2019 40 Under 40: Akshar V. Patel, AAHOA

By Connect Staff, July 9, 2019

Akshar V. Patel, 36, works in Atlanta as senior director of conventions at AAHOAAs a 2019 40 Under 40 honoree, Patel discusses his passion for the events industry.

*Connect with Patel on Instagram

What I do: I am responsible for the planning, implementation and execution of our annual convention, which has more than 7,000 attendees and 600 vendors. All of the planning happens in-house with me as a one-man team and other departments. In addition, I am responsible for all contracts—present and future— budgets and accountability that each convention is a success.

How I got here: I started in catering sales, moved to convention services and, lastly, into F&B in hotels. I stumbled upon this opportunity and knew it was a great fit as it gave me the best of both worlds: hotels and events. Having gone through the facility side and now being on the client side, I am able to be well-rounded in all areas.

Greatest career accomplishment: When I took this role, we were merely contracted two years out. I am now happy to say we are contracted five years out, which gives us great negotiating power along with more lead time on the planning. 

Impressive stats: Since I joined the association, I have been able to create a steady profitability of $1 million in net profit and keeping total expenses down by 20 percent. Also, when I started, I had a team of three including myself, and successfully executed close to 150 events.

Specific improvement I’ve made: Before I joined, we did not have a registration system connected to our CRM system. We were doing it manually and data dumping. Within a year, I implemented a full-service registration system for approximately 200 events. 

What I do outside of work: I am a trained musician in Indian classical music; I have two beautiful daughters and a beautiful wife who I love spending time with. I also am heavily involved in my Temple organization BAPS where I am the event lead on conventions for 10,000-plus youths and young adults.

(Visited 652 times, 1 visits today)

All 4,000 of the attendees at Connect 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky, can attest that this year’s conference was our best. Here are the highlights.

With dozens of beautiful ships mirroring the best hotels in the world, more groups are turning to cruises to create memorable events.

Debra Owens, owner of Premiere Production Choice, knows a thing or two about event production. Most of it she learned on the fly.

Here are four ways to make your next event in New York City feel fresh.

The Latest