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Sultan sees benefits as host


Mara Sultan and Charlie Presley, by David Malhalab, MNS Photo/M News Service
Mara Sultan was a busy host for the Going On Faith Conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Unlike many conference hosts who work behind the scenes, she took appointments herself during the Marketplaces and attended nearly all the official functions over the three days.

“Our host committee is very pleased with how our destination was showcased during the Going On Faith Conference,” said Sultan, senior sales manager for the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We have very dedicated members here, and they worked really hard on this conference. Exposing this group to all our area attractions will serve us well in the future.”

Sultan said she caught herself looking out across the Marketplace floor numerous times and enjoying the hub of activity going on in her city.

“Everyone was so busy buying and selling travel. It was great to see. I thought Chet Joines, who is one of our own, was a really good speaker for this group. He talked about how buyers and sellers both have responsibilities in the sales relationship, and I thought that was very helpful. Anne Beiler was great, too.”

Sultan was taken with the Elevator Pitch session.

“I had no idea how much fun that would be,” she said. “To see our own Darryl Myers up there doing his thing was a blast.”

The evening dine-around was an effective means of introducing travel planners to Lancaster’s thriving downtown restaurant scene. Sultan is an unabashed supporter of the local dining scene and encouraged delegates to stay over on Friday night for the city’s First Friday downtown events.

“I was with a group of 14 to 15 at the Pressroom, and we had an excellent dinner,” said Sultan. “I heard that another group had a great meal at Gibraltar. That’s one of my personal favorites.”

Sultan is planning to host a post-conference meeting to determine what worked well and what could be improved in the future.

“I’m interested in hearing from Joe Cappuzzello and Teresa Burton [about] what they find out from their conference surveys. We’ll share those results with our committee and our industry.”