a new level? I think the pandemic is going to do that without anybody’s help, for good or bad. Like most things in life, the key to success is to roll with and adapt to the changes. Fortunately, for us, Omnifique is very well-positioned to help businesses adapt.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your professional background?
H: I was born in Vietnam during wartime and came to the U.S. as a baby. The saying “luck favors the prepared” applied to my father. Because he prioritized teaching himself English, when a job opportunity arose for a native Vietnamese speaker to come to the States, he was able to jump on it. We landed in Hawaii, and after a couple of years there, we lived in North Carolina before heading West. We eventually settled and stayed in Northern California.
Jumping ahead to my professional life, right after college, I spent a couple of years doing project management at DuPont in Geneva, Switzerland. I had such a desire to see the world at a young age. Those years helped me realize how important my family and roots are to me, and that the U.S. was my forever home, though I loved Switzerland and still love to travel.
Upon returning to the States, I fell into commercial real estate, spending most of that time as a portfolio analyst before going to business school. The dotcom boom exploded during those two years in school, and I got swept up into it, like everyone else. I joined ZipRealty, a pioneer in online real estate. I stayed there for ten years, experiencing the twists and turns of a fledgling startup and getting to see it go public. Most of my time there was spent in the marketing department, focusing on customer experience and market research.
About seven years ago, my husband and I moved our family to Boulder, Colorado, and eventually, I connected with Omnifique! It’s great to be in another young company environment.
How has your professional background prepared you for your role as Director of Corporate Partnerships with Omnifique?
H: This role combines the two most prominent aspects of my professional background: marketing/customer experience and real estate, so it feels like a natural environment at this stage. Corporate/executive retreats are still a newer business channel for Omnifique, so it’s been fun to learn and think about what’s essential to these guests and how to speak to them, drawing from roles I’ve held in my past.
I also get to deploy some of the skills that I enjoy most – networking with people and thinking creatively to figure things out. Though, it’s funny to hear myself say networking because I’m more of a shy person at heart. I’m also somewhat of a detail-oriented person, so I can nerd out on the project management aspect! I love to be organized and prepared.