ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Last month, over 70 hotel/venue salespeople and general managers, the Visit Albuquerque Sales staff and meeting planners gathered at the Albuquerque Sheraton Uptown to learn more about meeting planner’s ever-changing needs, expectations, trends and more at a Destination Sales Education “Boot Camp” held by the Visit Albuquerque in conjunction with Training for Winners.

The event was a three-part workshop aimed at equipping Albuquerque hoteliers, general managers and CVB salespeople to best respond and partner with meeting planners in the changing environment. The discussions included a training workshop on strategies and sales tools, delivered by Gary Hernbroth, Chief Motivating Officer of Training for Winners; presentations by Rob Enriquez, Vice President of Convention Sales, Services and Sports for the Visit Albuquerque, and the rest of the Visit Albuquerque sales team on trends and action plans for each of their different sales regions; and a session in which the participants were able to hear directly from a panel of meeting planners on tips, suggestions and questions about more effective selling in today’s environment.

“I asked Gary Hernbroth to deliver a home run in this sales presentation for today’s environment,” said Rob Enriquez, Visit Albuquerque, “and he knocked it out of the park!”

The enthusiasm was evident at the “Boot Camp” event and the participants had only positive comments to make about the event. Lauren Mestas, the Catering Manager at the MCM Eleganté Hotel and Event Center, commented “what I enjoyed most was Gary’s insight about the value of personal branding and creativity when marketing to clients. Additionally the feedback from the panel members was invaluable. I look forward to applying what I learned from this training in my new career as a catering manager, and I can’t wait to attend this training again next year.”

“The class was great. I especially enjoyed hearing the presentations on what to do to sell the city and make the proposals more attractive. The Meeting Planner panel was very interesting and it was good to hear their points of view on what they expect from salespeople,” said MaryAnn Jones, VP of Convention and Tourism at the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce.

“Awesome training…I especially enjoyed gaining ideas and advice that take into consideration the immediate concern of selling in today’s economy,” added Terry Perea-Tanner of the MCM Eleganté Hotel and Event Center.

Sally Casey, Marriott Pyramid North, was wowed with the Boot Camp: “This is definitely an indication we are all in this together and we are ready to pull together with the Visit Albuquerque to bring our city to a new level. It made me proud!” 

Capturing the passion of the attendants and the primary goal of the workshop, Melanie Lucero, sales manager of the Sheraton Uptown, said “it says a lot about Albuquerque when all the sales teams can come and spend the afternoon together to accomplish one thing—learn together and educate on booking more business in Albuquerque.”

The meeting professionals on the planner’s panel: (from left to right) Patty Waid (Waid & Assoc.), Gary Hernbroth, Rob Enriquez (Visit Albuquerque), Colette Schobbens (CMP), Laura Kesselman (Kesselman-Jones), Veronica Rivera (American Society of Radiologic Technologists), and Dale Lockett (Visit Albuquerque President/CEO).