I sat down with Marcy McKinley, director of sales and marketing at the Grand Wayne Convention Center and the 2014 STAR Award winner for Individual Supplier of the Year. Since ISAE's Annual Convention is just around the corner, I asked her questions about her career, hosting convention in 2014 and the art of suspension.
- What attracted you to a convention sales & marketing career?
My career started with contract negotiations between physicians and the employee benefits insurance company I worked with. I did some consulting in the business office of a hospital and then director of sales and marketing for an electronic medical record software company. All brought great experiences and learning, but I was looking for a job that I LOVED. I have found it. The hospitality industry offers everything I was looking for and I am proud of the property I represent.
- Do you have a professional goal for 2015?
My professional goals for 2015 include balance. A balance between more industry memberships, continued sales, increased marketing and leadership for my team.
- What is the craziest thing that has happened at a convention at the Grand Wayne Center?
One of the most unique experiences I have witnessed while working at the Grand Wayne Center was the art of suspension at one of our tattoo conventions. Several attendees had hooks through their skin and were suspended in the air. That was a first for me.
- Was there an unexpected challenge to hosting the ISAE Convention?
Our biggest challenge was ensuring everyone was able to see the majority of our building even though we were not using the entire building. This was part of the thought process behind our “Crescendo” evening. We were able to move people around our building to see a variety of spaces being used in different ways.
- What small things do you notice when you are a conference attendee instead of a planner?
I notice cleanliness, linens, how food and beverage are set for buffets and attention to detail by all staff involved.