Visit Anaheim, the official destination marketing organization for Anaheim, announced it has hired three new meeting sales managers, increasing the organization’s meeting sales team to five. By investing in the growth of its meeting sales team, the organization is reinforcing its current strategy to focus on securing meeting and event business to drive short-term recovery for local hotels and event venues.
Meetings, any event that is held outside of the Anaheim Convention Center, are currently the quickest segment of event business to recover and are having a strong economic impact on the local community in the short term. In 2021, Visit Anaheim’s sales team saw a 198% increase in RFPs compared to 2020. By staffing up, the organization has ensured it is well-equipped to meet increased demand and support the evolving needs of meeting professionals.
“Meetings tend to have a shorter booking window, which means that business is supporting our local economy in the short term,” says Jay Burress, president & CEO, Visit Anaheim. “In 2021, we saw the average number of months between meeting planners booking and holding an event decrease by 28% compared to 2020, showing that planners are ready for a turnkey process to book and hold their event.”
To capitalize on incoming RFPs, Visit Anaheim restructured its sales team and for the first time created a position dedicated to the Northwest market, a top feeder market for the destination. With Anaheim’s new luxury products and Northern California’s lucrative industries, Visit Anaheim sees tremendous opportunity to drive increased meetings business from this market to Anaheim and Orange County.
Visit Anaheim’s three new meeting sales managers spanning across the country include:
- Isaac Gutierrez, meeting sales manager, northwest region: Based in Northern California, Gutierrez has a long history of success with Marriott selling luxury brand and convention hotels. He also has experience selling smaller boutique hotels in Sonoma and Monterey, Calif. Gutierrez also spent four years at the Anaheim Marriott early in his career, making him knowledgeable about the destination.
- Quincy Smith, meeting sales manager, midwest region: Smith has a long history of success with the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley CVB and has also sold convention and luxury hotels. Smith is based in Chicago and will help drive meetings business from the Midwest market to Anaheim and Orange County.
- Sue Stemley, meeting sales manager, eastern region: Stemley joins Visit Anaheim with a wealth of experience selling San Diego Marriott hotels for the past 20 years. She is based in Washington DC and is well connected customers throughout the region.
To learn more about Visit Anaheim’s efforts to ensure the city recovers quickly and is best positioned to restore hotel stays, meetings, and conventions in Anaheim, visit www.visitanaheim.org/meetings/health-and-safety-measures.