San Jose Courts Groups From East, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest

In advance of a $120 million expansion and renovation of the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., Team San Jose — a partnership between the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau and local hotels, arts, labor and venues — has repositioned its convention and meetings sales strategy, with a stronger presence in the Midwest and Eastern/Mid-Atlantic regions, it announced this month.

"Now that we will have a convention center that reflects San Jose's status as a center for innovation, and we will have more space to sell, we will be able to compete in a broader spectrum of markets," said Team San Jose CEO Bill Sherry. "To better meet potential and existing customer needs in this new sales environment, we felt it was important to restructure our sales team with two new senior national sales managers in the Midwest and Eastern/Mid-Atlantic regions."

Team San Jose has hired Troy Karnoff as director of Midwest sales, based in Chicago, and Kathryn Morgan as senior national sales manager for the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic region, based in Washington D.C.

"With this expansion, we believe it is more important than ever that we expand our presence in the Chicago and the Northeastern association markets," said Team San Jose Vice President of Sales and Marketing Diana Ponton. "There are now groups we can sell to in these markets who were interested in Team San Jose's renowned service model — that has 97 percent of planners saying they would return — but who couldn't book us before due to convention center size."

In April, the San Jose City Council approved funding for a proposed expansion of the San Jose Convention Center. Scheduled for completion in late summer or early fall 2013, the project will add 125,000 additional square feet to the 425,000-square-foot facility, bringing the convention center's total square footage to more than 1.3 million and making it the fifth largest convention center in California.