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Last Update: Friday December 15, 2017

Key Idea: Make Friends in High Places

The top brass at the local Marriott named Meetings America its tour company of record.

Key Question:


Become friends with the movers and shakers in your industry and in your community.

Search for more on the topic of marketing and click on the question for more answers.

Think about it

Do you know the major players in your industry?  Do you know the people at big companies who should be buying your products or services?  Do you know your elected officials?  Do people in your community think highly of your company?

Clip from: Meetings America

Salt Lake City:  Meet  Kathleen Barnes and Judy Cannon.  Both of them are in love with their hometown. And, both of them separately became part time  tour guides for the tiny destination management company, Sample Salt Lake.  Then, together these two became quick studies of business operations when the owner of the business asked them to take over. With their cadre of part-time and full-time guides and planners, they all love everything about this special place.

They bought the business and changed the name to Meetings America.  They grew strong enough to win the 2002 Winter Olympics as a client.  Then, unexpectedly,  the husband of one of the guides, Ralph Johnson, made them an offer they couldn't refuse! They sold the business!

Go to the homepage and all the video for this episode...

Meetings America

Judy Cannon, former owner

210 North Redwood Road
North Salt Lake City, UT 84054

Visit our web site:

Office: 8019949000

Business Classification:
Travel Services

Year Founded: 1984

Make Friends in High Places

HATTIE: Sample Salt Lake is the official destination meeting company for Salt Lake's Marriott. James Eggimann tells why.

JAMES EGGIMANN: As a hotelier, you develop a relationship, not only business when you need them, but you see them in other activities in town. So the partnership that we can work with MeetingsAmerica really works for us, and they take the time to understand more about my business, just as we take more time to understand their business. So it's not like we're going to use you this one time and then we're done with you. It's kinda like an ongoing, long-term partnership. Our industry and our hotel prides itself on taking care of the customer. Businesses that have that focus and have that attention to taking care of the customer is the people that we want to align ourselves with, and that way we're both meeting the same needs. Businesses that can see that that's where the goal of the hotel is and that's also their goal makes for a better match for a company to do business with a small company.

HATTIE: Once you determine that someone's good at what they do and they're honest and dependable, it doesn't matter to you that they're very small.

JAMES: No because the end user that's using that service that they provide has no idea of the size of the company. All they're concerned with is how wonderful their event took place, you know, in the immediate, now.

Unidentified Man: I think that it's important for us to maintain that...

HATTIE: (Voiceover) On our visit to the capital, state Senator Scott Howell did a little bragging.

SCOTT HOWELL (Utah State Senator): Small business, to Utah, is the lifeblood of our state. It's what makes Utah. It's a very independent group of individuals that live here.

HATTIE: It's the West.

SCOTT: It's the West, yeah. It is. It's the West.

HATTIE: `Give me my own stuff.'

SCOTT: That's right. `And give me my own car.'


SCOTT: `And let me make it on my own, and keep government at a minimum.' And they like that and, quite frankly, we like it, too. So her business promotes tourism, and we love tourism here in Utah. And I'll tell you why: They don't stick around, we don't have to educate their children, they pay a lot of money for meals and they stay in our hotels and they buy our things and then they leave. We anticipate about a million people a day for the 2002 Winter Olympics, and we can't get enough of the Kathleen Barnes. But she just represents what we really believe Utah's all about.

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