Christophe Ley is a highly recognized professional in the conference, meeting, event, incentive, and tourism fields worldwide. With more than 20 years of experience, Ley has previously worked with the San Francisco CVB, Fairmont Global Sales, and San Francisco Travel Association. In his current role as Associate Director of Events and Experiences at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, Ley focuses on creating world-class sustainable events. He joined the board of GMIC in 2017 and currently serves as President of the Society for Sustainable Events (formerly GMIC.) Ley is also a lecturer at SF State. He is both passionate about our environment and bringing people together through thoughtful, engaging events and experiences.
Sales management industry professional for more than 20 years and fluent in English, Spanish, and French. A highly recognized professional in the conference, meeting, event, incentive and tourism field worldwide. Conducted many seminars on tourism, meetings and incentive, at major conferences and currently lecturing at San Francisco State University and President of the Society for Sustainable Events. Very diplomatic and dedicated with a strong sense of loyalty, and always provide excellent client care. I am an energetic and dynamic professional with an extensive background in sales, marketing and business partnerships and development. With a track record of managing projects, building teams and meeting deadlines. I thrive on challenges; I am creative and detail-oriented; and I adapt quickly to new environments and responsibilities.
06/16 – Present: California Academy of Sciences, Associate Director of Facility Rentals San Francisco, California
- Responsible for coordinating all events for nonprofits, corporations, wedding clients, city agencies, event vendors, event producers, and event planners
- Responsible for managing a team of 2 sales manager, 1 coordinator and 10 on call event coordinators
- Managed more than 180 events per year, for 40,000+ guests per year and achieved to raise $2,600,000 annually and achieving goals each year.
- Created and continually refined a comprehensive business development plan for each market, including annual budget and program of work, market strategies and tactics, and lead and booking goals.
- Worked with SF Travel sales staff, GMIC, MPI, ILEA, PCMA, SITE and all major industry partners to stay current on trends and industry events
- Traveled domestically and internationally to attend trade shows, lead sales missions and conducted sales calls
- Grew the business to up 200% for day time business.
- Developed policies, procedures and protocols for events management; maintains a robust list of qualified event vendors through an annual Request for Qualifications process;
- Very active with all local chapter of MPI, PCMA, GMIC, ILEA and SITE
09/16 – Present: San Francisco State University, Lecturer San Francisco, California
- Developed and executed a new Event Planning class for the Recreation, Park and Tourism Department
- Weekly class and outing in the industry
01/12 – 05/16: San Francisco Travel Association, Director of International Meetings & Incentive sales San Francisco
- Developed and executed sales action plans for each applicable segment of the Mice and leisure group market in the world, which ensured that annual room night goals and objectives were achieved. The plans included specific objectives and lead projection goals for each applicable segment of the group market.
- Created and continually refined a comprehensive business development plan for the international MICE market, including annual budget and program of work, market strategies and tactics, and lead and booking room night goals.
- Created and grew a compelling customer base by working with new and established accounts to achieve lead and booking room night goals and other goals as established.
- Called on MICE decision-makers in target vertical and/or geographic markets, promoting San Francisco, Moscone Center, and/or member hotels a desirable option for MICE groups.
- Worked with SF Travel sales staff, international representation offices, hotel partners and other stakeholders to coordinate sales calls and action plans with target customers.
- Traveled internationally to attend trade shows, lead sales missions and conducted sales calls (8+ international trips per year)
- Generated group meeting leads for internal sales partners, effectively and professionally managing the process to maximize booking conversion and assisted with ongoing account management.
- Created monthly sales status reports, apprising executive management of efforts and trends/issues affecting business.
- Influential member of SF Travel with the ability to articulate key messages to staff, members and the Board
- Grew the business to up 200%, booked the largest incentive program in the world with Amway China and 15,000 passengers, implemented new sales report and templates, created a VIP Welcome quit for meeting planners, and managed a team in San Francisco and China.
08/07 – 12/11: Fairmont Raffles Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, Director of Global Sales, Paris GSO Paris, France
- Developed and executed sales action plans for each applicable segment of the Mice and leisure group market in France, Spain, Benelux, Portugal, Netherlands, which ensured that annual room night goals and objectives were achieved. The plans included specific objectives and lead projection goals for each applicable segment of the group market.
- Developed annual goals and objectives for the sales and support staff, and monitored the implementation of the sales action plans.
- Maintained and developed key account profiles in the SFA database.
- Increased the number of new key accounts by five
- Maintained active sales calls patterns, addressing a specific market within the territory.
- Organized and participated in more than 20 sales blitzes in key cities each year for more than 90 hotels
- Organized and participated in key industry tradeshows and conferences such as IMEX, IBTM Trade shows, ILTM, etc.
- Maintained memberships and involvement in industry associations and organizations (MPI, SITE, Visit USA, CVBs, etc.)
- Participated in the development of the first ”Customer Advisory Board” in Europe for Fairmont hotels & Resorts.
- Generated more than 1,600 leads representing more than 100,000 rooms nights
- Kept informed of the competition's sales and marketing strategies and report competitive intelligence and trends
- Built relationships with tourist boards, airlines and other partners in order to conduct joint sales activities
- Developed and monitored an annual financial plan/budget
- Wrote a monthly newsletter in three languages to the corporate and mice sector
02/00 – 07/07: San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB), Director of international sales San Francisco, California
- Responsible for the promotion of San Francisco as a destination to tour wholesaler, retails agencies, event planners, incentive agencies, conventions planners within specified international markets (Europe, Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Mexico)
- Establish and maintain relationships with key wholesalers and airlines via sales calls and trade show participation.
- Respond to a high volume of trade inquiries from specific international market areas
- Responsible for generating over 1700 new pieces of business for the city turning into approximately 300,000 room nights, and $40 million in tax revenue for the city.
- Conduct over 60 market briefings and seminars to bureau members, tourism government organizations and students associations on how to work with tour operators, how to market to them and analyse international market trends.
- Responsible for researching market conditions overseas to determine the potential sales of tourism and convention packages by our bureau members
- Establish a research methodology and designs the formats for data gathering in various countries.
- Determine volume potential, price schedules, and discount rates to assist over 2,000 Bureau members in developing marketing campaign targeting overseas visitors
- Analyse the statistical data gathered to determine market trends
- Prepares and formulates market plans based on my analysis to meet the goals of the tourism industry in San Francisco.
- Plan and organize approximately 50 client’s events on behalf of the bureau and members.
- Write and coordinate a monthly e-newsletter that is sent to over 1,600 trade sales professionals
- Recruited and Managed three assistants and two sales manager and 10 interns
05/96 – 02/00: Go West Tours, Receptive Operator, International Sales Manager San Francisco, CA
- Directed the creation and development of a new department focus on outbound tourism
- Researched, analyzed and evaluated current and prospective sales market to determine customer need and volume potential to accommodate company goals
- Establish and maintain relationship with key wholesalers and travel agents via sales calls and telephone solicitations.
- Prepared market forecast to ensure product and service are competitive, while maintaining quality
- Created a full range of new tourism outbound product to Europe
11/93 – 02/95: CORIS France, Medical Assistant Manager Paris, France
- Managed and directed Medical and technical emergencies for international tourists
- Organized and explained coverage based on insurance policies
- 09/95 – 09/97: Lincoln University, San Francisco, California: Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) with major in marketing, management, international marketing and business development
- 09/91 – 09/92: High European Institute of Management (ISEG) Bordeaux, France: Graduate degree DEESMI (High European Economic Diploma of international Marketing)
- 09/89 – 06/91: High European Institute of Management (ISEG) Bordeaux, France: Undergraduate degree BTS (High Technical Diploma) major in international Trade (BA)
- 09/86 – 06/89: Maine de Byrant High School, Bergerac, France: Baccalaureat B (General Certificate of Education, Level A) in Economics and social Science
- 08/2001: Star Award Winner 2001: Excellence in the industry by the San Francisco CVB
- 02/2004: RSA 2004 Gala Award: President’s Award winner for Cooperating with RSA Receptive Operator
- 02/2004: RSA 2004 Stanley Fisher Award: Nominated for the Person of the Year Award.
- 08/2004 & 08/2006: San Francisco State University Intern Program Award 2004 & 2006: Best Intern Manager of the year 03/2007 PATWA (Pacific Asian Travel Writer Association) Award Winner 2007: Best Tourism Partner/Destination 2007 04/2016 IMEX Green Award Winner, Best supplier for green efforts 2016
- 05/2018: Green Meeting Industry Council Winner, Best Committee Volunteer of the year
- 04/10: “How to make effective presentations” by Achievers international 07/09 “Seven Habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey 03/09 “Situation selling” by Achievers international
- 08/08: “Negotiating Winning Agreement” by Achievers International
- 11/08: “Prospecting: finding new business in the 21st century” by Achievers international
- 10/07: “Account Management Strategies” by Achievers international
- 2021 – 2022: President, Society for Sustainable Events (Formerly GMIC NCN)
- 2017 – 2021: Executive Board Member, Director of Sponsorship for GMIC NCN, Green Meeting Industry Council
- 09/07– 2012: Executive Board Member of the “Visit USA Committee France” in charge of the promotion of the United States as a destination for leisure, Mice and corporate travel. Responsible for the promotion of the website and the creation of a E-learning program for French travel Agents.
Fluent in English, French and Spanish. Read Italian and German.