Top seven benefits of working with a Convention and Visitors Bureau

When working with meetings industry organizations, it has surprised me how little corporate meeting and event planners usually take advantage of the services offered by tourism offices – a.k.a. Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) or Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs). Even planners who organize multiple events and have relationships with large hotel companies through a national or global sales office tend overlook the benefits of working with a destination CVB.

Top seven benefits of working with a Convention and Visitors Bureau

Here are the top seven reasons why you should consider starting your site search with the CVB for the destination(s) you are looking for:

  • CVBs can act as your one point of contact to distribute your Request for Proposal to all their members. Instead of getting contacted by 10 different hotel reps, your CVB rep will act as your liaison.
  • It is the CVB reps’ job to know their city or destination best.  They can help you find that “special” venue that will reinforce your meeting’s objectives and make your event truly memorable.
  • When your event is not as “attractive” for a hotel – perhaps because it is very space-intensive versus the total number of rooms – your CVB rep can be your advocate and explain the overall value of your event in terms of profile for the destination, future business, etc.
  • When you need to see a destination before you make your selection, your CVB can help with expenses – most have budgets for site inspections by qualified buyers.
  • For larger events, many CVBs have coordinators to provide housing bureau services.  This may include steering delegates to the right hotel room block, answering questions about leisure activities for the delegate’s family, etc.
  • Even if you have a smaller meeting and you are only bringing in employees from other locations, CVBs will provide you with electronic and hard copy materials to help heighten excitement and promote the event.
  • But the very top reason for working with CVBs is that their services are FREE.  It’s their job to promote their destination, and you reap the benefits!

Convention and Visitor Bureaus love to work with corporate meeting and event planners for large and small events. Make them part of your team!

About the author:

Andy McNeill, CEO of AMI, is a veteran of the meetings and event industries, with more than 25 years of experience in the profession. He has assisted firms in a variety of industries including pharmaceutical, biotech, healthcare, consumer, sports marketing and investment banking. He firmly believes in the strategic meeting marketing model and provides consulting services to Fortune 100 clients on the practice. After graduation from Florida State with a degree in marketing, Andy began his career in the event marketing group at Florida State Athletics. Soon after, he launched his own event marketing company and after five years merged with a major sports marketing firm. Andy spent six years with NSG Corporation as the Senior Vice President leading the sales and marketing for the firm who produced events for over 200,000+ attendees annually across the globe. Andy and the NSG team worked with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta to produce portions of the Opening Ceremonies. Following NSG, Andy secured the role as COO at Fanizzi Associates, one of the nation’s largest event pharmaceutical firms. There he managed the overall operations of the company who executed over 400 events annually for physicians and internal pharmaceutical clients. Revenues exceeded $40 million a year. In 2002, Andy left Fanizzi Associates, and launched AMI with the vision of owning and operating a premiere event marketing and meeting management firm. Since 2002, AMI has grown into a multi-million dollar organization producing hundreds of events annually. The firm has managed programs in more than 20 industries for clients such as Novartis, Mars, Cleveland Clinic, J & J, Baxter, Pfizer and Office Depot. Andy’s vision of keeping AMI on the forefront of meetings technology, theory and practice has made it an industry leader. He is a member of MPI, Site, and the American Marketing Association. He volunteers as a chair of the Human Rights Campaign. Andy's day-to-day responsibilities include client acquisition, consulting and overall company strategy.

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