Amita Patel New Ontario Convention Center Director of Sales and Marketing
Amita Patel has been promoted to Director of Sales and Marketing for the Ontario Convention Center. Photo by Dave Earhart
(ONTARIO, Calif.) Amita Patel has been promoted to Director of Sales and Marketing for the Ontario Convention Center and the Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“Every day is different in my job,” she said. “And I am a very driven person who enjoys seeing things come together, especially on the regular basis when we help our clients plan conventions that exceed the expectations of their delegates and board members.”
Patel has been on the sales and marketing staff for both the convention center and the visitor’s bureau since 2002, but for some of those years, sales and marketing were regarded as separate functions.
Last year, the staff began a new approach in working to bring more events to Ontario, and this new approach ties sales and marketing more closely together, explained General Manger Bob Brown. It also closely aligns the mission of the Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau with that of the Convention Center.
“The Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau promotes all of the opportunities in Ontario, including the Convention Center, the Citizens’ Business Bank Arena, local hotels, restaurants and stores,” Brown explained. “We now consider ourselves a one-stop shop for Convention Center clients.”
That is where the marketing skills of Amita Patel come into play.
“I determine what the clients’ needs are,” Patel said. “Then I work with the sales staff, which I continue to oversee, so we can customize a proposal that addresses the needs of the client, increasing our opportunity to confirm the business for the city .”
Patel also develops marketing materials to inform potential clients how Bureau services can assist them in planning an exceptional event at the Ontario Convention Center, and oversees creation of press releases and other promotional materials.
Patel was born in England, but moved with her family to California in 1976. She now lives in Ontario.
She obtained a bachelor’s degree in microbiology at the University of Oklahoma and began her career in hotel sales and marketing shortly thereafter.
Patel says she loves challenges. Her competitive spirit drives her along with her sales team to develop value enhanced bid proposals to secure business for the city of Ontario’s hotel community and the Ontario Convention Center.
Her love of challenges led her to pursue science in college. However, due to a desire to pursue something very different, she was able to obtain a rewarding entry-level position as the sales manager of the historic Galvez Hotel in Galveston, Texas.
As director of Sales and Marketing at the Red Lion Hotel – Ontario Airport, she transitioned the brand to the Doubletree Hotel in 1996. With this experience, she was hired at the Holiday Inn Pasadena in Pasadena, CA in 1997, where she was the director of sales and marketing.
In 2000, the hotel was transitioned to the Sheraton brand. While there, she oversaw a campaign to transform the hotel from a mid-level brand focusing on the needs of tourists and other travelers, to an upscale hotel that hosted conventions and meetings.
The hotel grew in revenue after the transformation, Patel said, because even though room rates increased from $63 to $115, “we repositioned the hotel to generate more profitable business as a convention-based property than it did as a tour/travel based hotel.”
The Ontario Convention Center is a contemporary design building, encompassing 225,000 square feet of space that can be configured to meet a variety of convention and other meeting needs for groups of less than 100 and up to 10,000. All areas of the Ontario Convention Center contain advanced communications technology, including wireless Internet access and video conferencing.
The Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau assists event planners to create conventions of any size in Ontario, whether at the Ontario Convention Center, at other venues in the city, or a combination of both.
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