Andrew Heidt, CMP, Senior Group Sales Manager, at the Boulder CVB, shares his open and interesting thoughts about his destination and the value found in using a CVB, and Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI’s) Terri Roberts is eager to learn more.
Andrew is such a down to earth person and one of quality. You don’t have to talk with him long to feel certain of those two things. His planners love him and it is easy to see why. His heart is in what he does and he has “skin in the game.” Who doesn’t like to do business with someone like that? Add to that, the amazing destination of Boulder, Colorado and you have a recipe for meeting success. Read on to learn about connecting with Andrew and the valuable services he offers those considering his scenic locale.
TERRI: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in the CVB industry?
ANDREW: I went to Virginia Tech and took classes in their tourism program and fortunately learned at that time this was the industry for me. My first position was for the Annapolis Conference and Visitors Bureau working in both marketing and sales roles. After six years I was ready to make the move to beautiful Colorado, initially working for an online travel company and then finding an awesome opportunity with the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau.
TERRI: What’s the best thing about your job?
ANDREW: I love the CVB world because we get to work with so many partners and have the opportunity to create value for both. From meeting planner clients, to hotels, restaurants and attractions, representing and promoting an entire city is a really cool responsibility.
TERRI: What makes Boulder a great meeting destination?
ANDREW: I really enjoy promoting Boulder as a meetings destination because the city and our venues are so diverse. There really is something for everyone. Our hotels range from historic to luxury to rustic so we can deliver on all types of events. Our location is really convenient being just 40 minutes from Denver International Airport, but you feel a world apart when you arrive in the breathtaking foothills of the Rocky Mountains! Attendees can enjoy hiking, biking, fly-fishing, rock climbing, shopping, dining…you name it, literally footsteps from your hotel room.
TERRI: What is the one thing planners are always surprised to learn about Boulder?
ANDREW: Definitely the accessibility of the city. Some have the idea that we’re remotely tucked away but we are just 30 miles Northwest of Denver. And our 300 days of sunshine which really make the winter season mild is a nice surprise!
TERRI: How do you see the value you provide to planners as a CVB?
ANDREW: We have really stepped back and taken a good look at the value we can and should be providing. With all of the technology changes and eRFPs we wanted to really define why meeting planners should utilize a CVB. We developed a comprehensive list of complimentary conference services to really enhance the planning process and also the event experience for attendees. We want to know how we can truly help each meeting planner as every program and needs are different. I think being flexible with what we can offer and asking that question is really important.
TERRI: What do you think are the advantages to reaching out to a CVB first when planning a meeting?
ANDREW: Working with a destination expert can help save meeting planners a lot of time. We know what events are happening that could affect their program, what dates are best for lower room rates, what venues would really be a good fit for their particular needs. These are just a few of the reasons, but we can save you that time researching this information and then help you to make the best possible decision.
TERRI: What size/type of meetings best fit in your destination?
ANDREW: We really cater to meetings and conferences from 10 to 300 attendees. Anything in between is a great fit for our hotels and venues. We have hosted programs up to 1,000 people utilizing the University of Colorado which sits in our backyard.
TERRI: Can a planner of a small or a large meeting take advantage of your services?
ANDREW: Definitely! We are here to help everyone planning a program in our city.
TERRI: Why are your services free?
ANDREW: Our main objective is to help people bring their meetings, conference and group events to Boulder. Our services are free because we are funded by our tourism partners (hotels/restaurants) through a portion of tax revenue which allows us to be the official tourism marketing arm for the city, and FREE to you!
TERRI: What motivates you to provide the excellent service you are known for?
ANDREW: I think all CVB folks take pride in the city they represent or they wouldn’t be doing it. We want people to truly enjoy their experience and tell everyone about the unforgettable time they had in Boulder, Colorado.
TERRI: What would you like all planners to know about Boulder and the Boulder CVB?
We are here to save you time and energy and make the planning experience as painless as possible. We know how difficult it is to juggle so many tasks and what goes into producing a group event. It’s not easy. So just know the CVB is always here to help in any capacity we can, just ask!