Every once in awhile something comes along that sounds too good to be true and it turns out to actually be true. There is no catch or cheesy gimmick. Once you discover it, there is no turning back to the dark ages when you had no idea such an amazing resource existed. The Convention and Visitors Bureau, also known as CVB, is the resource that will change the way you do business. They work hard to promote and attract visitors to their regional destinations while providing a plethora of services to planners. As a Show Organizer, that translates to less guesswork and greater productivity. They work for you!
If you haven’t already taken advantage of this service, it’s time to learn how to get the most out of what the CVB offers. They are the quintessential blueprint to your show’s host city. Utilize the local experts to get the best insider knowledge on just about anything. The best part? They want to offer their expertise, connections and buying power and it won’t cost you a thing. When they help you out, they are sustaining their market by bringing in millions of local and state revenue with all the visitors that came to events just like yours. It’s a win-win for everyone.
The Keys to the Host City
When you enlist the help of a CVB you get access to almost everything the city has to offer. They are your proverbial “keys to the city”. CVB’s prove their value in a variety of ways giving your show greater impact. Like Woodrow Wilson once said, “I not only use the brains that I have but all that I can borrow.” Take advantage of the influence the bureau has and employ the following information to the benefit of all.
Whether you are researching what city to host your next trade show, or you already have it chosen, the local CVB can help answer any questions you might have regarding location. They can give you information on the strength and viability of various markets within the city, as well as what is on the horizon. Other things you will want to consider are:
- Any current or future construction projects that might positively or negatively affect the location or traffic of your event.
- What major events will occur during the dates of your event?
- Do your arrival and departure times coincide with hotel rate increases? Is there any flexibility with dates?
- Find out if there are any events, big or small, going on adjacent to your event space.
Your CVB will be your advocate and will keep you in the loop when it comes to what is going on in the city if anything should change. Get them involved from the start so they can choose the best options available and ensure the smoothest process possible.
The expertise that can be offered in the area of accommodations and facilities is vital for creating the total package. Your CVB partners have spent years cultivating relationships with local businesses and can pass those benefits along to you. Some of that knowledge includes:
- What hotels will fit your specific needs, as well as requirements, such as capacity and length of stay?
- What facilities can host your show? Do they have special relationships with certain venues or convention centers? If so, they can help negotiate for better rates.
- Are any hotels currently being renovated or have recently gone through one?
According to a study posted on Hotel Online, “CVB’s are becoming more prominent as ‘destination developers’ by acting as catalysts and facilitators for the realization of tourism developments and events.” One reason for their rise in prominence is due to the business you bring to their communities and the revenue that comes with it. Without your event’s positive impact on the local economy and others like you, their influence wouldn’t hold as much weight. All of this means that what you have to offer combined with your partner’s influence equals great potential in the following way:
- Your CVB partner can provide you with a financial economic impact assessment (dollars) that your show will bring to the city. You can use the number amount provided as leverage in negotiations.
- For instance, say you have an event scheduled only to find out that the venue will be undergoing construction during the dates of your show. You can use the economic impact the show will have on the host city and its businesses as leverage to get them to move the construction dates so they will no longer be an interference.
There are additional benefits from partnering with a CVB. When you form a working relationship, they learn to tailor your preferences and anticipate your needs. This way, when you have recurring shows in the same region, you know your event is in good hands when you do the standard twice a year check in.
The bureau is also an excellent resource for making sure your VIP exhibitors and clients are well taken care of. They can coordinate travel for them, as well as transportation to and from the airport. Don’t be afraid to get creative. From luxury services that might not otherwise be available, to providing clients with unique local experiences, they are committed to assisting with every request.
The Total Package
It’s easy to see why working with a CVB partner in your show’s host city is so important, once you understand how much is to be gained. The unfolding symbiotic relationship is a significant contribution not only to society, but one that will benefit you for years to come.