Thursday, October 1, 2015

Salt Lake City- Delta's Velvet 360

Posted from Hollywood, en route to hooking up with the fam in Australia…

After leading hikes and other outdoor adventures for NW Wilderness all summer, I would’ve normally already flown overseas a couple times this fall.  Being a Delta Airlines employee, quick international trips are a regular thing for our family.  In fact, I’m currently attempting 1 of 2 back-to-back overseas family trips, on three different continents.

The steep Devil’s Peak hike I led Saturday before I flew out was scaled back from my original 15 mile routing, but the roster was ANYTHING but scaled back.  I relaxed my usual limit of 10-12 hikers to allow a whopping 18 people attend my hike.  And over 30 people RSVP’d!

A photo posted by Garth Hamilton (@garth_hamilton) on

But the big event of last week was Delta’s Velvet 360 event in Salt Lake City.  I was very fortunate to be selected to represent our PDX station (see the two links to my posts about running in the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon in 2014, and also my latest from 2015).

After I worked late into the wee hours of Tuesday morning (we were short-staffed), Delta flew me to SLC on Tuesday and put me up in the AAA Five Diamond luxury hotel Grand America.  The swag bags were gone by the time I arrived, but I landed just in time to catch the opening night festivities.

Enthusiastic "Velveteers" greet us at the SLC airport with our motor coach

Grand America courtyard:  Before getting dressed up for the main event(s)

The courtyard was the setting for Tuesday night’s party:  Prizes, exquisitely prepared food and appetizers, drinks, music, and dancing.  D.J. Nunzio was on hand later that evening to get the dance floor hopping.

A photo posted by Garth Hamilton (@garth_hamilton) on

Day 2

After a very late night with some new friends, Wednesday morning breakfast arrived rather early
(7 a.m.!).

But Velvet 360 was just getting started.

An all-star lineup of Delta’s executive leadership team (including President Ed Bastian) took the stage throughout Wednesday to share with employees the Big Picture, a 360 degree view of Delta’s business.

Gil West, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, was one of many featured speakers from our Delta executive leadership team

At times, Velvet 360 was refreshingly less like a conference and more like an energetic, entertainingly-produced U2 concert.  Prize giveaways, cinematic short films, comedy skits, and the enthusiastic “Veveteers” kept the energy levels up during the transitions between speakers.

The jubilant Velveteer prize patrol whisks away yet another winner up to the stage

Lights, camera, action:  A 180 degree view of Velvet 360

Amidst the flashy production values, the message was clear:  Delta is actively involved in investing in the successful future of our customers, shareholders, and employees.

Props to Delta Airlines for a job well done at Velvet 360.  And thanks for sending me!

Bonus Vine video:

Hit the unmute button to hear audio of us getting our groove on to Bobby Brown the night before.


Susan Hamilton said...

Wow! Your "Velvet 360" description is impressive, Garth! Most of us have only attended "conventional conventions." (And some of them are unmercifully boring.) It's wonderful that Delta knows how to put on a big party celebration! So glad you got to attend it!

Garth Hamilton said...

Yep, Delta really knows how to throw a party. Who knew?

We're stuck in Belgium at the moment. I'll post some pics and stories from our current overseas adventure... when it gets resolved.