- A closer look at myths and the real truth about CVBs
- CVBs serve as invaluable resources to planners
- Your success is their priority
We’re uncovering the truth behind some of the top myths about working with CVBs.
MYTH: CVBs charge a fee for their services.
TRUTH: The truth is CVB services are free to meeting planners “because their services have already been paid for by local hotel taxes and assessments,” said Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki, CDME, CMP, Managing Director of Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI) empowerMINT.com.
According to Liron BenDor, Vice President of Marketing with the Overland Park CVB, “The economic impact that travel and tourism brings to our individual communities allows us to provide you with free visitor guides, publicity support, volunteers, connections to local resources/vendors and destination expertise.”
MYTH: CVBs no longer assist you after your meeting is booked.
TRUTH: You’ll find assistance from CVBs throughout the entire process, from booking your meeting and events to wrapping everything up with hotels and vendors.
“We provide a wide array of free services to meeting planners,” said Pam Seidl, Executive Director with the Fox Cities CVB. “From stuffing bags, providing names badges and volunteers that can assist with registration to obtaining quotes for transportation, finding local vendors for everything from sign printing to musical entertainment and speakers for your sessions. CVBs are an excellent resource for local recommendations.”
MYTH: CVBs are not interested in working with you if you’re planning a smaller meeting.
TRUTH: CVBs want to work with you no matter the size of your meeting and many have staff solely dedicated to the small meetings market. Their top priority is finding the right venue for your meeting or event. Those planning smaller meetings are often doing so with a smaller team. This is one of the ways connecting and working with a CVB comes in handy.
“Working with a CVB is like having an extra co-worker who is resourceful, passionate and driven to ensure your meeting or event is a success,” said BenDor. “We are that extra set of hands you always wish for when in the throes of sourcing and planning! Additionally, the local expertise and free services that CVBs provide helps planners save time, money and most importantly, provide a more enriching experience for their attendees.”
MYTH: CVBs will only find you hotel and convention facilities for your meeting.
TRUTH: Yes, CVBs will help you find hotels and traditional venues, if that is what you need. CVBs are the experts when it comes to every property in their destination, especially those lesser-known locations. By not working with a CVB you could potentially miss out on a unique venue for your group. Most importantly, they are an incredible resource for dining, entertainment, shopping… anything and everything your attendees are looking for to experience the destination.
For instance, the team at the Fox Cities CVB can connect you to some incredibly unique venues and activities for your group. “Our convention center is downtown and our downtown area is thriving,” said Seidl. “Take your group to the Building for Kids Children’s Museum for an after-hours gathering or to a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers game at Fox Cities Stadium. At the Paper Discovery Center your group can make their own paper or they can participate in workshops at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass.
The Stillwater/Oak Park Heights CVB provides a list of 50 ideas for groups both large and small to experience and a list of more than 20 unique venues for events. “We created these lists to provide meeting planners a way for their groups to experience the great options in the Historic Birthplace of Minnesota,” said Christie Rosckes, Marketing Director with the CVB.
MYTH: CVBs are membership-based and will send your RFP to their entire database.
TRUTH: Yes, some CVBs are membership-based, but not all of them are. Regardless, CVBs strive to provide unbiased options that are the best fit for you and your meeting. They pride themselves on the services they provide and their knowledge of their destination, so it’s important to them that they match you with only those venues that are the right fit for you.
Seidl points out that CVBs come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important that planners get the full scope of the bureau. While there are some that may only recommend their members, many, like Fox Cities and Overland Park, recommend everything that would be perfectly suited to your meeting.
“It seems that the pressure to accomplish more with existing resources, namely time, will not likely wain and even perhaps the opposite is true. So we have to acquire the type of resources who will act as extensions of ourselves and our teams,” said Shimasaki. “The CVB sales professional is the type of resource worth developing a relationship with so they can help be your eyes and ears on the ground when you can’t be in the destination. They can offer you consultative advice so that all your questions, concerns and observations surrounding your meeting may be addressed.”
In the end, the number one priority of a CVB is serving you, the meeting planner. You’ll soon find it’s in their best interest to provide you with the information and tools to make your meeting a success.