Meet the Sports & Services Team
Let Us Help You Plan Your Winning Sports Event
The Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau staff will help you find the perfect venues and facilities for your next sporting event.
Joel Smith, MPRTSM Sales Manager
Joel Smith has held various management roles within the recreation and leisure industry, and completed his Master’s degree in Parks, Recreation, Sports and Tourism Management, at North Carolina State University. Joel joined the Wilmington and Beaches CVB in 2017. He is currently serving as the Second Vice President for the North Carolina Society of Government Meeting Professionals, was named NC SGMP Supplier of the Year for 2020-2021 and a National SGMP Top Young Professional for 2022. He and his wife Hilary have three children, and thoroughly enjoy the local eateries and attractions in Wilmington. Joel spends his free time fishing, sunset chasing with his family and supporting his community.
Karen Warren Visitor Services
Karen Warren has been employed with the Wilmington and Beaches CVB since 1998. In her role, she provides support services for individuals, organizations, meeting planners and group tour operators. She spends as much time at the beach as possible and enjoys the theater, art and restaurant scene. Karen caught the archaeology bug at an early age, courtesy of Howard Carter and King Tut, and received a degree in anthropology with a focus on Meso-American archaeology with a side bar in Egyptian hieroglyphs. She loves to travel and one of her most memorable trips was to the ethereal Incan site of Machu Picchu.
Here's just some of the assistance we provide:
Pre-Event Planning & Bid Process
- Provide information regarding sporting facilities, hotels and lodging, off-site event facilities, exhibit space, attractions, recreation and entertainment
- Prepare a formal bid proposal including assistance in securing competitive guest room rates and arrangements for site inspections
- Assist with presentations to aid planners in presenting our proposal to board or site selection committee
- Assist in locating resources regarding local caterers, photographers, office and sports equipment, promotional materials, souvenir ideas, security, tradeshow and exhibit needs, speakers, musicians, entertainers and off-site activities
- Assist in planning spouse and spectator programs, children's activities and tours
- Arrange a welcome address or letter from area dignitaries
- Complimentary visitors guides, guide and attractions maps, and complimentary bags for registration are available for sports events attendees based on hotel room usage. Additional quantities are available for a nominal fee.
- Complimentary registration and visitor information assistance is available. The Convention and Visitors Bureau will supply, free of charge, one registrar for four consecutive hours based on a minimum of 50 room nights. Thereafter, there will be a charge per hour per person.