Planners should be clear about their needs and let us know what ‘perks’ we can offer to make their experience better.
Anita Harris, Destination Sales Manager, Visit Wichita
It is always helpful when the planner clearly identifies their main decision factor on the RFP. For some groups, it’s all about the affordability and for others, it is the location or local support. If I know this right when we meet, then I can concentrate on addressing that very clearly in the proposal we deliver. I would encourage planners to take full advantage of our services such as a personal welcome from the mayor or having our staff at an information booth for guests at registration. Let us help spread the word on what there is to do in our city and save time for you and your attendees - it’s a win-win!
Susan Smolarek, Director of Group Sales, VISIT Lake Geneva
In addition to the basics (date, number of attendees, number of room nights, meeting space needed, budget), planners should be prepared to share information about their group/attendees/audience (e.g., what’s the company/organization culture, interests, special needs, how they function best, what have they done in the past for this meeting or other meetings). This information will help VISIT Lake Geneva present the best options for both meeting and non-meeting time.
Question Planner Should Ask: Do I need to request RFP’s from area businesses we are interested in for our meeting/event?
VISIT Lake Geneva Response: No, VISIT Lake Geneva is a one-stop shop. We request, collect, and compile RFP information and present it to the planner so they only have one contact versus many to manage.
Julie Obrigewitsch, Sales Coordinator, Dickinson CVB
It is important to ask about the Convention & Visitors Bureau’s free services. Many CVBs will offer free packets of information, name badges, banners, media assistance, and more. Understanding what exactly the CVB will do for your group will make meeting planning much easier and alleviates a great deal of stress.
Kim Miers, Marketing/Meetings Director, Mansfield & Richland County CVB
Organizations seek assistance from our CVB because we offer expertise in areas they don’t deal in on a daily basis. Recently, a group without much social media experience asked if we could help “get the word out” about their regional event. They understood we could help broaden their exposure, which could help increase their attendance. We also took time to educate them on how to enhance interest in their under-utilized Facebook™ page to communicate their message to their members. Many organizations are experiencing an aging population in membership and appreciate assistance in newer areas.
From start to finish, CVB resources are there for your utilization, possibly with items you didn’t even know you needed or wanted. When it is time to plan, who are you gonna call? We encourage you to call the CVB.