Scott Wunn is the Executive Director with the National Speech & Debate Association. The National Speech & Debate Association is the national honor society for middle and high school speech and debate students and “works to help them become effective communicators, critical thinkers, and engaged, ethical members of our democratic society.”
Scott works with the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau when planning his event in the destination and values the expertise and help they provide. Read on to find out what Scott values in his relationship with the CVB, what trends he is seeing in the meetings industry and some of the current challenges he faces in his role.
SUZZANNE: Tell us, what was your first job in the industry? How did you evolve to where you are now?
SCOTT: My first job in the event industry was with my current employer, the National Speech & Debate Association. I went directly from teaching to running the world’s largest academic competition. Over the past 13 years the job has evolved as the tournament has grown, sponsorships have increased, and the scope of the event has widened.
SUZZANNE: What is the hardest/most challenging part of your job? What do you most enjoy?
SCOTT: The hardest part of my job is balancing the multitude of demands on a daily basis. Many people assume that you are an expert in every aspect of the position. Balancing the interests and priorities of others with that of the overall mission can be challenging. What I most enjoy is achieving a successful competition.
SUZZANNE: Outside the industry, what is your dream job?
SCOTT: My dream job would be the scoreboard operator at Wrigley Field.
SUZZANNE: Where would we find you on a typical Saturday?
SCOTT: Most Saturdays you will find me visiting a debate or speech tournament. If I am not on the road, you would find me spending time with my family.
SUZZANNE: Can you tell us any other fun facts about you?
SCOTT: I have been married for over 21 years and have an adorable 8-year old son. When I have the time, I enjoy golfing.
I value the very close relationship that I have been able to build with Barry Hoehn and the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. I appreciate the time and care that CVB’s like Birmingham take to ensure that people have a wonderful experience in their city.
CVBs are like grape jelly. It helps to build the perfect PB and J.
People are definitely utilizing technology more and meetings need to adapt to that. Additionally, the tracking of room pick up has become a very important tool for meetings.