Amy Cabe, director of convention and visitor services at Visit Spokane, has been named president of the Event Service Professionals Association, an education and networking organization for convention services managers and their allied professionals. Taking over the role from Paul Ruby, CMP, associate director of catering/convention services at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, Cabe will serve until ESPA’s 30th anniversary conference in January 2019 in Nashville, Tenn.
MeetingsNet: What do you think meeting clients misunderstand about the role of convention service professionals?
Amy Cabe: Many don’t understand the breadth of work we can do for them. As knowledgeable ambassadors for our destinations, we can suggest program themes and personalities, décor, tours, venues, entertainment, and even speakers. These consultations are free and intended to make conventions successful.
Visit Spokane’s services team loves to be challenged, and over the years, we’ve researched all sorts of topics to help meeting planners. We’ve located a juggling unicyclist, satisfied a request for satellite service, and uncovered star-gazing experts. There are so many more examples. These kinds of requests keep us engaged and ensure that we’re always learning about our communities.
MeetingsNet: Five years from now, what do you expect to be the biggest change we’ll see for convention service professionals?
Cabe: It’s difficult to predict the tools that will be available to us five years from now. Mobile applications and social media tools are sure to continue growing. Already Visit Spokane offers live Facebook chats to answer attendee questions about the region. We create Twitter contests and assist with gamification programs. We welcome groups on social media platforms. I assume we will be doing more and more attendance building through social-media channels in the years to come.
MeetingsNet: What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
Cabe: That my desire for exploration is enormous! I’m most always up for an adventure. I’m game to jump on a standup paddleboard, try a unique dish, or visit a far-flung location. It’s fun and it keeps me energized.