- CVBs deliver for unique requests
- Going above and beyond to elevate events
- Transforming relationships into partnerships
Where does the CVB come in?
The Springfield CVB provided everything the group needed and more for their first State Leadership Conference in Springfield. “Having outgrown our old location, Springfield welcomed us with open arms, assisting in securing our event venue, as well as over 15 partner hotels to house our 4,500+ registrants,” said Dzurick. “Our contact, Lisa Perez, was with us every step of the way. Our move to Springfield occurred during a transition of State Advisers, and I came into the role knowing no one or what the plan for Springfield was. Lisa had copious notes and prepared me for the year ahead.”
Maybe this seems like run of the mill CVB duties for planners, but how many bureaus are expert fountain finders for filming? A fountain? Dzurick explains their unusual request, “Perhaps the most remarkable task the CVB undertook for us was finding me a fountain. It may seem odd, but we needed a fountain for the filming of a video; we needed to be able to jump in the fountain as well. Lisa got on it and had approval from Missouri State University for me to use a fountain, creating quite the memory for our students as they recreated the Friends theme song.”
With growing numbers, the group is nearing capacity at their current venue and is grateful to have the CVB onboard to help find a new home for their event in Springfield. “Multiple meetings and phone calls later, we’re nearing the final stages of negotiations for an 11,000-seat arena with access to a large-screen video display, pre-rigged lighting, and a private club area,” said Dzurick. “The CVB is willing to do anything and everything to ensure the happiness of their customers, and I cannot imagine a better group of professionals to work with in meeting planning.”
Cindy Falk, Nutrition Educator with Kansas Wheat, found some angels in disguise at the Manhattan Kansas CVB, who in her words went thoroughly above and beyond the call of duty during the planning of the National Festival of Breads (NFOB).
Due to the CVB’s commitment and out-of-the-box thinking, their participants had an incredible experience.
Elevating the event Falk shares, “Our event is comprised of an amateur bread baking
competition and baking workshops. We were able to add a new BBQ section thanks to their (the CVB) contacts in the Manhat- tan, KS, community in order to grow our event’s audience base. They were able to coordinate meetings, a bus for our farm tour, set up and take down for BBQ sessions, and much more.”
Growing audiences and coordination is without a doubt some of the great services offered by CVBs, but it takes an organization with a strong strategic and creative mindset to take it further. By creat- ing solutions to elevate the group, the Manhattan CVB brought NFOB an extraordinary PR opportunity.
“A truly unique spin to this year’s NFOB was the integration with a regional travel writers association, a perk that was made possible by Karen Hibbard and her team. During several days of our event, the Midwest Travel Writers Association set up a trip through Manhattan. Karen was able to coordinate several interac- tions with the writers, including an awesome social event at the Flint Hills Discovery Center. Here, our finalists from all over the nation were able to meet with travel writers and discuss their pas- sions for baking. We were also able to break bread with the writers during an early morning breakfast on the day of the competition, and several writers stuck around in order to see the event in prog- ress. These interactions would not have been possible without the Manhattan CVB team.”
Transforming relationships into partnerships
Collaborating with CVBs is nothing new for meeting planners, but creating relationships that are true partnerships is the ultimate goal.
The Council Bluffs CVB is no exception. Robyn Slunecka, Manager, Global Accounts with HelmsBriscoe, worked with them on a recent project for her non-profit client. In addition to helping find the perfect location for her client’s new annual event, they did what many people fall short of - listening and most importantly, understanding and coming up with solutions for the client.
Slunecka raves, “Not only did Josee (Council Bluff CVB staff) assist with the typical destination information, follow up with hoteliers and arrange site tours, she listened and understood the client’s concerns, offering to secure a performance-based hotel rebate for my client from each of the hotel properties involved in this project. But the partnership didn’t end there, thanks to a grant request submitted by the CVB, my client was thrilled, to say the least, to be awarded an additional marketing grant. Without the CVB involvement, we would not have been aware of this opportunity. Receipt of the additional grant and hotel rebates allowed my cli- ent to turn their focus toward other important event details, which helped to ensure the event’s success. This scenario validated the client’s decision to collaborate with HelmsBriscoe.”
It’s easy to take for granted the variety of services that meeting professionals come to expect from CVBs, but there are hidden gems among Midwest CVBs who think beyond traditional offerings and truly take things further.