The only thing that is constant in life is change and problems! Do you ever dread picking up the phone, turning on the television or accessing the Internet or your email for fear of what crisis, natural or manmade, you will encounter today? Similarly, meeting planners often face a plethora of problems and concerns that must be addressed in order to execute successful meetings.
Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fires, even political controversy – it seems as if crisis will always make for some titillating headlines and cause real challenges for many, including planners when their meetings are headed to affected areas. When you have invested significant time and money, and will be held accountable for advising your staff and attendees on doing business and holding meetings in disaster areas, you want an accurate and direct source of information. You need to be able to separate fact from fiction and determine how unexpected events will impact your meeting and attendees.
Who can be trusted to advise with so much on the line? Planners with a meeting scheduled in a destination experiencing any kind of issue can receive up-to-date, accurate information from their destination expert: the Convention and Visitors Bureau. The CVB has access to local officials and agency representatives as well as on-the-ground response teams, all who can provide important, precise and timely information to the planner.
Times of crises often fuel media frenzies, so precise, useful information can get lost in translation. All events are subject to interpretation and interpretation leads to confusion, even before spin and political objectives get layered on top of any type of reporting. A planner does not have to rely on the media as their primary source of information when in a destination. They can get the most informed details by speaking with their CVB, a trusted, local point of contact for calm reassurance and reasoned course of action.
Trouble-shooting and facilitation of manmade problems is also another area of expertise for CVBs. Being well connected in the communities of local government, politics and the entire hospitality network gives them the unique ability to use their contacts to give you the means to solve any kind of problem or assist with a special request in the destination. Additionally, CVBs have homegrown knowledge and insight into what is on the horizon, which can lead to proactive problem solving and avoid many mishaps.
Think of the CVB as the ultimate “destination buster,” especially in times of crisis and concern. Whatever the roadblock, they can be called upon to assist you in finding real solutions and organizing the many different sources you may need to call upon in the destination.
“Trouble-shooting is another expertise of the CVB. When it didn’t look like we would get our rebate on the Convention Center space due to pick up the CVB took our attendance lists and polled all of the hotels in the area. We found out that the attendees stayed all over the destination, outside of the block, and we were able to get a good count for the next contract”. – Patricia F. Zollman, CMP, Senior Director, Global Accounts, Helms Briscoe