CVBs Step Up Support ROMANO, GERRY.Under more and more pressure as you plan major meetings? CVBs are attempting to play a stronger supporting role supporting role n → second rôle m
supporting role n → ruolo non protagonista .
Remember when the number of telephone banks was a critical factor in deciding whether to book a particular facility for a meeting? How times have changed, as Thomas (language) Thomas - A language compatible with the language Dylan(TM). Thomas is NOT Dylan(TM).
The first public release of a translator to Scheme by Matt Birkholz, Jim Miller, and Ron Weiss, written at Digital Equipment Corporation's Cambridge Research Laboratory runs Getzke, president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of the Saint Paul Saint Paul, city (1990 pop. 272,235), state capital and seat of Ramsey co., E Minn., on bluffs along the Mississippi River, contiguous with Minneapolis, forming the Twin Cities metropolitan area; inc. 1854. Convention and Visitors Bureau, Minnesota, shows with this example, noting how a cell phone in every pocket has made ample pay phones a nonproblem.
Of course, wireless technology isn't the only type of technology that is changing the whats and hows of meetings, and technology has brought new problems along with solutions. Plus things besides technology are affecting the ways in which associations plan events. Greater pressure to generate revenue from conventions and trade shows, greater pressure to plan faster and to do so while juggling other responsibilities, and other stepped-up expectations are intensifying in·ten·si·fy
v. in·ten·si·fied, in·ten·si·fy·ing, in·ten·si·fies
1. To make intense or more intense: the planner's job.
And every city wants to help. To attract more associations, destination CVBs are positioning themselves more as partners in the process of event planning Event planning is the process of planning a festival, ceremony, competition, party, or convention.
Event planning includes budgeting, establishing date and alternate date (rain date), selecting and reserving the event site, acquiring permits, and coordinating transportation . Here, CVB CVB Convention and Visitors Bureau
CVB College Van Bestuur (Dutch: Managing Council)
CVB Camper Van Beethoven (band)
CVB Common Vision Blox
CVB Center for Veterinary Biologics executives from around the country discuss the issues they see planners dealing with and the connected challenges for CVBs as they strive to help associations host successful meetings.
The joy and pain of technology
"Associations have shrinking dead lines. Planners are looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. real time access to information. The answer is technology--access to CVB information 24 hours per day, every day of the week," highlights Dawn Poker poker, card game, believed to have originated in Asia and first played in the United States in the 19th cent. A traditional cutthroat gambling game at first, it is now also an internationally popular social pastime. , senior vice president, Greater Milwaukee CVB, in the discussion of current trends and the challenges they bring.
Technology has advanced meeting planning at a price that's been both hefty heft·y
adj. heft·i·er, heft·i·est
1. Of considerable weight; heavy.
2. Rugged and powerful. See Synonyms at heavy.
3. and worth it, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. John Marks John Marks can refer to:
That's critical because technology has raised significantly the expectations of planners, CVB executives agree. More pressed than ever for time, needing to make faster decisions, and accustomed to the time-saving features of the Internet, planners are expecting faster and more targeted responses when they call on destinations for information.
To answer the call, the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau The mission of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) is to promote Chicago as the premier sales and marketing organization that promotes Chicago’s world-class assets to global leisure travel and convention business to ensure the economic vitality of the City and its recently redesigned its Web site with simpler, user-friendly navigation and interactive search engines, according to Deborah Sexton sex·ton
An employee or officer of a church who is responsible for the care and upkeep of church property and sometimes for ringing bells and digging graves. , executive vice president.
Effective Web sites with such features as online meeting and housing registration can go a long way toward keeping planners interested in what CVBs have to offer. But CVBs are challenged by the ability and eager ness of meeting delegates to find hotel rooms online.
As Greg Elam, Dallas CVB senior vice president of communications, explains, "Suddenly room-block rates are complicated by people using the Internet to find a cheaper room rate outside of the block. That affects local support, traceable attendance, ability to deliver information to rooms, shuttles, and other things related to smooth operations for a meeting."
The Internet has presented tremendous competition in an even broader sense. Rick Hughes Rick Hughes (born August 22 1973, in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American professional basketball player.
He attended Thomas More College, in Kentucky.
Hughes went undrafted in the National Basketball Association but played 21 games for the Dallas Mavericks in 1999, , senior vice president, Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, comments, "If you look at CVBs as intermediaries within the travel distribution channel, we have been impacted in recent years by travel being sold over the Internet. So CVBs are looking for ways to position themselves better in this channel and, through more fluent fluent /flu·ent/ (floo´int) flowing effortlessly; said of speech. Web sites, bring greater value to the travel distribution channel and, ultimately, the customer.
"We're still viewed as the experts on our cities," Hughes continues, "and while you can find a portal that can give you a lot of information on a given destination at something-some- thing-dot-com, there's still respect for bureaus in general as credible sources. Our clients still seem to prefer to work with people. A portal doesn't have a name or a culture or a relationship with the customer."
Pumping up the partnering
An association extension is what Gezke considers the Saint Paul CVB. "Associations are looking for services that help extend the staff and resources beyond the association's meeting planning department."
A full-service resource, a part of the team-whatever you call it, it's all about partnership, and the stronger the better for the business of both association and CVB, believe CVB executives. Ideas they have toward that goal include the following:
Proving the value of association business. "Clearly, the business that associations bring to a city and its hotels is golden," states Marks. CVBs know what associations have produced in the past and will do in the future, so we can work together to communicate the important role that they play in local economies.
"Doing so will be beneficial to associations in many ways," he continues, "but in particular it will help them negotiate more long-term contracts with hotels. Together we can help hotels better understand the room-block commitments that associations need for meetings taking place in the more distant future."
Sexton echoes the need for enhanced communication in this area. "The most common types of concerns we hear from associations have to do with hotel availability and rates," she says. The Chicago bureau aims to act as an effective liaison between associations and hotels. It provides up front to the planner as much information as possible about hotel development and renovations, then along the way encourages hotels to provide solutions as quickly as possible to any problems that arise regarding the association's room commitments.
Similarly, the Philadelphia CVB "provides housing management and group room-block strategies to customers to enable them to make more accurate housing decisions," says Vice President of Convention Sales Tim Herrmann.
Sharing information about customers.
"Association delegates are visitors, and many visitors are potential meeting delegates," notes Reint Reinders, president and CEO, San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. CVB. "Associations and CVBs need to collaborate by sharing information about our customers and their behaviors."
Increasing mutual understanding. "Along the lines of understanding our customers better, we started a customer advisory board five years ago, which has proven invaluable to us and the planners alike," Reinders points out. Herrmann urges customers to increase their understanding of the CVB: "Large city events run very efficiently when customers understand that a CVB is the destination expert and its mission is to provide clients with the logistical lo·gis·tic also lo·gis·ti·cal
1. Of or relating to symbolic logic.
2. Of or relating to logistics.
[Medieval Latin logisticus, of calculation and communication support needed for a successful meeting."
"Consider the CVB a clearinghouse for all of the group's needs," emphasizes Dawn Poker. "Bureaus are a full-service resource, offering knowledge of the city and established relationships and experience with various venues."
"See us as the associations that we are," adds John Marks. "CVBs have members and boards and all the same issues as professional societies and trade groups; we're not just sales and marketing organizations. The partnership can be strengthened by associations realizing that CVBs truly do understand their needs, because they are shared needs."
Trends that will make their mark
Looking down the pike, Deborah Sexton predicts that "the single most influential factor in the meetings industry will probably be the Internet and all of its associated technology." In preparation for this future, the Chicago bureau is taking steps, including one to handle increasing online registration-developing micro-sites on the bureau's Web site that are specific to a particular association meeting.
Tim Herrmann, too, emphasizes the Internet impact. "CVBs will be expected to provide more destination management, housing, communication support, historical analysis, convention services, and collateral," he forecasts. "All of these services will be Web enabled and customized to fit the specific needs of each client."
On the accommodations front, Sexton sees "an increase in hotel inventory around the country that will create more of a buyer's market A Buyer's Market is the second novel in Anthony Powell's twelve-novel series, A Dance to the Music of Time. Published in 1952, it continues the story of narrator Nick Jenkins with his introduction into society after boarding school and university. for associations, rather than the current environment in which hotels have more control over rates and room blocks."
The concept of partnership appears to be growing stronger from all angles: CVBs partnering with other CVBs (see sidebar (1) A Windows Vista desktop panel that holds mini applications (gadgets) such as a calendar, calculator, stock ticker and Vonage phone dialer. It is the Windows counterpart to the Dashboard in the Mac. See Windows Vista and gadget. , "The CVB-CVB Team"), associations teaming up on joint meetings, and greater teamwork (product, software, tool) Teamwork - A SASD tool from Sterling Software, formerly CADRE Technologies, which supports the Shlaer/Mellor Object-Oriented method and the Yourdon-DeMarco, Hatley-Pirbhai, Constantine and Buhr notations. between the association and the CVB.
"I predict that we will find ways to collaborate between associations and CVBs as never before," Reinders says. Reflecting back on the challenges that technology has posed along with the advances for planning meetings, he adds, "The threat of becoming irrelevant will make bureaus seek more effective alliances with associations to the better-ment of the meetings industry."
Gerry Romano, CAE (1) (Computer-Aided Engineering) Software that analyzes designs which have been created in the computer or that have been created elsewhere and entered into the computer. , is senior editor and features manager of ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT. E-mail: email@example.com.
Special Problems and Solutions
Ever brought your biggest event of the year to a city and felt like the local hospitality community barely knew you were there?
Ever selected a revitalized-destination-in-progress for a future major meeting, then lost six years of sleep worrying whether the revitalization re·vi·tal·ize
tr.v. re·vi·tal·ized, re·vi·tal·iz·ing, re·vi·tal·iz·es
To impart new life or vigor to: plans to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods; tried to revitalize a flagging economy. would be complete by your meeting date?
Several CVB executives tell how they're addressing these and other problems experienced by their customers.
ATTENTION, ATTENDANCE, AND TARGETED MAILINGS
"Because Chicago hosts an incredible amount of conventions and meetings, some associations felt in the past that they weren't getting the personal recognition they deserved when their event was in the city, which I think is a common concern in the bigger convention cities. In response, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley Richard Michael Daley (born April 24, 1942) is a United States politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party and current mayor of Chicago, Illinois. He was elected mayor in 1989 and reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. created a citywide recognition program called 'We're Glad You're Here.' The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau is now working with the hotels, the restaurants, the retail stores, and everyone else in Chicago's hospitality industry to make sure that event attendees feel welcome and appreciated in the city.
"A couple of years ago, we realized that many association meeting planners did not want to use our request system for finding local products and services because we mailed their requests to all of our members. Planners were becoming inundated in·un·date
tr.v. in·un·dat·ed, in·un·dat·ing, in·un·dates
1. To cover with water, especially floodwaters.
2. with mail from companies that were completely unrelated to the products or services that the planners were looking for. The same went for hotel leads-we only had the capacity to mail leads to all hotels, even if they weren't the right kind of hotel or in the right location. We now have the technology that allows us to target those exact companies and hotels that fit the detailed criteria of our customers.
"Attendance building is a big challenge for associations right now. While exhibit space at trade shows seems to be increasing, attendance is virtually flat across the industry. We're now working with some of our key customers to help them build attendance, especially in other countries. In some instances, we are doing cooperative advertising with associations in trade-specific or international publications."
Deborah Sexton, Executive Vice President, Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau
"Problems have occurred when CVBs have not been fully engaged in the success of the association meeting and, having booked the convention, have turned it over to the staff at the convention center. In San Diego we have resolved this by creating a seamless experience for the association. We've created a marketing partnership with the convention center corporation and merged sales and marketing under one roof. This has resulted in better customer service."
Reint Reinders, President and CEO, San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau
COMMUNICATION AND CONNECTIVITY
"Associations that are making a commitment on a city five, six, seven years in advance of an event want the security blanket security blanket
1. A blanket carried by a child to reduce anxiety.
2. Informal Something that dispels anxiety.
Noun 1. of the bureau being around. Associations want assurances that the bureau is going to stay in touch and deliver on what it said the city would be six years from now. We have a quarterly newsletter that is targeted at clients that have confirmed business with us. We use the newsletter to communicate city developments. So we're not just booking associations and forgetting about them.
"We have to work harder in Indianapolis sometimes because there is less familiarity with our city. We know that when planners get to our city-see it, breathe it, engage themselves with our hospitality community-everything they might have heard from another client or might have conjured up in their mind based on driving through Indianapolis is brought to life. So we make a big deal out of the sight connection. We call it a connection intentionally in·ten·tion·al
1. Done deliberately; intended: an intentional slight. See Synonyms at voluntary.
2. Having to do with intention. because our goal is for planners to not just visit a site but to connect with our community, our people, and the facilities that make meetings here successful."
Doug Bennett Doug Bennett may be:
The CVB-CVB Team
Partnership is in full swing in Minnesota, according to Thomas Getzke, president and CEO of the Saint Paul Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Minneapolis and Saint Paul CVBs are working together on a number of projects to market themselves as a single destination. "For instance," notes Getzke, "we recently co-hosted association executives in Washington, D.C., at a Minnesota Wild The Minnesota Wild are a professional ice hockey team based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Their symbol is a bear made to look like the wilderness. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). hockey game at they city's MCI (1) (Media Control Interface) A high-level programming interface from Microsoft and IBM for controlling multimedia devices. It provides commands and functions to open, play and close the device.
(2) (Microwave Communications Inc. Center. We followed with a special dinner featuring Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura Jesse Ventura (born James George Janos on July 15, 1951), also known as "The Body", "The Star", and "The Governing Body", is an American politician, retired professional wrestler, Navy UDT veteran, actor, and former radio and television talk show host. . Association meeting planners may find it easier to work with our partnered bureaus in that one call can result in multiple responses from hotel and convention centers in both cities."
Saint Paul is also working with the Bloomington CVB on co-hosting the 2002 National Square Dance Convention. In addition, a metro CVB that includes four bureaus--Saint Paul, Bloomington, Minneapolis, and North Minneapolis--is establishing programs that can benefit all four destinations. The Minnesota Office of Tourism is a partner in these efforts.
"Of course some competitive issues arise as a result of our cooperative efforts," says Getzke, "and we are working to find solutions that will help move our partnerships ahead. We feel that we can meet this challenge and overcome our differences. Most of the challenge boils Boils Definition
Boils and carbuncles are bacterial infections of hair follicles and surrounding skin that form pustules (small blister-like swellings containing pus) around the follicle. Boils are sometimes called furuncles. down to communication and working to find the best solution that meets most of the customers' needs. By working together we're taking maximum advantage of Minnesota's diversity and we're better positioning ourselves to meet the various needs of associations."