San Jose Re-Positions Sales Strategy for Convention Center Expansion
SAN JOSE, CA (Oct. 12, 2011) – On the heels of a successful campaign to secure a long-awaited expansion and renovation of the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose is repositioning its convention and meetings sales strategy, with a stronger presence in the Midwest and Eastern/Mid-Atlantic regions and national corporate markets, announced Team San Jose CEO Bill Sherry.
“Now that we will have a Convention Center that reflects San Jose’s status as a center for innovation, and we will have more space to sell, we will be able to compete in a broader spectrum of markets,” Team San Jose CEO Bill Sherry said. “To better meet potential and existing customer needs in this new sales environment, we felt it was important to restructure our sales team with two new senior national sales managers in the Midwest and Eastern/Mid-Atlantic regions.”
These new positions come with expanded market responsibility for Team San Jose. Team San Jose has hired Troy Karnoff as the Director of Midwest Sales, who will lead the satellite office in Chicago. Karnoff comes to San Jose with eleven years of industry sales experience, most recently as the Director of Midwest region hotel sales for LA INC., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Team San Jose has also hired Kathryn Morgan as their Senior National Sales Manager for the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic region, joining Tamela Blalock in a newly expanded Washington D.C. satellite office. With over ten years of experience in hotel industry, Morgan comes to Team San Jose from The Omni Shoreham Hotel as a Senior Sales Manager.
“With this expansion, we believe it is more important than ever that we expand our presence in the Chicago and the Northeastern association markets,” Team San Jose Vice President of Sales and Marketing Diana Ponton said. “There are now groups we can sell to in these markets who were interested in Team San Jose’s renowned service model – that has 97 percent of planners saying they would return – but who couldn’t book us before due to Convention Center size.”
In April 2011, the City of San Jose and Team San Jose officially announced plans to move forward with a $120 million Convention Center expansion and renovation project for the San Jose Convention Center. The Convention Center will remain open throughout the project with the newly remodeled and expanded Center to debut Fall 2013.
The Convention Center opened in 1989 and currently offers 425,000 square feet of exhibit, ballroom and meeting space. Since 1989, San Jose’s hotel and tourism industry has grown to an estimated $123 million hotel revenue industry, generating over $10 million annually in tax revenue to support city services. The expansion will add an additional 125,000 square feet of flexible ballroom and meeting room space, increasing San Jose’s Convention Center space to 550,000 square feet of usable space.
Expansion and Renovation at a Glance:
125,000 total sq. ft. of new, flexible space, which includes:
- 25,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space
- 35,000 sq. ft. flexible ballroom space
- Renovation and integration with the existing structure
- The new construction is a new footprint that expands the square footage with minimal impact to the current convention center.
These positive changes were in part due to some restructuring Team San Jose’s board did earlier this year, which have resulted in strong economic performance by the organization this fiscal year and an optimistic outlook for 2012.
At the beginning of 2011, Team San Jose named a new CEO in Bill Sherry, who will serve as the Convention Center project executive and continues to serve as the San Jose’s Director of Aviation at Mineta San Jose International Airport. Sherry comes to Team San Jose with strong construction project management experience and background in public accounting and public administration. His oversight of the $1.3 billion modernization project at the Airport came in ahead of schedule and under budget, an accomplishment that bodes well for the Convention Center project.
In addition, Team San Jose recently named Dave Costain as Chief Operating Officer. Costain has more than 35 years of hospitality experience working with noted hotel brands such as Hilton and Wyndham. Janette Sutton, who joined Team San Jose in 2010 as Chief Financial Officer, has significantly improved the organization’s financial reporting and tracking.
In addition to the traditional sales responsibilities practiced by other destination marketing organizations or convention and visitors bureaus, Team San Jose’s sales and event managers handle everything from booking the Convention Center and Cultural Facilities, food and beverage services and concessions, to attendance building and marketing. This feature, plus San Jose’s easy-to-manage newly remodeled International Airport, safe and walk-able Downtown, and central access to Northern California’s Silicon Valley and Bay Area attractions positions San Jose in a unique way to help make any size event a success.
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About Team San Jose (TSJ)
Team San Jose, Inc. is an innovative partnership unifying the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, arts, labor and venues to deliver an exceptional visitor experience and serve as the gateway to San Jose as a destination. Our company manages the San Jose Convention Center and Arts and Entertainment venues including the California Theatre, the Center for the Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater, Parkside Hall, San Jose Civic and South Hall and also acts as the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For more information about San Jose and Team San Jose, please www.sanjose.org.