Interview: Omni Hotels & the Future of City Conventions

Omni Nashville Hotel is connected to Music City Center (above)

Last week at IMEX America in Las Vegas, we spoke with Tom Faust, VP of sales at Omni Hotels & Resorts, about the future of integrated city conventions combining next generation hotels, compelling convention center design and leisure destination product.

Over the last decade, Omni has developed large conference hotels within vibrant urban ecosystems with a priority placed on local context communicated throughout the properties.

The Omni Fort Worth Hotel, for example, exudes a strong “upscale country” personality near the historic Fort Worth Stockyards and downtown entertainment district, while the new Omni Dallas Hotel has a very modern and sleek vibe aligned with the nearby Dallas Arts District.

Both hotels are also just minutes from their respective convention centers.

“The Omni Fort Worth and Dallas hotels are completely different in terms of their interior design styles but they both provide groups with a truly local experience,” says Faust. “That is a high priority for us because it’s what our meeting planner customers and their groups are demanding.”

Faust points out that the new Omni Nashville Hotel is a one-of-a-kind Nashville experience and the key to Music City for meeting planners. The property is connected to both the Nashville Convention Center and spectacular Music City Center, offering an all-in-one integrated meeting destination providing all of the meeting space and entertainment options a planner could possibly want.

“The Omni Nashville Hotel is a local attraction itself considering all of the music-themed art in the hotel, which really brings groups together and gets people talking,” says Faust.

He adds that the Omni Nashville also partners with offsite venues like the new Johnny Cash Museum to provide even more authentic local experiences for groups. Private event space is available for 200 pax theater-style.

We asked Faust if he’s seeing more planners seeking unique event venues that spur better networking opportunities, and how Omni Hotels is adapting to that trend.

“The future of face to face meetings is really getting people to open up to each other in new ways, and to discover new things, so we provide a hotel experience where you know exactly what city you’re in,” says Faust. “That way people can engage with each other in a dynamic environment and share those new experiences. That’s what we’re all about, bringing people together in a comfortable and exciting setting.”