These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to email@example.com.
Karen Staples was recently hired as the Northeast director of convention sales for Visit Salt Lake in Utah.
1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as Northeast director of convention sales for Visit Salt Lake?
I am excited to return to this side of the industry because I am passionate about what DMOs offer and bring to the buyer's experience.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
Having worked for several DMOs and having a voice into the impact our centers’ booking policies, marketing incentive policies can have on the success of both parties is a significant experience I bring. But more recently, in my last position, I was involved in hosting customer focus groups and working with non-profit boards to help them arrive at impactful strategic decisions. Having a peek into the decision makers’ worlds has affected how I sell.
3. How did you get into the industry?
I kept being asked by my local CVB to represent the industry by speaking to buyers about our destination while the regular DMO person was out on leave. I loved it, and I was certain that I wanted to be on that side of the process; I wanted to be a part of a DMO.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
I want to do what I have done for other destinations; I want Salt Lake City to be in the forefront of my buyers and customers’ minds. I want to bring forward the brand into my territory so that others can get an accurate sense for this fantastic vibrant urban setting with the natural wonder just minutes from our downtown. I am a seasoned veteran and I offer significant knowledge to the customer and to my role.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
I like the people. I don’t know harder working professionals, and I learn something about different industries on a regular basis.