Visit San Antonio: Destination Sales & Experience, December 2018

The transition from the city into a privatized DMO has allowed us to expand our scope of work and broaden the horizons to create new and improved business strategies.  Some changes in our structure were immediate, while other opportunities have developed and evolved over the past two years. It is with much excitement that we share with you the re-imagination of the Destination Services department into the newly enhanced model of Destination Experience

With this re-brand, the team will still provide the great tactical support for groups coming into San Antonio that it has always provided, but will elevate its services to become a strategic partner with customers and ensure that San Antonio’s value proposition for groups is too good to be ignored. Our Destination Experience team will be a results-oriented thought leader for our industry, with a focus on working alongside meeting planners and their teams to streamline the planning process while creating a truly unique and authentic San Antonio experience. It will be on the front line to help curate and drive content for groups to extend the brand story for attendees in order to generate higher attendance and maximize room night potential. With an experiential marketing focus, we also look forward to creating new synergies for both our clients and our partners.

During the month of November, the Destination Experience Team provided support to 19 groups convening in San Antonio, with a representation of 26,507 attendees accumulating more than 55,500 total room nights. 

Last month, the Destination Experience team traveled to promote San Antonio at prior year meetings for these large citywide groups that will be convening in 2019:

  • American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
  • National League of Cities 

Coming key groups meeting in San Antonio in January:

  • Alliance of American Football Inaugural Training Camp
  • American Football Coaches Association
  • Pax South
  • Society for Simulation in Healthcare
  • National Business Aviation Association

December marked an important milestone for a longtime client for Visit San Antonio and to many of our partners. With the conclusion of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), Richard “Rich” Markow, Director of Special Events (Director, Symposia), announced his retirement. His final day with UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center will be Feb. 1.

The SABCS happens to be the world’s largest and most prestigious breast cancer meeting, delivering state-of-the-art information that helps save lives.  Rich has been a steadfast champion for SABCS for 18 years. During his tenure, which began in 2001, the SABCS has brought to San Antonio 340,540 room nights and 93,477 attendees. The economic impact of the most recent SABCS is $12.8M. Congratulations to Rich on the conclusion of his final meeting. He will be greatly missed!

The Destination Group Sales Division confirmed 65,830 total room nights in November.  This production includes the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium for its 2030 Annual Convention, which will bring in more than 27,500 total room nights in December of that year.  The team also confirmed the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for its 2027 ACGME Annual Education Conference, which will bring close to 10,000 room nights.    

In December, we participated in the following customer events:

  • First Annual Austin Tamalada – growing from our popular Tamale Lift, we hosted an authentic Tamalada in the Austin area to welcome in the holidays with our Austin-based customers.  There we had a Tamalada, demonstrating how to make tamales, as well as other festive activities.
  • Texas CVB Holiday Event – At this annual event in Washington, D.C., we celebrated the holidays in conjunction with our Texas CVBs.  We also hosted a luncheon in the Reston area.
  • IAEE Expo! Expo! –We attended this important industry staple in New Orleans.  There we exhibited, hosted customers at two dinner events, as well as experienced education on industry trends.
  • Dallas Tamale Lift – This was an annual event to deliver holiday cheer (and tamales) to our Dallas-area customers.
  • Association Forum Holiday Showcase – We attended this annual event in Chicago with our Synchronicities partners. It include a one-day trade show.

To see what other opportunities there are to partner with Visit San Antonio, please go to our partners’ website (