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Visit San Antonio: Destination Group Sales & Experience, August 2019

The Destination Group Sales Division confirmed 58,741 total room nights in July. This production includes the Council for Exceptional Children for its Annual Convention & Exposition, which will bring in more than 6,000 attendees in February 2024.  The Society for Simulation in Healthcare also confirmed its IMSH for January 2026, bringing close to 12,000 attendees for their event.

In August, we participated in the following customer events:

  • IAEE’s Krakoff Leadership Institute – We attended IAEE’s annual continuing education conference, where several of our staff studied higher-learning skills in business management and development alongside some of our top industry clientele.
  • ASAE’s 2019 Annual Meeting – We attended ASAE’s Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, where we participated in its trade show, education and networking events.  We also hosted a customer event in conjunction with our Synchronicities partners.
  • SISO Leadership Conference – This small, but powerful, gathering of Independent Show Organizers allowed Visit San Antonio to spend valuable time with this first-class industry group.
  • Connect MEGA – A first-time event for Visit San Antonio, this is Connect’s premier meeting planner conference.  There we sponsored an Education Track, participated in one-on-one appointments, and exhibited on Connect’s trade show floor.

August is another busy month for the Destination Sales Team. We will participate in the following events:

  • IMEX America – This annual event will have Visit San Antonio hosting its first San Antonio booth.  There, we will have five area partners joining on this top-tiered, appointment-based tradeshow.  We will also participate in a San Antonio-focused client dinner, along with a networking event with our Synchronicities partners.
  • ConferenceDirect CDX – This event, ConferenceDirect’s customer-focused event, is located in Louisville, Ky., this year.  There, we will have an opportunity to meet with our ConferenceDirect representatives, along with their direct customers.
  • TSAE New Ideas Conference – This annual event is a “must-attend” event in the Texas Association events world.  It provides industry education and first-class networking opportunities to one of our destination’s largest feeder markets, Galveston.
  • ASAE Five-Star Weekend – This CEO-only event is hosted by ASAE annually, this year in Austin. It will feature our destination, along with our Synchronicities partners hosting nine CEOs leading our top customers.

To see what other opportunities there are to partner with Visit San Antonio, please visit partners.visitsanantonio.com.

During July, the Destination Experience Team provided support to 18 groups convening in San Antonio, with a representation of 37,765 attendees accumulating more than 56,135 total room nights. The Destination Experience Managers coordinated and led four planning site visits during the month for groups who will meet in San Antonio between 2019 and 2021.

Representatives from Destination Experience were present to promote San Antonio at the following 2019 prior year meetings:

  • Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) – held July 21-24, 2019, in Houston | Definite for San Antonio from July 19-21, 2020 | 3,400 Peak | 13,000 Attendance
  • Herbalife – held July 26 – 28, 2019, in New Orleans | Definite for San Antonio July 17 – 19, 2020 | 2,955 Peak | 25,400 Attendance

Visit San Antonio hosted its annual National Celebrate Services Event on Aug. 2 in support of Event Service Professional Association’s (ESPA) National Celebrate Services Week (July 29-Aug. 2, 2019). This year’s event featured keynote Rachel Sheerin, an award-winning international speaker and hospitality trainer. Rachel delivered a motivational presentation on how to set boundaries as a service professional and expectations that rock.  The event recognized outstanding service professionals in our city. Ten nominees were spotlighted:

  • Cara Jacobsen (Hotel Emma)
  • Millie Kovar (Grand Hyatt)
  • Donna Stachowiak (Omni Hotels)
  • Eva Avalos (Westin Riverwalk)
  • Taylor Wright (Hyatt Regency)
  • Jean Marie Peak (River Restaurant Group)
  • Scott Kindla (JW Marriott)
  • Susan Whitbourne (Grand Hyatt)
  • Denise Aguilar (Hemisfair)
  • Krista Friedman (The CE Group, Inc.)

Each nominee received a nomination from a client or colleague in the meetings/event industry. It was a competitive year filled with great nominations. Donna Stachowiak was awarded the prestigious honor of “Services Manager of the Year 2019.”  ESPA began the program in 2010 to celebrate the amazing work happening in our industry. Congratulations to Donna and all of the nominees! San Antonio is lucky to have you all representing our great city.

Upcoming key groups meeting in San Antonio in September:

  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists
  • Hart Energy Publishing
  • Southwest Veterinary Symposium
  • BWI Companies, Inc.

The Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching (CAMT) held its annual education conference from July 10-12 at the Henry B. González Convention Center. This year, CAMT, in conjunction with Smart City Networks San Antonio, launched an exciting new point-to-point navigation system. Smart City Networks developed a web link that connected to the existing CAMT conference app. The wayfinding service showed all of meeting rooms, exhibit halls, restrooms, ATMs, AEDs, restaurant, and more than 650 education sessions as well as each exhibit booth at the CAMT conference. Attendees were able to search by booth number, company name, ballroom, theatre, meeting room number or session name. The search feature provided attendees point-to-point navigation to find their destinations. CAMT organizers and attendees found the navigation application within the conference app to be highly user-friendly and very useful. As this was a pilot project for Smart City Networks and the City of San Antonio.