Staying Flexible

Novatoo tailors its services at the Hotel Arista, Naperville

The Hotel Arista is a beautiful boutique resort in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Known for its great amenities and terrific service, guests give it a remarkable 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor, Expedia, Orbitz and Booking.com.

With 144 guestrooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space, it’s the perfect place for a business meeting, a wedding, a corporate retreat or a large event.

The meeting space includes a divisible, 4,800 square-foot Grand Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 500 guests theater style, a 2,292 square foot multi-purpose room, which can be divided into two or three smaller rooms, plus a conference room, boardroom and pre-function spaces.

Novatoo, now in its second four-year contract with the hotel, supports all of these meeting spaces with AV and computer equipment rentals, sales, setup, and staging services.

According to Molly Conklin, Director of Catering and Convention Services, the hotel originally chose Novatoo based on the company’s willingness to negotiate a non-traditional services contract. “Like us, Novatoo is anything but cookie-cutter, willing to tailor their offerings to what their clients really need,” she explains. Under the agreement, the hotel catering staff handles smaller AV setups themselves, with a basic set of equipment purchased from Novatoo, but they call the company in for larger, more complex requirements.

If a client needs a projector, screen and flip chart, for example, staff will handle that on their own. But if they need wireless microphones, multiple projectors, lighting, video production or webcasting, then Novatoo technicians will come to the site. They will bring the necessary gear, do the setup and often provide audio technicians or camera operators. Novatoo people review the property’s banquet event orders every Tuesday, then advise the catering staff on any special client needs or requirements. “It’s a nice service,” Conklin says. “We’ll send them the orders and talk through the week’s events on the phone. They might say, ‘Hey, you’re missing this, or here’s something you have included that you really don’t need.”

She says she especially appreciates Mike Erickson’s attitude and abilities. “He’s really professional but takes everything in stride. If I say, ‘We have a last-minute request for tomorrow,’ he’ll always say, ‘We can take care of that.’”

Conklin says Novatoo staff are at the hotel, on average, about three times a week. “Some weeks they are here every day; some we handle everything ourselves.” Events can be quite large. Recently, she says, Novatoo set up a corporate expo with projection and sound for a keynote plus 30 exhibitor booths with a flat screen display in each.  

She adds that she’s very comfortable putting her clients directly in contact with Novatoo. “They will work through their requirements, yet keep us involved. I know that everything will be just perfect.”

Guests are pleased as well, though few realize that the AV services are being provided by an outside firm. One guest writes on TripAdvisor, “We held a companywide retreat for a day and a half at Hotel Arista. The meeting room was great as were the support staff…Food and service were terrific….With all of the amenities on site we never had to leave the campus….We will definitely be back!”

Another writes, “We were absolutely blown away by this hotel! Once you get inside, you would never know you are on a business trip…Simply the best. Already booked for our next trip!”

Conklin adds, “I’m very happy that the contract renewal went through. I’m thrilled to have Novatoo back!”