Beth Hecquet, CMP, CMM, is program manager of events for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. As a 2019 Connect Sports Game Changer, she discusses her passion for sports tourism.
*Connect with Hecquet on Instagram.
What I do:
My main role at the Scripps National Spelling Bee
is managing event logistics of the national Bee held each May in National Harbor, Maryland. Additionally, I assist with the recruitment of regional spelling bee hosts as well as contribute to other Scripps owned events like the Scripps Howard Foundation Awards.
How I got here:
It all began when Rick Hatcher spoke at one of my sports management classes at the University of Kentucky. Following that fateful day, I’ve held event planning and management roles at the Lexington Area Sports Authority, University of Kentucky Athletics Department, Indiana Sports Corporation, Amateur Athletic Union and the National Association of Sports Commissions
Why I am a Game Changer:
Five years ago, I made an unexpected change and left NASC for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Although some thought I was stepping away from the industry, I believed the iconic competition could hold a place in the sports event industry and I am proud that today it now does. I quickly realized that the sports event world needed to be introduced to the world of spelling bees and vice versa. I have introduced and helped realize the first CVB and sports commission-run spelling bees which have been a game changer for spelling bees, destinations and the sports event industry.
Greatest career accomplishment:
I’ve earned both my CMP and my CMM which took at lot of hard work and time to achieve. I was also recognized by Connect Association as a 40 Under 40.
Big-Time Event: Scripps National Spelling Bee
(obviously): More than 11 million students participate in spelling bees to earn a spot at the National Bee each year. The 2019 Bee was the fifth I had a hand in, and each have come with wonderful memories and heartfelt moments.
During my time at the Bee I have managed million-dollar sponsorships, negotiated multiyear contracts saving an estimated $500,000 over the life of the contracts, and contributed to the doubling of the number of competitors in just two years. I am proud of my extensive knowledge of the events and tourism industries which makes me a force to reckon with when it comes to contract negotiations.
What I do outside of work:
I serve on many event committees including WordPlay Cincinnati, Habitat for Humanity, First Tee of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Alumni Network. I also enjoy being active and compete in triathlons and half-marathons and one day hope to complete an Ironman 70.3.