Pamela bumpThe Richmond Region Tourism team knows RVA. Our “Five Questions” series introduces readers to the region’s experiences, attractions and restaurants through the eyes of Richmond Region Tourism staff.

This month, we’re talking to National Sales Manager Pamela Benson, CTA.

Tell us about your career journey.

I’ve had an expansive 38-year journey in the field, through which I’ve amassed great experience and expertise across Hotel, Airline and Convention Bureau management. My career has afforded me the opportunity to travel widely, both across the country and abroad. I’m typically traveling for sales meetings, familiarization trips and helping clients execute sales missions and events. While most of my career journey has taken place in Houston, Texas, I’m excited about the tremendous possibilities offered in Richmond for the tourism industry. I find meeting new people and understanding the meeting needs of their various organizations is always refreshing, and a great opportunity to craft new and exciting moments for them in my city.

What advice do you have for events clients navigating the pandemic?

Navigating the effects of Covid-19 has been tough for many of us. It’s easier said than done, but try to remain calm and stay up-to-date on the latest conditions of the virus. Flexibility is also key; be ready to pivot as needed to remain relevant and safe. Allow your Convention Bureau representative to be your advocate and city partner, working with you to create and execute successful meetings in this new climate.

What is your favorite restaurant in the region?

I love the Southern cuisine with a Cajun flair offered at Julep’s. Not only is it delicious but it’s also conveniently located in downtown Richmond, just steps from our convention center and hotel community.

What is your favorite regional attraction?

It has to be Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, which features over 50 acres of beautiful gardens! There you’ll also find a conservatory, library café, and tea house restaurant. The venue also offers art exhibitions, live music, event space and tours. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, and this place is magnificently lit and beautifully decorated during this season. Lewis Ginter is definitely a bright light on the attraction scene in Richmond.

How do you help clients?

I try to help my clients by uncovering their needs, and I find the best way to do that is by listening. I also try to anticipate and help solve any potential issues by offering my expertise and insight, especially if it’s something I’ve experienced before with past clients and had a successful outcome. I do my best to make sure my clients are fully utilizing the amenities provided in my city that will ensure their attendees have a fun and pleasant experience.