With the closure of Trump Plaza, Showboat and Revel Resort in September, some say Atlantic City is old news. But not Jim Wood, president and CEO of Meet AC, a private nonprofit sales agency started in June 2014 and funded by the CRDA luxury tax. Meet AC’s raison d’être is to drive meeting and convention business to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, Convention Center and surrounding hotels. Wood spent 10 and a half years as president of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau and four and a half years at the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, so he knows a thing or two about courting visitors, but he’ll rely on a team of 26 to market the city as a meeting and convention destination. “We’re starting a new company and building a team. It’s an exciting challenge,” says Wood.
In addition to a sales team focused on various segments of the meetings and convention markets, Meet AC will function as a full-service Destination Marketing Organization. “We’re a one-stop shop for meeting planners,” Wood says. “Our sales team can assist with everything from proposals and site inspections to room blocks, while the marketing team can help with social media and other efforts to drive attendance to your event.”
Though he’s only been a local since the early summer (he resides in nearby Egg Harbor Township), he’s bullish on AC. “The closings get a lot of press attention, but we expect some or all of those hotels to return. Atlantic City is a prime meetings location,” Wood says. “It’s a year-round destination. We have a tremendous amount to offer from a fabulous beach and boardwalk to world-class hotels (there are 18,000 rooms in the city) and entertainment. Where else can you get all of that in one place?"