“My favorite moment at GBTA was a bit serious.”
In 2002, not long after 9/11 occurred, the industry and travel, in general, went through a difficult time because of security concerns. Convention was scheduled to take place in an unfamiliar market, Salt Lake City, UT, and leading up to the event, GBTA had a hard time finding sponsors. GBTA came to Scott Solombrino and asked to write a check to help the organization during the difficult time so they could source a speaker to come and present the keynote the Wednesday of Convention.
A month before Convention, GBTA announces Rudy Giuliani, Mayor of New York during 9/11, was going to be Wednesday’s keynote speaker. At the time, Giuliani was one of the most sought-out speakers in the world. Rudy Giuliani was given lifetime security by the NYPD after 9/11 because there were so many threats by terrorist organizations against his life because he did an outstanding job during the crisis.
“I was concerned if we would have a full audience for the lunch because it was the last day of Convention. I will never forget standing on the stage as they opened the doors and people came in by the thousands and they never left the conference because they were being patriotic in showing that travel was not going to be rattled by the terrorist attacks that occurred.”
“People were trying to send a message that travel could not be stopped and that, to me, was the most memorable time that I could ever remember at GBTA.”