Steve Goodling | President & CEO, Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

Steve joined the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) in 2001 and over the past two decades, the CVB has become interwoven into the fabric of our community. Participating not only in the business and economic well-being of our city, the CVB is also an enthusiastic supporter of our cultural and charitable groups, providing marketing and promotional expertise and making vital connections with business leaders. As the City of Long Beach's marketing agency for conventions and tourism, the CVB is a vital part of Long Beach's economic health. Overnight visitors generate more than $300 million annually and support nearly 7,000 local jobs. But competition for convention attendees is fierce between cities across the country and Long Beach must pursue an energetic strategy to maintain market share.
The vision for Long Beach is to be an "innovation leader" in the evolving hospitality industry, bringing prestigious regional and national conferences to our city. Current trends show that the meeting of the future is evolving into a more casual atmosphere, with spaces for people to work alone if they wish, or gather in informal groups. Long Beach is in the vanguard of this evolution, and the success of this strategy is supported by the dramatic growth of Long Beach's convention tourism revenue. As the host city for the prestigious TED Conference for five years, Long Beach had the opportunity to study one of the most innovative meeting formats in the world. Expanding on TED's "Three C's: Connect, Collaborate, Community," the CVB and SMG, managers of the Convention Center, worked closely with city management and elected officials to design a creative "campus" that includes the Long Beach Convention Center, nearby hotels and the city's compact downtown waterfront.
A $40 million renovation of the Convention Center provides attendees with a stylish, welcoming environment that encourages networking and provides all the tools necessary for social interaction. New indoor and outdoor event spaces provide groups with imaginative event choices. The aging Long Beach Arena is being "re-purposed" with the addition of a loft style ballroom. This new type of event facility will be the first of its kind in the country and its all-inclusive sound, lighting, and decorating systems will offer major cost savings to event planners. Through a dynamic alliance with BizBash Media, the opening of the Pacific Ballroom will be a spectacular marketing event and already the response to this "first-of- its-kind" space has been overwhelming.
The CVB has formed an effective working partnership with Long Beach's city management, the Mayor and other elected officials. "Team Long Beach" is more than just a slogan. It is a working reality as the CVB and key influencers in many segments of our community come together to promote our city and bring major conventions and meetings that ensure the economic health of Long Beach. Steve was born in York, Pennsylvania, graduating from Penn State University with a degree in marketing. He brings more than 30 years of hotel and destination marketing experience to Long Beach; first with Marriott and then with Shangri-La Hotels, a Hong Kong-based company operating luxury resorts throughout Asia. As Director of Marketing for North America, Steve introduced many Fortune 500 companies to China's rapidly emerging tourism trade during the 1990's. During those years Steve enjoyed exploring the world with his wife of 22 years, Lisa. "We both loved learning about people and the way they live," said Steve. "Lisa and I have had wonderful opportunities to meet new people, make new friends and experience their cultures."