"I see our role as “connecting the dots” for planners to ensure a successful event…we are the destination expert and it is our responsibility to find the resources, and options in Los Angeles to offer planners tools to produce an amazing event in our city."
Kathy McAdams, Vice President, Convention Sales at the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board shares her perspective on the value of partnering with a CVB as well as the endless meeting options available in Los Angeles with Suzzanne Ravitz at Destination Marketing Association International.
Recently, Kathy celebrated 20 years with the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board! Prior to working with LATCB, Kathy was in hotel sales and actually started in the industry as a meeting planner for an association. She has a wealth of knowledge not only about the destination she represents but the meetings industry in general.
Suzzanne: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in the CVB industry?
Kathy: I just celebrated 20 years with LATCB this past July! Prior to the bureau I was in hotel sales, and actually started in the industry as a meeting planner for an association.
Suzzanne: What’s the best thing about your job?
Kathy: Selling a destination I love! I recently moved to Los Angeles given my new responsibilities, and moved to Downtown, an area that is evolving and developing and I get to see it and experience it first-hand! I also love working with a great team of people who share my passion for the city.
Suzzanne: What makes Los Angeles a great meeting destination?
Kathy: Diversity of options for meeting professionals. We have contemporary urban downtown with nightlife, restaurants and sporting events as well as miles and miles of sun soaked coastline along the Pacific Ocean. In addition, we offer cultural settings like The Getty and soon to be opened Broad Museum. And… let’s not forget, the entertainment capital of the world in Hollywood!
Suzzanne: What is the one thing planners are always surprised to learn about Los Angeles?
Kathy: How “manageable” Los Angeles is. Los Angeles is a large area, yet when having an event in our city, you are typically contained in one of our 5 regions, which is easy to manage in terms of hotels, attractions, etc. People are also surprised at how “walkable” Downtown Los Angeles has become!
Suzzanne: How do you see the value you provide to planners as a CVB?
Kathy: I see our role as “connecting the dots” for planners to ensure a successful event…we are the destination expert and it is our responsibility to find the resources, and options in Los Angeles to offer planners tools to produce an amazing event in our city.
Suzzanne: What do you think are the advantages to reaching out to a CVB first when planning a meeting?
Kathy: Planners may not be aware of all the developments happening in our city…they may have one idea of what they want, and when talking with us they can learn of new, exciting developments that will give them even more ideas for a successful event in Los Angeles.
Suzzanne: What size/type of meetings best fit in your destination?
Kathy: As I mentioned earlier, Los Angeles is about options. We can accommodate everything from 50 person conferences, to conventions that draw tens of thousands of attendees.
Suzzanne: Can a planner of a small or a large meeting take advantage of your services?
Kathy: Yes! We service and look forward to working with meetings of all sizes.
Suzzanne: Why are your services free?
Kathy: We are funded by several sources, including transient occupancy tax from hotels, and membership dollars and the primary goal in this funding is to bring meetings to Los Angeles. As a result our services to planners are complimentary!
Suzzanne: What motivates you to provide the excellent service you are known for?
Kathy: The feedback from customers after a successful event in Los Angeles. There is nothing better than hearing that we did a great job and made their job easier.
Suzzanne: What is the “One Thing” you would like all planners to know about the Los Angeles brand and working with Discover Los Angeles for their meeting needs?
Kathy: We are passionate about our destination and want you to experience that as well!