Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ross

Sam Ross

Executive Director , Visit Carlsbad

Sam Ross was hired in 2009 as the Executive Director for Visit Carlsbad, the official destination marketing organization for Carlsbad, California. Visit Carlsbad is a non-profit organization created to market Carlsbad as a premier travel destination in Southern California and to increase the City's share of tourism-related revenues. Mr. Ross is responsible for implementing Visit Carlsbad's business and marketing plans and defines the marketing strategies for Carlsbad's growing tourism industry. This includes maintaining partnerships with local hotels and attractions. Mr. Ross also serves as key spokesperson for Carlsbad's tourism industry. Prior to joining Visit Carlsbad, Mr. Ross was employed in the tourism industry with the San Diego CVB and Denver Metro CVB. His earlier employment was with Rapp Collins Marco in Boston as an account executive, DiZinno Thompson Advertising and Phillips-Ramsey Advertising both located in San Diego, CA. Mr. Ross was born in 1964 in Cocoa Beach, FL., and in 1977 he and his family moved to Brussels Belgium where he attended and graduated from the International School of Brussels in 1983. Mr. Ross earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and advertising from the University of South Florida. Mr. Ross is a resident of Carlsbad, a board member for the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation. He is also a member of Rotary International.

Please visit http://www.visitcarlsbad.com for more information.

Mr. Ross can be contacted at 760-434-6093 or samr@visitcarlsbad.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.