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40 Under 40: Patrick Smyton, Visit Seattle

Patrick Smyton, 34, works in Seattle as senior director of convention strategy at Visit Seattle. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, Smyton discusses his passion for the events industry

What I do: My role is to direct and maximize bookings in the city of Seattle and at Washington State Convention Center. I work closely with the sales teams of both Visit Seattle and WSCC to ensure proper space utilization, room night production and revenue optimization for groups using the WSCC and nearby hotels. I report to the CEOs of both organizations to ensure strategic alignment on behalf of the community. How I got here: I spent nine years with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas in various roles, starting as a financial analyst and then transitioning into revenue management. My four-plus years in revenue management and knowledge of the critical nature of group business helped me transition into this newly created role at Visit Seattle. My greatest career accomplishment: I spent a summer at MGM as an intern and was able to come back full time after graduation, earning four separate promotions in nine years. Impressive stats: I helped the sales team book 56 groups in 2016, with a hand in all of them (some more intimately), that will drive over 320,000 room nights in future years. A specific improvement I’ve made: I’m finishing the design and implementation of a dynamic pricing strategy for the destination that’s centered on flexible convention center pricing/strategy that will help us be more competitive while maintaining profitability for the convention center. It is a data-driven, objective approach to ensure we have the best offer in place for the destination. What I’m working on: As an organization we are working on plans to sell the expanded space at the WSCC. It’s breaking ground later this year and there is a lot of work to be done to ramp up, but it’s an exciting endeavor for the city. What I do outside of work: I travel as often as I can, visiting new cities or countries or going home to visit family in Buffalo, New York. I spend the beautiful Seattle summers golfing as much as possible, spending time on the water and enjoying the many breweries and pubs in our city. Five phrases that identify me: Data junkie; strategist; analyzer; traveler; golfer