SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 12, 2017) – In an unprecedented approach to gain international sustainability certification from the Events Industry Council, five Salt Lake entities applied for and concurrently received APEX/ASTM Level 1 Certification in a collaborative effort spearheaded by SMG, the management company of the Salt Palace Convention Center and South Towne Exposition Center. Additional partners included Visit Salt Lake, Utah Food Services and PSAV.
“Salt Lake County is not just talking about ‘going green’ as the state’s largest meeting host. It is leading by example, as we see with this sustainable effort by groups that host and operate facilities where large meetings and conventions gather,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. “Their efforts will make a positive environmental difference and I applaud the partners for coming together to achieve this certification.”
“Responsible environmental and social practices in the events industry is a global concern,” said Karen Kotowski, CEO of the Events Industry Council. “We are inspired by the collaborative approach taken by the Salt Palace Convention Center, South Towne Exposition Center, Visit Salt Lake, Utah Food Services and PSAV in making this commitment to sustainable events.”
The Events Industry Council’s 33 member organizations represent over 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties involved in the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry. The Events Industry Council vision is to be the global champion for event professionals and event industry excellence.
“Receiving this certification is a great accomplishment for Salt Lake and sets the stage for more collaborative work throughout the area,” said Dan Hayes, general manager of the SMG-managed and Salt Lake County-owned Salt Palace Convention Center and South Towne Expo Center facilities. “For five tourism-related entities to concurrently receive green certification sends a very strong and positive message about our area’s commitment to sustainability. We see this as an opportunity to position ourselves as leaders in the green meetings industry arena. It’s unprecedented for the destination, our two venues along with their exclusive caterer and their in-house audio visual company, to come together to receive certification at the same time.”
“One of our four core values at SMG/Salt Lake is ‘responsibility to the environment,’ and that is reflected in our ongoing practice to reduce, reuse and recycle,” added Chance Thompson, guest relations manager and chair of SMG’s Green Team, which led the collaborative effort. “One of the best ways to let current and potential clients know that we embrace the idea of a more sustainable workplace is to become certified as meeting the APEX/ASTM standards.”
Meetings and conventions mean big business for Salt Lake and the state of Utah, and generate significant direct delegate spending benefitting Salt Lake hotels, restaurants, bars, transportation companies and local retail stores. They also produce tax revenue that helps offset residents’ individual tax burden by more than $1,100 per year per household.
Visit Salt Lake recently hosted doTERRA, its largest annual convention client, at the Salt Palace. With 30,500 attendees from more than 68 countries during its four-day annual Global Convention, it had a direct economic impact of nearly $29 million. Having met in Salt Lake since 2008, the distinction of being the largest convention client is significant and a sign of the vibrant future of Salt Lake’s convention industry.
“Visit Salt Lake continues to work hard to ensure the long-term success of the meeting, convention and leisure travel industry,” said Scott Beck, president and CEO of Visit Salt Lake. “The future forecast for Salt Lake’s meeting and convention industry is bright. There are multiple city wide conventions and events booked through 2030, including Connect Marketplace, scheduled for next August, that will bring 4,000 meeting professionals to Salt Lake. Collectively, these attendees have the potential to bring hundreds of additional city wide conventions and hundreds of thousands of attendees to our community.”
Visit Salt Lake will continue to do what it has done since 1984: market, position and sell the Salt Lake community as the world-class meeting, convention and leisure travel destination it is. The sales team will continue to prospect and bid on conventions to fill the Salt Palace and meetings for Salt Lake’s many hotels; its marketing team will continue its efforts to position Salt Lake as the ideal year-round meeting, convention and leisure destination; and the award-winning services team will continue to fulfill the wants and needs of convention and meeting clients while welcoming their attendees with the warm hospitality that has become a hallmark of the Salt Lake community.