March 17

Five Questions with Damon Bell, Sr. Director of Convention Sales

The Authority welcomes new Sr. Director of Convention Sales, Damon Bell, who has more than two decades of hospitality industry experience under his belt.

Bell, who officially began his role with the Authority on Thursday (March 16), comes to the Georgia World Congress Center from the JW Marriott Austin (Texas), where he was Director of Sales and Marketing.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Tourism,  Hospitality and Event Management from Indiana University, and his resume includes an eight-year tenure at Omni Hotels and Resorts, and seven years with hotel management giant White Lodging.

Bell recently relocated to Woodstock with his wife, Jean, and two daughters, Haley, 7, and Harper, 6 months. He enjoys spending quality family time, golfing, watching sports and experiencing live music.

Here are five questions posed to the Authority’s new sales leader:

Question |  What attracted you to this position at the GWCCA?

Answer | These new and exciting things happening on the GWCCA campus cannot be ignored within the convention industry and are very exciting to see.  With the expansion of the convention center, the addition of a new hotel, the addition of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the continued effort to improve the convention corridor, I have no doubt that the city of Atlanta will continue to attract and retain major events and conventions.   

Q. |  Was the prospect of having a headquarters hotel built on site of the Georgia Dome’s footprint enticing, considering your vast hotel experience?

A. | After opening the new JW Marriott Austin in 2015, I have seen the impact that a new convention hotel can have on a city to drive demand.   When I learned of the prospect of adding a similar convention hotel to the GWCCA campus; I knew this opportunity was a no-brainer and am looking forward to being a part of this new endeavor.

Q. | What are your goals for the sales team – and personal goals?

A. | The team entire team at the GWCC is focused on being the No. 1 convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world.  This starts with the sales and marketing effort and the processes and people we have in place to execute this vision.   With the right processes, the right people making calculated efforts, in conjunction with an amazing convention package,  I am confident we will continue to attract and retain top-tier events in Atlanta.

Q. | What does customer service mean to you?

A. |  To me, customer service starts with listening and then acting on those things that matter most to our customers.   Responsiveness and creativity are also critical; customers of all kinds understand when a partner does not have an answer on the shelf and in those times, we must be open, be responsive, and always be looking for creative ways to do things differently.

Q. | How will you help the Authority in its quest to be globally recognized as the No. 1  convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world? 

A. |Our city and my team will have the pleasure to work with planners from around the globe who are best-in-class at what they do.  My goal is to ensure that our sales and marketing efforts are best-in-class as well and when we find areas that need improvement; then we act upon them.   We all understand that meetings/events will never be perfect, but it is my commitment to our customers that we will never stop trying.   If we are successful with that effort, I believe will be remembered and recognized in the long term.