HIP-Atlanta

At Omnience, we love seeing our employees involved in the event industry outside of work. In previous posts we’ve shared Allyson Wagner’s commitment towards greener meetings. This week, we’re featuring a post from our own Chris Bonnett, who is heavily involved with Hospitality Industry Professionals (HIP) Atlanta. Learn more about his involvement in the organization.

HIP-Atlanta was founded in 2007 with the express purpose of bringing together persons of various hospitality industry backgrounds to cultivate prosperous business relationships and to prepare individuals for leadership roles in the industry. We want to be THE catalyst organization for the growth of diverse leadership within the broad-based hospitality industry through education, professional development, mentoring, and networking.

Since joining the organization, I can confidently say that HIP-Atlanta has done exactly what they set out to achieve. I have cultivated lasting relationships with the board members and several HIPsters because of my involvement in this organization.

I joined HIP-Atlanta in 2012 as a student member while attending Georgia State University (GSU) and pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Administration. Over the years, I have seen HIP-Atlanta grow as an organization by developing partnerships with other organizations, and enhancing the relationships we currently have with our sponsors. The Atlanta Marriott Marquis, for example, has been our corporate sponsor since we were founded, providing us with financial backing and a beautiful website.

We have had many sponsors over the years, but the ones that stand out and frequently host our meetings are Coze, Floral Matters, Southface, and Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC). Two of our annual kickoff meetings have been at Coze, an intimate event space in Downtown Atlanta, opened by past president Joy Pittman. Floral Matters over the years has graciously provided us with beautiful floral arrangements at a few of our signature events. Southface has hosted HIP-Atlanta for several events including a networking wine event on their “green roof” which was a hit with the HIPsters. HIP-Atlanta and GMIC have partnered for the past few years to educate HIPsters on sustainable meetings and the steps involved to achieve sustainability in the workplace.

As Atlanta’s only organization for minorities in the hospitality industry, we focus on bringing together minorities so that we can learn from each other and develop new relationships. This unique aspect of our organization allows HIPsters to be face-to-face with like-minded minority professionals. During my time at GSU, I connected with HIP-Atlanta past president Lisa Clement, an excellent mentor who helped me while I searched for job opportunities.  Now that I’m employed at Omnience, she continues to provide advice on ways to stand out in my current position and how to grow within the company.

As HIP-Atlanta’s 2014 Marketing Chair, I promote our organization to hospitality industry professionals located in Atlanta via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Additionally, I manage all of our e-mail campaigns which include general information about our organization, upcoming events, and a section to highlight HIPsters and their achievements.

My membership with HIP-Atlanta has introduced me to other facets of the hospitality industry which in turn helps with my position at Omnience in the registration department. I am able to speak with travel professionals, other meeting planners, and other hospitality industry professionals at HIP-Atlanta meetings and not only tell them about how great HIP-Atlanta is, but let them know how Omnience can help with their next event!

Learn more about how to become a HIPster here.

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