New Member Education Workshop

Recently, I attend a HGV member education workshop in my hometown, Atlanta, Georgia.  Although I have been a member since 2007, I have 2 friends who I encouraged to become members and I accompanied them to the workshop.  It was a great way to meet up so that they could learn how to use their membership in a structured environment.

The workshop was held at the Hilton hotel in downtown Atlanta.  I choose to make it a staycation, so I spent the night in the hotel before the workshop on a Saturday morning.  Everything in the hotel was perfect during my stay.  As a Hilton Honor’s Diamond member (an HGVC Elite member benefit), I received a complimentary upgrade to a suite with a spectacular view of Atlanta.  After a restful night’s sleep, I thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast buffet on the top level of the hotel which has a panoramic view of Atlanta.

Arrival

Upon arrival at the new member education workshop, we were greeted by Hilton Grand Vacations staff and each member received a  workbook.  The books were clear and concise with specific information about your ownership, which included your ClubPoints summary and your home resorts.  Members were seated at round tables and had plenty of opportunity to talk with other members.  Continental breakfast was provided for all in attendance too!

Goals

Three goals were accomplished upon completion of the workshop:

1. Members learned how to optimize their Club Membership

2. They had opportunities to share experiences with fellow Members and network amongst each other

3. Members were able to get their individual questions answered

My Workshop Experience

The workshop was very well organized by Ms. Xiomara S. and the facilitator, Mr. Jason Bongo, was very skilled in presenting the information in a very entertaining and engaging manner.

It began with an overview of the basics of how the HGVC program works and the flexibility it comes with; including Club locations, Hilton resorts and hotels, and access to RCI affiliated resorts.

A good deal of time during the workshop was spent on how to use your points to make reservations, distinguishing between home week reservation, home resort reservations, By Hilton Club Priority Reservations, Club Reservations, and Open Season Reservations.  Hints were given on how to optimize your points. Little quizzes or tests of information were included in the workbook.   Real-time questions could be asked by text at any time during the workshop and answered within seconds!

Many members were unfamiliar with ClubPartner Perks in which HGV points can be used for cruises, adventure travels, houseboat rental, yacht charters, motorcycle tours, and RV rentals.  I have taken advantage of the several member cruises over the years, which is a great opportunity to travel with other amazing members of HGV!

A raffle giveaway provided lucky members with bonus points and swag items.  The meeting ended with an open-microphone for a question and answer session with panelists which included Ms. Barbie R., who is a Senior Director in Club Member / Owner Services with over 25 years of experience with HGV.

After the group workshop, there were computers set up so that HGVC staff could assist members with the website and mobile app.  The staff was very pleasant, approachable, and knowledgeable.  Representatives from RCI were also there to answer individual questions.

Following the informative workshop, members were treated to a delicious lunch served by the gracious Hilton hotel staff.  I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Rinks during lunch.  She was interested in all my concerns as a Member.  I have had the opportunity to meet several of the leadership with HGV and I have been impressed that each has a commitment to service, making the HGV experience outstanding and valuable.

Personal Learnings

  • I learned that there are 2 general types of Members —those that are destination driven and those that explore various destinations.  The beauty of Hilton Grand Vacations is that in one vacation club you can do both!  When I travel to New York City, I am a destination traveler.  When decided to go to Mexico, then I was exploring a new destination.
  •  It was not a sales opportunity, but an opportunity for members to learn how to use what they own.  HGV understands that happy Members encourage their friends to join and happy Members have great portfolios of more than one home resort and ardently want to learn how to maximize their Vacation Ownership.
  • All of the tips presented in the workshop are available on the website which has been updated to be more informational and very user-friendly over the past few years. As a member, you can also contact HGV through club member services telephone, email, website, mobile app, FAX, and Mail.  The Club Traveler magazine is a great place to receive up to date information.

My 2 friends, who are new members, came away from the workshop with a better appreciation of how to utilize their membership that they have purchased.  I strongly encourage other new members to attend.

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