"We are all true hospitality professionals; it is what we know and what we want to do. Genuine hospitality is a way of life for us."
Terri: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in the CVB industry?
Steve: I have been working with Discover The Palm Beaches for over six years and prior to that, working in hotels since college. I also have a Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Ryerson University in Toronto along with an, MBA in Business.
Terri: What’s the best thing about your job?
Steve: A couple of best things; one the destination- who would not want to work in south Florida representing world class hotels from Boca Raton to Palm Beach to Jupiter? We experience this breathtaking beauty every day and it becomes a way of life for us. Second, we have the best hospitality partners out there, who are engaged with us, making our partnership very effective for both the planners and partners.
Terri: What makes Palm Beach a great meeting destination?
Steve: We have it all- great properties, great beaches, excellent infrastructure from highways and airports, cultural attractions, family attractions, all levels of sporting events, the best malls for shopping, outstanding golf, fishing from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean and oh yeah – the weather.
Terri: What is the one thing planners are always surprised to learn about Palm Beach?
Steve: When they learn about all the complimentary services we offer under our signature brand called “With Our Compliments.” This program offers coordinated site inspections, airfare for sites, recognition at the airport welcoming the groups, registration assistance, venue recommendations, marketing collateral, VIP amenities- again all of these services provided at no charge.
Terri: How do you see the value you provide to planners as a CVB?
Steve: We are the destination experts and immersed in the day to day activities of our destination. We know when major events are happening, hotel renovations, hotel openings, our value season, new venues and what to do in and around each city. All of this makes for a much better decision process when sending out a RFP, allowing us to target properties that would be best suited for the meeting or conference.
Terri: What do you think are the advantages to reaching out to a CVB first when planning a meeting?
Steve: Again, as the destination expert, we can review the objectives of the program with the planner and make sound recommendations on what type of property best suits their particular program. Whether the program is a training meeting, kick-off sales meeting, board retreat or an incentive meeting, we want to place the RFP in the right hands from the beginning to give our planners the ultimate efficiencies possible.
Terri: What size/type of meetings best fit in your destination?
Steve: We all love the large 3000 a room night programs that use our Convention Center, especially with the opening of the new headquarter hotel- a Hilton. However, our average size program is anywhere from 75-125 rooms a night. Again, we have all types of hotels and resorts from trusted brand names to some of the most well-known independent hotels in North America.
Terri: Can a planner of a small or a large meeting take advantage of your services?
Steve: All planners can use our signature “With Our Compliments” program. As long as we are working with the planner from the beginning of the search in the destination, we can offer these services.
Terri: Why are your services free?
Steve: It is part of Discover the Palm Beaches’ brand and we have always provided these services for free. We are funded by the bed tax and use this money collected by the hotels to assist our hotel partners to secure additional business, while providing an enhanced experience in hopes that they will return for both another meeting and a vacation.
Terri: What motivates you to provide the excellent service you are known for?
Steve: We are all true hospitality professionals; it is what we know and what we want to do. Genuine hospitality is a way of life for us.
Terri: What would you like all planners to know about the Palm Beach Brand and working with Discover The Palm Beaches for their meeting needs?
Steve: We are very easy to reach, whether by phone, email, Facebook or even a text. We can assist planners in making their job a little less stressful, while providing an ideal hotel for the perfect meeting.