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2022 Connect x BizBash 40 Under 40: Carson Helms

Carson Helms, 30, is the associate regional vice president for HelmsBriscoe.

Carson Helms

Carson Helms, 30, is the associate regional vice president for HelmsBriscoe. He's based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

What I do:
I make your meeting dream come true! My day-to-day consists of business development, client support, talent acquisition, supporting associates in growing their business and industry relations. All are very rewarding in their own way and constantly keep me on my toes. Whether it’s a new hotel opening, sourcing a new meeting, mitigating risk on a contract or making a new client relationship, there’s never a dull moment in this role.

Why I love my job:
This industry is infectious. The daily interactions with clients, partners and associates are so much better than anyone else I talk to in other industries. Hospitality is one of a kind.

My career journey:
Growing up with family in the industry, I made it an early goal in life to stay as far away from hospitality as I could. What I didn’t realize is how much I’d love it once I dipped my toe in the water. An internship with Ritz-Carlton took me to a DMC, to hotel sales and then into HelmsBriscoe, and I’ve never looked back. 

My greatest career accomplishment:
Hearing "everyone loved the property you chose" or “we couldn’t have done this without you” is what I strive for. Building solid relationships with hotel and destination partners that then translate to a win-win-win transaction is why I love my career.

How I helped my organization during COVID:
During slower times, I helped ramp up HB Ally, an internal database for associates to make a profile and match with other like-minded associates who are looking for accountability in growing their business. With everyone being bunkered down in their homes, the idea-sharing and interaction was imperative to keep people engaged during these tough times.

The time I averted a complete event disaster:
In a recent scenario, a situation arose where a hotel had released space that myself and a client thought we had already signed for. Marketing was out for the event and attendees were looking to book their rooms. Through a collaboration between the client, hotel and myself, the hotel worked hard to move some mountains and make the event right again. True collaboration is the only way to succeed in our industry.

My most memorable event experience in the past year:
HelmsBriscoe’s Annual Business Conference at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas June 2021 was incredibly invigorating and refreshing after being stowed away for what felt like 10 years. The energy was electric and after diligent preconference safety procedures, we were feeling comfortable to be able to shake hands and cheers with a drink. Much needed for this industry full of type-A personalities.

Best advice I’ve ever received:
Referrals are king. Always incentivize those who help grow your business—whether it is a small gift, a referral back or just a nice note. Hand-written notes will never not get recognized.

Impressive stats I’m responsible for: 
I’ve saved my clients over $2 million in cancellation and attrition over the last two years through rebooking and damage mitigation. Over my three years in leadership supporting a team, I’ve brought on 25 new associates in the Northern California and Arizona area.

What’s next?
Is it just me or is short-term demand insane right now? Incentive trips, board retreats and annual meetings (first time in over two years) are what I have been working on this year. Everything seems to be one to six months out at this point. Going to be a great year!

What I do outside of work: 
On a weekend, you’ll find me on the golf course trying to figure this game out. I'm a fan of 10-minute chess matches online and scrolling through social media to find a new restaurant.

Dream vacation:
I have two places on my bucket list that are very different: Japan and Israel. For Japan, climbing Mt. Fuji and exploring Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto would be an experience of a lifetime. For Israel, seeing the vibrant streets of Tel-Aviv and the historical city of Jerusalem would be fantastic. When I travel, I want to experience the city like a local when it comes to restaurants and bars. 

Favorite icebreaker line:
You’ve got a chance to bring three people to dinner. Who are they and why?

Connect with Helms on LinkedIn.

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“Connect x BizBash 40 Under 40” is sponsored by VDA, an experiential marketing and event design agency based in Massachusetts that specializes in custom live, virtual and hybrid experiences.