• CVBs curate experiences
More and more, attendees are looking for truly unique destination experiences. CVBs are these experience curators helping planners devise opportunities which speak directly to their attendees. Midwest Meetings® reached out to a few Midwest CVBs to find out how they have helped planners surprise their groups and create special memories.
Cathy Cluff, Oshkosh CVB, reminisced, “For our WI Airport Managers Conference in May, 2016, they wanted to offer something unique for the afternoon of arrival to their attendees. It was explained to me that outside activities were best. So, I arranged a choice of two activities; golf at the Oshkosh Country Club and Sport Clay Shooting at the Springbrook Sportsman’s Club. Attendees were able to select one activity and both were very much enjoyed.”
In the Fox Cities, Jennifer Hecht, Convention Services Coordinator, Fox Cities CVB, chimed in, “[We have taken groups] behind the scenes at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center with tours of the backstage, dressing rooms, and more.” A great experience for theatre buffs. “We have also arranged hands-on activities for groups,” Hecht shared. Some of those activities include making paper at the Paper Discovery Center and making customized candy bars at Wilmar’s Chocolates.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference & Exposition was hosted in Columbus, OH this past July. Sharon Levine, Convention Services Manager, Experience Columbus, shared some of the ways they surprised their attendees, “NACo added some fun touches to their closing event. They had a living “red carpet” – actually it was white with a model on a platform at the end in a beautiful white gown and a lighted headdress. It was very cool and a fun photo op.” And the fun didn’t stop there. “Dessert was served inside helium balloons, so guests had to pop a balloon to get a piece of cake, which they could then top with ice cream or fruit toppings.” To top the night off they also had an outdoor cigar bar, signature cocktails using local distillery libations, local beers, and local entertainment including; Pop Gun, Conspiracy, and The Jazz Arts Group.
Don’t hesitate to ask your CVBs about the extra special experiences in their area or how you can more incorporate local produce, beverages, and entertainment. You never know what magic they might be able to whip up for you.