"I like to tell my planners, “It’s my job to make you look like a star!”
Karin Greene, National Sales Manager with the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau shares her insights about Galveston and the value found in using a CVB with Suzzanne Ravitz of Destination Marketing Association International.
In 2014, Karin joined the Galveston Island CVB and quickly realized she was in the right place, selling a destination she loves! What makes it so great? Galveston Island is known throughout the region for having state of the art facilities with exceptional service and good ol’ southern hospitality. Yet, what might not be as well-known is how easily accessible it is. Galveston is only a 30 minute drive from Houston Hobby Airport and a 90 minute drive from George Bush International Airport.
SUZZANNE: Where would we find you on a typical Saturday?
KARIN: Always trying something new! I’m a big fan of the “Weird US, Weird Texas, Weird Florida, etc” books and any travel guide showcasing new places and unusual things to do…so I’m always looking for the next outing idea. The weirder the better!
SUZZANNE: Outside the industry, what is your dream job?
KARIN: I think what has drawn me to the tourism industry, in general, is my love of traveling. My dream job would definitely involve traveling to as many countries as possible!
SUZZANNE: What makes Galveston Island a great meeting destination?
KARIN: Galveston Island is located only 50 miles south of Houston, yet can seem like a world away. Attendees enjoy 32 miles of beaches and the laidback lifestyle of a seaside beach city. It’s also a great meeting and event destination and I love the mix of intriguing museums, top-notch attractions, superb shopping, beautiful Victorian architecture, and a diverse mix of restaurants.
SUZZANNE: What is the ONE THING planners are always surprised to learn about Galveston Island?
KARIN: It’s rich history! During the mid-19th century, Galveston emerged as an international city with immigration and trade from around the U.S. and the world. The city became one of the nation’s busiest ports and the world’s leading port for cotton exports. During that time, Galveston became Texas’ largest city and was its prime commercial center.
SUZZANNE: How do you see the value you provide to planners as a CVB?
KARIN: I like to tell my planners, “It’s my job to make you look like a star!” We really thrive on seeing a successful meeting outcome. The CVB is a one-stop shop for hotel, attraction and travel information. This helps the planner save time on research, multiple calls and emails and opens more time for them to focus on their attendees and other planning details.
SUZZANNE: What do you think are the advantages to reaching out to a CVB first when planning a meeting?
KARIN: The CVB knows the destination! We are the destination experts on our local hotels and attractions and know how to find the ideal location for any size group. Additionally, we can help throughout the RFP process, saving planner’s precious time.
SUZZANNE: What size/type of meetings best fit in your destination?
KARIN: The best meetings for Galveston are those looking for world-class meeting facilities but also looking for ways to mix business with pleasure. With its unique offsite venues and attractions, Galveston is full of options. In terms of size, Galveston can accommodate anything from 20 to 1,000 peak.
SUZZANNE: What are the latest developments/happenings/events in your destination?
KARIN: Galveston is growing! The island was recently named as one of the “Top 10 Destinations on the Rise in the U.S.” by Trip Advisor. This summer, the island will become home to the Bryan Museum, housing the world’s largest collection of southwestern historical artifacts. Plus, all of our major resort hotels have gone through renovations over the past two years. There is a lot going on!
SUZZANNE: Why are your services free?
KARIN: Galveston understands the value of meetings to their destination. Therefore, our services are funded by the local HOT tax, which allows us to offer additional services for free to planners.
SUZZANNE: What motivates you to provide the excellent service you are known for?
KARIN: My experience with Disney allowed me to see the end result of excellent guest service; the satisfied look on a person’s face when they are truly pleased with their experience. To know that I can go above and beyond and help our planners stand out and “shine” is what motivates me. I want planners to know that this is truly a relationship experience, not just a onetime business transaction.
SUZZANNE: What would you like all planners to know about Galveston Island CVB and Galveston Island?
KARIN: The Galveston Island CVB is like a family, we love what we do and we work well together and with our partners. Galveston Island is really an ideal meeting destination: we have first rate meeting and hotel facilities, plenty of attractions, local restaurants and beautiful scenery that together create a memorable meeting experiences for attendees.