Sponsored by Visit Aurora
Hotels and CVBs have long had a close relationship in the world of meetings and conventions, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to learn. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your convention and visitors bureau:
What is the role of a CVB?
BD: Our job is to showcase the destination as a premier location for meetings, business, and leisure travel through destination marketing and lead generation for local partners.
What services does a CVB provide?
BD: During the sales process, we provide informational resources, maps, brochures and an annual visitor’s guide that highlights our unique destination offerings. After the business is booked, we can help facilitate registration assistance, a directory of service providers, temporary staffing, welcome bags, microsites, welcome letters, and even post-convention economic impact reports. Our services are complimentary for clients, which is an added bonus when it comes to budgeting an event.
How can one build a stronger relationship with their CVB?
BD: Make sure to provide the CVB with updates on renovations or other changes to your hotel and staff that might affect future business. Furthermore, continuously educate the bureau on your competition, goals, and objectives to maintain strong lines of communication.
How are CVBs changing?
BD: Previously, a CVB was an organization that solely distributed leads, created bid books, and sold their destination to meeting planners. Since then, we’ve evolved into more of a destination marketing and management organization. Our newest areas of focus include engaging, educating, and communicating with local leaders to highlight the enormous impact the tourism industry brings to the community to keep our city vibrant and our economy strong.
» Set goals when partnering with a CVB. You should absolutely start with a high level of expectation but allow time to build the partnership through communication and support. It’s important to understand the impact of each metric goal and set realistic timetables to achieve them.
» Challenge the CVB to bring value. When a lead comes through an electronic distribution program, the CVB has the opportunity to add valuable details that a hotel might not be getting otherwise. As an organization, the CVB should be going the extra mile to qualify the lead, not just resend it. This will ultimately help build a stronger relationship between the CVB and the hotel, knowing the CVB is not taking credit for a lead the hotel has already received.
» Site inspections are a thing of the past. It’s now about site experiences that showcase the destination’s offerings alongside the hotel meeting space. It requires full hotel involvement. Have the sales manager, director of sales, and general manager welcome the potential client – they should feel like the red carpet has been rolled out for them.
» First impressions matter. Do your homework and avoid asking questions that could easily be researched or provided in the site itinerary. It’s obvious to a client when a hotel is not prepared for the site experience. The sales manager should not be grabbing the keys as the client shows up and leading them into rooms with the lights off. Ensure everyone on your team is prepared for clients by assigning tasks before their arrival.
» What a CVB is not. A CVB’s job is not to overstep the hotel sales manager or take over the sales process. They offer unique insights as the destination experts to add value to the sales process. Additionally, the CVB is not a bank. There won’t always be an incentive program or sponsorship available every time a hotel reaches out for assistance. They will, however, access the opportunity and assist when they can.
Sponsored by Visit Aurora
Visit Aurora is the official destination marketing organization of Aurora, Colorado. Visit Aurora represents 65+ hotels, over 13,000 guest rooms, and more than 1 million square feet of meeting space, including Colorado's largest and newest resort, Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center. Conveniently located near Denver International Airport (DEN), Aurora, Colorado truly serves as the Gateway to the Rockies. With mountain views, memorable meeting spaces and unique eateries, Aurora is a premier destination for convention, business and leisure travel.