I would like to express appreciation for the wonderful service we received while at the Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza River North during January 28 - February 1, 2019.
The quality of service was noticed from the beginning, especially during the contract phase. Diane Fuentes, Sales Manager, has been a major asset to your team. I will be completing my 17th year with the State, and our organization has been working with her even longer than that! I extend a big thank you to her for always understanding our program, anticipating our needs and her cheerful personality; one of the major reasons we enjoy doing business with the hotel. A second thank you goes to Kayla Gipner, Convention Services Manager, who managed our setup with your banquet team, and extra thanks to Michal Szostak, Director of Catering Services, and Gilbert Morgan. Both, who assisted us while on-site and, were very responsive to our many needs throughout the week. Michal in particular because, like Diane, he has been a constant familiar face when we have this Seminar; thus understands our needs, sometimes, even before we express them.
Lodging plays a huge role with this Seminar, and Samantha Fernandes, Conference Services Sales Manager, and Luis Diaz, Reservation Manager, were extremely busy, before and during the event, maintaining and updating all of our lodging needs. The event took place over the course of the "polar vortex", when the weather was most inclement, yet they were able to ensure all guests, even those last minute, were accommodated, and for that we are very thankful.
Additionally, we would to express our thanks to Greg Holman and Dustin Pyka with KVL Audio Visual Services who went out of their way to stay on top of our ever-evolving audio visual needs. We were also very happy with John, our daily technician, who has assisted us in years' past and is extremely familiar with our program. This also is reflection of KVL's understanding of the event, and anticipating our needs.
We especially would like to thank all the staff for making the event a success. Special thanks to Edwin and Junior for ensuring our event rooms were perfectly set. Thanks also to all the banquet team, with special recognition to Angel, for being so attentive to our catering needs.
The staff, service, and accommodations at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza are always top notch. My company hosts a few annual events at the hotel which include meeting space and hotel rooms. The catering managers and staff are attentive and easy to work with. A nice perk is their availability via text so that we can make last minute or on-the-fly changes, and the staff addresses our requests ASAP. Overall, the high level of service we consistently receive is what keeps us coming back year after year.
I brought a group of 35 people and everyone at the hotel was wonderful. Marie Coffou and her staff did a remarkable job and saw to our every need. We hosted a dinner for 40 and the food and service was great. I will definitely bring my group back next year.
All of our conference speakers and guests who stayed at the hotel said they had a comfortable experience and gave us all positive feedback during their stay.
The multifunctional space allowed us to divide the main ballroom in two using an air wall so we could run two tracks in tandem, something that was essential for the conference. The variety of rooms available also allowed us to run extra meetings and breakout sessions which was perfect for our requirements.
Also, the views from the 15th floor of the Wolf Point Ballroom were lovely and served as a great exhibition hall for our conference sponsors!
Dustin and Kirk, who lead the AV/Tech crew had all tech set up prior to the start of our conference. This meant our facilitators had the opportunity to check all equipment. They also solved in the moment issues immediately. The Tech/AV equipment is top notch and we have never had such few technology issues during a conference.
Jim, Angel, and the rest of the crew who cleaned, set up, and took down were amazing to work with. They worked so fast. We could hardly believe that we would ask for something and it was done before we even thought to ask again. All of the rooms and restrooms were clean and set up as we requested. This meant we never had to worry that we were not going to meet our timeline during this conference.
Samantha took care of all of rooming needs. We have many special and last minute requests. We have to hire people who need to be at this conference, days before the conference. Samantha managed to find rooms for all of these people. This meant all of our staff members were able to stay at the same hotel. We had the least amount of rooming glitches we have ever had at a conference and they were resolved efficiently and effectively. This meant we could be confident that Samantha would resolve our issues quickly.>br > Laura and John worked with us to make sure every detail was accounted for. We had never visited the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza and made the decision to meet with Laura and John a couple of weeks before the conference. We were blown away by their attention to detail. We have worked with many hotel conference sales managers before and have never felt this confident in an event. From the free night hotel stay, to the thoughtful cards and gift baskets, to checking in on us daily, we always felt like we were extremely valued customers.
Gilbert was one of the event staff. He was incredibly attentive and met every need we had. Gilbert went above and beyond by remembering the names of the children our participants brought to the conference and offering them juice. We appreciated his attention and how efficiently he worked to make sure we had all of our needs met.
Michal was our event coordinator. There are not enough wonderful things we can say about our work with Michal. Every morning he greeted us at the designated time and offered us coffee. Every time we asked to see him, he showed up in person within minutes. Every time we texted or called him he responded immediately. Every request was taken care of efficiently. Aside from exceptional work, Michal was so pleasant to work with. His belief in the philosophy, "this is a life event", is palpable. He showed generosity, kindness, urgency, and so much more when working with us and hearing our many requests. This meant we could focus on the people and content of our conference.
We know we are leaving others out of this recognition. Everyone we encountered (the people who met us on the first floor to bring up our many boxes, the chef who was able to make delicious meals that met all of our dietary restrictions and preferences, the front desk staff, the bar tenders in the hotel lounge, the wait staff in the restaurant, the cashier at the market place, and the housekeepers) were professional and kind.
We have heard many times this week from our conference participants how wonderful this hotel and staff are. This has been such a positive experience for all of us. This is no small feat when there are 350 people involved in an event of this magnitude.
Our attendees and exhibitors have always had great comments after attending a conference at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza.
Not only do they love coming to Chicago they love the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza!
Negations with Diane, especially her understanding of our meeting needs, took us effortlessly through the contract stage and beyond. Since this particular Seminar tends to be the most unpredictable in terms of numbers, we owe Diane a very special thank you for all her efforts to work with us. We also owe many thanks to Samantha for seamlessly adding rooms to our block, which made the reservation process effortless.
We also would like to thank Bonita, who met with our staff on Sunday afternoon to make sure we had everything we needed in preparation for the event. Bonita was also extremely helpful throughout the planning process, and made sure all Event Orders were precise for the banquet team. She checked in with us daily to make us feel welcome, and was especially mindful of our changing attendance numbers.
As audio visual technology is such an important component in our events, we would also like to thank KVL's Dustin for his input and assistance; particularly with regard to his flexibility and understanding of our event needs. Kurt and John's technical knowledge and responsiveness throughout the entire week was also extremely helpful.
We have had the pleasure to work with Michal in the past and were thrilled to work with him again. His professionalism and attention to detail is always appreciated as he assisted in managing our event. He responded immediately and with great aplomb to each of the many requests we had throughout the week, as did Gilbert. As part of Michal and Gilbert's team, we also have to thank housemen Jr. and Sr. who executed our set-up suggestions so promptly, as well as Paul who helped us with our shipment of Sunday boxes, Chris in Shipping and Receiving, and Angel who made sure we were never without coffee.
It should be a great comfort to know that each of the above individuals reflects the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in such a positive way. We look forward to working with you all again in the future.
Our team of 260 participants have collectively raised over $457,000 and that total continues to rise! Your support was instrumental in the success to raise those amazing dollars to advance the Muscular Dystrophy Association's mission to save and improve the lives of those fighting muscle disease.
Here at MDA we are relentless in our pursuit to help kids and adults with muscular dystrophy live longer and grow stronger. Because of support like yours we see our MDA families doing remarkable things every day to live life to the fullest and to live unlimited. This weekend was an amazing reminder of how powerful we can be as collective whole, and that together we can truly defy limits for ourselves and for people who are counting on our support.
There are so many special moments throughout the weekend and we hope that you got to witness some of those as well. Thank you for making these moments possible.
Thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do. It means so much to so many.
Our attendee group - comprised largely of young physicians, and representing many cultures - could not have been more pleased (or surprised) at the hotel's attentiveness to their dietary preferences and needs. From a planning standpoint, we could not have been more satisfied with the hotel's willingness to work with us to develop custom, creative, healthy, and TASTY menus that met and exceeded these needs. Onsite staffing was similarly superb, with wait-staff being ever vigilant for any special attention or services they might be able to provide. There's no doubt that the food experience, which elicited ongoing compliments throughout the course, played an essential role in keeping our attendees upbeat and smiling through their rigorous 10+ hour days in the classroom.
Our association has been accustomed to meeting in out-of-the way resorts or hotels in second tier cities. A few years ago they voted to have their annual meeting in a first tier city. This was the second time we were in a first tier city, but the first to be in a "mid-city" location. Our attendees were doubtful about a meeting in a Holiday Inn when we first announced the date and location.
We asked them to trust us! And they did! During the meeting, we had many of the "doubters" come to us to tell us that this was a wonderful hotel, good accommodations, great facility, a wonderful location, and the service in the hotel was excellent, and one of the best meetings they have attended.
We felt that you should hear about their comments also.
But for me personally, I would like to thank you and your staff for their help, support and special efforts. The entire staff was outstanding: wait staff in restaurants/bars, front desk, concierge, banquet and convention services. Specifically, I would like to gratefully acknowledge Marie, who responded so promptly to our many requests when we had program changes; Carrie, who helped so much with our planning, guarantees and menus; Samantha, who provided us with rooming lists so frequently; and Michal, who was at every event to set up our meeting rooms and food functions, and cheerfully and courteously helped to resolve our banquet numbers when they went unexpectedly high. They each contributed to our having a hugely successful event.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I will certainly put in good recommendations and will favor another Holiday Inn in future meetings and especially the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza.