"We are destination experts and stay on top of the latest happenings in all of Central Florida, and are ready to help with whatever meeting needs a planner may have."
Meet Sara Melendez-Davis, Sales Manager, Meetings & Conventions with Experience Kissimmee. Sara has a diverse background in sales, marketing and business development and has been with Experience Kissimmee for more than 9 years. She really enjoys working with the faith-based, multicultural, social, government, education and fraternal planners conducting their meetings in Kissimmee and loves to see their vision come to light in the destination she calls home.
SUZZANNE: What makes Kissimmee, FL a great meeting destination?
SARA: Kissimmee offers so many experiences to meeting planners and their meetings. Conveniently situated right in the middle of all of the Central Florida action, attendees love the year-round great weather, world-class attractions and entertainment, and the ease of getting here, whether flying or driving.
SUZZANNE: What is the ONE THING planners are always surprised to learn about Kissimmee?
SARA: We have flexible meeting venues, from practical and affordable to grand and luxurious, for most every kind of meeting. Planners may have a general idea of the type of meeting facilities we have here in Kissimmee, but when they come out for a visit, they are always pleasantly surprised to see the variety of meeting venues available to them. Whatever the style or price range, Kissimmee can accommodate with gracious hospitality and a unique charm that’s a blend of small-town and first-class.
SUZZANNE: How do you see the value you provide to planners as a CVB?
SARA: We are a full-service destination marketing organization able to connect planners with our industry and we offer servicing support as well as accurate and up to date information on the destination. We are destination experts and stay on top of the latest happenings in all of Central Florida, and are ready to help with whatever meeting needs a planner may have.
SUZZANNE: What do you think are the advantages to reaching out to a CVB first when planning a meeting?
SARA: One-stop shopping – we offer site selection assistance; guidance on logistics; promotional tools, brochures, images, videos, etc.; referrals for discounts on tickets, equipment; on-site information desk; team-building ideas; welcome letter, etc., you name it! Other CVB’s, like us, may also offer meeting incentives.
SUZZANNE: What size/type of meetings best fit in your destination?
SARA: Kissimmee is ideal for large or small meetings and planners who want to complement their meetings with off-site excursions; we offer close to 1 million total square feet of meeting and exhibition space; nearly 300 different meeting spaces; and easy accessibility to the Orlando International Airport and the nearby famous theme parks and attractions.
SUZZANNE: What are the latest developments/happenings/events in your destination you’d like to share with planners?
SARA: Kissimmee has been hosting MECUM Auction (the world’s largest collector car auction) for more than a decade and recently hosted the World Food Championships among many other local cultural and special events. If meetings are held around any of our events, we can offer a unique experience to the attendees by incorporating them into their schedule.
SUZZANNE: Why are your services free?
SARA: We are funded by those vested in the tourism industry and our services are free to meeting planners. Servicing these meetings is a value proposition and an incentive for meeting planners to continue to meet in Kissimmee.
SUZZANNE: What motivates you to provide the excellent service you are known for?
SARA: Watching our customers/clients have a great experience when they come to Kissimmee is a motivation factor for me. We want them to have a great time so that they will enjoy our destination again and again.
SUZZANNE: What would you like all planners to know about Kissimmee?
SARA: Kissimmee is a friendly destination for meetings and families alike. It offers a “down home” feel even while taking care of day to day business.