"Sally truly epitomizes our entire sales staff of well-seasoned professionals and genuinely deserves this recognition," said Beck in praise of O'Neill. "It took a truly special effort on her part to overcome issues we faced during a uniquely unpredictable year, and I'm honored to present the award to Sally, the cornerstone of our sales department. She's a top booker, team player, and gets the job done with style, passion and grace."
O'Neill, Director of Convention Sales and an employee of the Bureau since 1987, is a veteran sales team member that showed tremendous commitment and dedication to her profession in 2008. According to Beck, "Sally lifted up the energy and determination of team members. She has always been a model of what a sales prospector should be. O'Neill is deserving of receiving this prestigious award as her expertise buoyed sales efforts while offering exemplary leadership and direction," he continued.
The Dianne Nelson Binger Sales Leadership Award is presented to the Bureau's top sales person, in honor of Dianne Binger, a tireless advocate for Salt Lake and the state. Binger exemplified the traits of a successful sales person and served the Bureau and Salt Lake for 18 years, becoming President and CEO in 2001.
According to Beck, 2008 was a monumental year for the sales team at the Bureau, booking 460,830 convention room nights representing $326 million in direct convention delegate spending. The Bureau's 2008 bookings consisted of 296 groups, 32 of which are citywide conventions-groups that utilize the Salt Palace Convention Center and 750 or more hotel rooms on peak night. In 2008 the sales team met or surpassed most 2008 Performance Measures including: contact with 1,390 new clients, 45 sales trips, 17 national trade shows and 125 site inspections and group buyer education trips. These programs and efforts ensure strong bookings continue through 2009 and beyond.
The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. Over its 25 years, the SLCVB has increased convention revenue from $11 million to $326 million, fulfilling its mission of improving the area economy by attracting and providing support to conventions, leisure travelers and visitors. Salt Lake is a unique fusion of metropolitan city and quaint mountain town; the towering Wasatch Mountains that embrace Salt Lake offer a dramatic backdrop to the vibrancy and activities of downtown. Having completed a $58 million expansion in 2006, the Salt Palace Convention Center now boasts 675,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space, ideal for groups of all sizes and needs. For more information on all that Salt Lake has to offer, go to www.VisitSaltLake.com.
Photo caption: Sally O'Neill (left) receives the Dianne Nelson Binger Sales Leadership Award from Scott Beck, Salt Lake CVB President & CEO, during the organization's 2009 Annual Meeting.