Back tour – The in’s and out’s of the T&C Resort


While you were wrapping up your last panel event, half of your social media team was given a back tour about the in’s and out’s of the Town and Country Resort. Patti Bareno, the resort’s Senior Conference Services Manager, dove into the details of what goes behind signing up the conference and business from the hotel’s end.


The most important thing I learned on the tour was that even though the resort could have accommodated more guests this weekend, Town and Country Resort finds a balance of catching revenue while balancing a win win situation for the resort and it’s clients.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is an edited version of the notes that I took on my iPad while walking and listening to Patti. The order is random, but the information is interesting.

Look out for the secret fact toward the end. A/C issues…


Conferences start in the sales department. Conferences are typically booked years in advanced. A reason for this is that both ends of the deal have to negotiate terms. Some of these things are amenities and accommodations.


After the sales department does their bit, Patti Bareno( then takes over to ask the details about the people coming.

Some things she needs to know are:

Who should she pay attention to? Who’s in charge? Who’s important? Ex. Speakers, Directors, VIPs, etc.


Here is a list of details I learned that were interesting but I didn’t have much to say about:

  • A master account is arranged and pays for breakfast, security, etc.
  • A schedule of events is a day by day program and how it’s set up.
  • The ballroom is set up days in advanced due to audio/visual technologies.
  • WRLC received upgraded audio due to an event that used the equipment on Wednesday and it was cheaper for the hotel to upgrade WRLC rather than paying a crew to tear the equipment down and set up again.
  • The crew sets up chairs in a manner that allows the crew to split the ballroom by simply moving the floating walls.
  • All the linens for the hotel are stored in one HUGE linen closet. No joke, it’s huge.

Key facts about the kitchens at the hotel:

  • The banquet kitchen is used to accommodate the ballroom whether the amount of people ranges from 40 to 4000.
  • There are about four sub kitchens.
  • Recently, the banquet kitchen served a conference that required breakfast, lunch, and dinner for around 4000 people recently.
  • The hotel has a bakery for cakes, desert, pastries and etc.
  • There is a special kitchen for cold food production.
  • In the cold kitchen, chefs set up baskets that re meant to be delivered to VIP’s.
  • We were able to see the kitchen for the hotel’s upscale Trellises cafe. It was grand.
  • All 5 restaurants have their own kitchen.

On the tour, I was able to see the front desk, which I wouldn’t have seen because DECA members did not individually check in. I wish I would’ve checked in here as an individual because the hotel drives their gusts along with all luggage to their room in their motorized carts.


The hotel is completely family owned and is now on it’s third generation. This means the first owner was the current owner’s grandfather. As opposed to corporate or franchised hotels, Town and Country Resort can take extra special care of it’s conference guests. For example, they can comp many VIPs with free parking passes and other accomodations.


LOOK OUT! There are Info boards located throughout the Resort that have a map, your location, and a program of events posted daily.
COOL FACT: DECA was the main guest among the guests.

On the map, the brown buildings are guest rooms and the yellow buildings are conference spaces.

The resort has around 1000 conference spaces. To put that into perspective, we only took half the rooms.



Everything with bookings for conferences are fair and negotiable.

An example is the resort allows guests 15% down slippage with rooms.
That means, if a guest books for 100 rooms and only needs 85 on the day, the resort pardons the shortage and only charges 85 rooms. However, if the gust booked 100 and only fills 70 rooms, they still pay for 85.


A look in personal hospitality:

Patti keeps track of favors others do for her.

DECA agreed to set up a day late so the resort could book an event that generated high revenue for the resort.

She’s happy to accommodate those who accommodate her.


More quick facts about the hotel:

  • Town and Country Resort was the first convention center/hotel In California.
  • Employees eat in their own dining room for $1!
  • From the hearing impaired, the visually impaired, to the physically handicapped; the resort accommodates anyone needing a little bit more
  • The resort has the ability to receive freight from it’s 2 loading docks.
  • GES decorated our exhibit.
  • The next convention is for the Dairy Farmers of America.
  • The marine core ball had a dance floor, those men love to dance.

We got a sneak peak into the men and women of the resort fix major problems. John, the Chief Engineer, let us see his workspace and told us about his work.

“Anything breaks, we can fix it.” -John

The ac unit in the ballroom was broken today . The ac tech ordered the replacement part and fixed it between 12:15 and 2:30 while we went to lunch.

The Magical Pin

Yeah, that’s right. This blog is about my magic pin. Last night, yours truly and the rest of the WRLC Social Media Interns finally met and developed our plan of action for this conference…as well as announcing the winners of our Wild Card Challenge. If you’re friends with any of us on Facebook or follow any of us on Twitter(which you totally should by the way..refer to for our info) you probably noticed our unusually high level of activity this past week. This was due to the challenges given to us by our rockstar of a mentor, Jonathan Block. The winners of this challenge Victoria Cana and Vincent Velez who did an incredible job promoting this conference won the opportunity to be the voice of Western Region DECA for the duration of this conference and thus will be controlling their Facebook and Twitter pages. But…they weren’t the only ones to win something awesome….Jonathan threw in an extra prize, a runner up that received something very special, magical in fact(you see where this is going?) an all star pin that apparently had magical powers. By simply flashing this pin to others, one can get anything their heart desired. Key cards, extra chairs and even wifi hot spots! I know, pretty awesome stuff.

The title of runner up was given to me, and with it the magical pin. I won because of my blog video, apparently some people actually found it funny(yay!) While we’re on the subject, I’d like to give a special shout out to all of the people who shared and liked my video. I really appreciate the love, so thank you.

–Warning: This is about to get super cheesy–

Yes, having the pin has been awesome, but in reality, all of you can have your very own metaphorical magic pins. It’s a little thing called confidence. In DECA, confidence is key. Whether you’re speaking to important people, giving a speech or doing a DECA role play, confidence is one thing that will always give you a head up on the game. Aside from DECA, this is also extremely true in life. Being confident(do not confuse with cocky) in any situation makes you seem reliable and more importantly influential. It’s the influential people in the world that have the power. So, if you haven’t already connected those dots, confidence=power. I hope you all learn a ton during this conference, harness your inner magic and GET CONFIDENT.

How to Get DECA! and make that amazing roleplay

Former national DECA president and national roleplay champion Curtis Haley gave several excellent presentations today, including insightful workshops on how to improve written projects and earn that coveted trophy.

The first workshop I attended was his Get Prepared! DECA’s Role Plays presentation. He gave us several crucial tips for improving role play strategies both in and out of the conference. For starters, remember the four Is: Introduction, Invert, Impress, and In conclusion. When you introduce yourself, have enthusiasm, give a firm handshake (but don’t crush your judge’s hand!), and make your point and structure clear. During your presentation, imagine an inverted triangle; start with broad ideas and proceed to your examples and more specific ideas. Impress your judges by taking control of the role play, showing confidence, and having that wow factor that’ll make you stand out. Finally, remember to include a strong conclusion to end your role play on a strong note.

Mr. Haley also demonstrated the ten secrets to a winning role-play. But the first and foremost most important part to winning a role-play is practice, practice, and more practice. Only by repeating your role-plays to identify your mistakes can you improve and win that first-place trophy.

Follow these steps and you’re well on your way to winning your event at your next conference!

Internships, Volunteer Opportunities, and Experiences

As a student who has aspirations to pursue a career in the Public Relations field, the WRLC Marketing and Public Relations Panel was truly insightful. It’s at conferences like WRLC that I realize the extent of what DECA has to offer its members.

The panel featured Accenture Communication Consultant Jonathan Block, La Jolla Playhouse Communications Specialist Deanna Chew, Rescue Social Change Group President Jeffrey Jordan, and the San Diego Padres’ Director of Marketing Nicole Smith. At the end of the panel discussion, the audience was allowed to ask the panelists questions. One of the big questions was, “How do I land an internship right after college?”

Jeffrey Jordan said not to be too concerned about finding an internship directly after college because most professional companies look for college students that they can “groom” and “potentially hire when they graduate.” Instead, he suggests that students redirect their focus to looking for volunteer opportunities right after high school.

“You might get better experience through volunteer opportunities: political ones, even volunteering for non-profits or organizations where you might have a chance to do more than they would hire you to do because you’re there for free,” said Jordan. “And you can really prove yourself and end up doing a lot of fun stuff.”

Nicole Smith took a different angle on internships.

“Internships are huge, really important, but I would broaden the category,” Smith emphasized. She says it’s not just about interning in your field, but doing the jobs that you can do now such as “working customer service at a store” or “being a waitress or waiter.” Why? Because, despite the fact that these are entry-level positions, you can learn essential skills including customer service, how to deal with the public, and how to communicate effectively. In fact, Smith said that when she looks to hire people at the San Diego Padres, she looks for people with those very basic skills.

“Don’t underestimate the value of the experiences that you can achieve right now and how those little experiences can help you build and grow into bigger ones,” concluded Smith.


Get Wall Street!

Andy from Teamn Tri did an amazing job helping kids GET WALL STREET!

Kids loved him because he had great audience involvement.

Numerous students were given the opportunity to listen to his presentation on investment, banking, economics, finance, etc. Andy was a former DECA member. His first conference was WRLC exactly fourteen years ago.

Learn to Tie a Bow Tie

Learn how to a tie a bow tie from the man who can head stand. He’s a rockstar on communication, Jonathan Block.

Here’s the video:

Jonathan’s Quick Hints for Social Media

1.) Think about both Facebook and Twitter like you are at a party — keep it casual and be you.

2.) Be responsive — every time someone comments, comment back. Every single time.

3.) Post on twitter 4 to 6 times a day, minimum.

4.) Post to Facebook 2-4 times a day, maximum. If you’re Facebooking too often, people will get annoyed, and Facebook (because of its algorithms) will make it so that people see your posts less.

How to Land Your First Gig

Jonathan F. Block’s 3 hints for how to land your first gig:

1.) Internships

2.) Internships

3.) Internships

Find someone you want to work for, and ask them if you can work for them for free. Don’t be afraid to work for free — serving people gets you where you want to be. You just have to make sure you’re working for someone that you want to work for, because that’s how you’re going to get the best experience possible.

Be Your Best

As the Executive Director of California DECA Ryan Underwood stated this morning at the end of the Energizer Session, “Veterans Day is the day we honor the people who have served us by being the best we can be.” This was probably one the most insightful things I’ve heard throughout this conference, and also one of the truest. While we Get DECA! over the next 2 days, and grow as leaders and entrepreneurs, it’s always important to remember how we honor those in service by taking advantage of the opportunities they have sacrificed to give us. Get DECA, and be the best you can be!


The aspiring leaders of Western Region DECA reconvened for a much more casual and relaxed get-together after the Get PSYCHED opening session. Kelly Barnes got us all energized and pumped, which included a sing-off and dancing to his version of YMCA, which, all I can say is, quite the icebreaker :)

We rounded the night off with a game of Leadership Circus, which included a bunch of running (and occasional bump-ins) and completing a series of random tasks. Props to those guys who went around saying “I’m a beautiful lady” – that shows dedication and a willingness to just have fun!

That’s all for tonight – I’ll see you all tomorrow!