Convention and visitor bureaus are typically non profit membership organizations that are available to meeting and event planners to provide information on a host city or destination. They are generally funded by a combination of membership dues and room taxes. Their memberships are organizations that provide products and services to planners, such as hotels, restaurants, and attractions and they exist to draw people to their cities and support meeting planners. They are a valuable resource both before selecting a location and after a decision is made. They help you locate products and services available in the area and will work to make sure your experience in their city or destination is a successful one. Some smaller communities may not have a CVB, in which case the local Chamber of Commerce serves this role.
Here are some of the services a CVB can provide at no or low cost to meeting and event planners.
– Site inspection of the destination
– Meeting guides about the destination
– Supplier Contracts
– Attendee name badges
– Promotional Brochures
– Arranging a welcome from the mayor or another official
– Assistance in wading through city red tape
– Welcome signage at the airport
– Press releases about the meeting
As you can see, CVB’s are capable of a lot more than you think. So, next time you are struggling with a project, check to see if the local CVB can handle it or at least make a recommendation for you. It never hurts to ask.
Joshua Gair – Impact Entertainment