Have you ever been charged with the job of planning a business meeting, convention, wedding, reunion, or any other type of event that requires meeting space? An excellent starting point, which unfortunately is often times over looked, is your local Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). The CVB wants your meeting or event to be successful and has the resources to make that happen.
How? CVB’s offer many services that will save you time and money but they can do so much more and generally the services are free. Listed below are some of the services available to you:
• The CVB will help coordinate many aspects of your meeting – beginning with special rates and availability from the accommodations in the area. The CVB sales staff will create a Request for Proposal (RFP) listing all of your meeting needs, which will be sent to the various hotels, motels, or resorts geared toward your type of meeting. This creates a “competitive bid” environment, which will help insure that you get the best value and options to chose from.
• After the RFPs have been reviewed, the CVB’s Sales Department can arrange a site inspection of the hotels, motels or resorts of your choice. The CVB will schedule the entire agenda for you – including visits to each hotel or resort as well as meetings with other vendors such as audio-visual companies and transportation providers.
• Marketing your meeting – After the hotel or resort has been chosen, the CVB specializes in helping you with promotion and publicity to encourage your attendees to come to their city. You will have access to a variety of tools to increase attendance at your meeting including; Destination brochures, links to the CVB web site with information on local entertainment, restaurants, and other attractions that might encourage potential attendees to register. Armed with contact information for the local media, including newspapers, radio and TV stations provided by the CVB’s Marketing Department, you’ll have the right avenues for media releases and important event information.
These services are just the beginning of the CVB offerings. After you have chosen the hotel or resort for your meeting, the CVB then goes to work for you finding:
• Transportation – Does your meeting require information on which transportation companies are local and available? The CVB can provide information on the type of vehicles the company offers ie. Buses, vans, cars, limos, etc. as well as assist you in negotiating special rates for your meeting or event.
• Local Tours – A database of all local attractions, hours of operation, fees, etc. is available at the CVB. They can also provide contacts for local tour companies and step-on-guide services.
• Entertainment – You will find Information on Speakers, reliable disk jockeys, bands and other entertainment options readily available at the CVB.
• Photography – Will you need suggestions on local photographers or digital photography to enhance pre-mailers or registration materials? The CVB maintains a library of photos for brochures and meeting programs as well as lists of local and regional photographers.
• Welcome to the Area – Presentations to your meeting by a local dignitary can be arranged by the CVB. Most CVBs also provide promotional Welcome Packets to your attendees upon arrival as well as a special Welcome Letter specific to your meeting.
So to maximize the effectiveness of your meeting, partner with your destination’s CVB to blend the attractions of your destination with the theme of your event or educational program – it will make your job easier and your meeting or event more successful.
VP of Sales – CVB Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area