Creating a positive meeting experience for attendees is a hot topic among meeting planners. In fact, in a 2015 study conducted by PCMA, IAEE and The Experience Institute, over 7,000 individuals who were either potential or current conference attendees were asked about what goes into the decision to attend. The study found:
- 85% of Millennials (ages 18-34) and 75% of the rest of attendees want to take full advantage of destination offerings.
- 80% will recommend the destination, trade show or event as long as the experience is positive.
- 50% of attendees combine attending a meeting with a vacation opportunity.
- 50% of attendees will bring someone with them.
Beyond the services, planners have come to expect from Convention & Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) after they’ve booked a destination: attendance promotion, public relations services, on-site services, etc., CVB sales professionals are also destination experts with a wealth of knowledge and are a meeting planners’ best ally in creating memorable meeting experiences for attendees.
3 Ways CVBs Help Planners Enhance the Meeting Experience
- What’s Happening in the Destination: There are major local events destinations are known for in every city. These events can be everything from large music festivals to small (only the locals know about) events. Events are a great way to connect the pulse of the city with your attendees. Your CVB sales professional will have the inside track on what local events are happening in and around your meeting. As local experts, the CVB will not only help you discover these events and how best to incorporate them into your meeting, but they may be able to help you gain access you might not normally get.
- Innovative Event Ideas: As stated above, 85% of Millennials want to take full advantage of destination offerings. Bringing innovative event ideas that incorporate the flavor of a destination is one way in which savvy meeting planners can accomplish this goal. CVBs are curators of destination experiences. They can give insight on groups that have met in their destination with similar industries, demographics, as well as connect you to previous planners and what worked well for their program.
- Unique Venues: A planner could do a simple search on the Internet for venues in a given destination, but only the most popular, or well-known information may come up. But what if they’ve all been done? Attendees crave what’s new and unique to a destination. They want to get a real feel for a destination. CVB sales professionals are destination experts, and can help identify the perfect venue that is not only unique, but also aligns with your meeting’s goals and objectives.
No organization has stronger connections and better destination knowledge than the CVB. It is the CVB’s mission to help you find not only the right fit for your meeting, but to help create the best meeting experience for attendees. To reach out to CVB experts at more than 135 top meeting destinations, visit empowerMINT.com.