"We strive to become an extension of your team and our goals for a successful meeting or event are the same as yours."
Mindy Lallier, Senior Sales Manager, Visit Overland Park, shares her perspective about her destination and the value found in using a CVB, and Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI’s) Terri Roberts takes note.
Mindy is committed to excellence, service and a passion for her industry and the destination of Overland Park. She is eager for planners to learn more and to appreciate all the destination has to offer in terms of accessibility and offerings, and to introduce them to the benefit of engaging the OPCVB as a destination partner. Planners hoping to get real advice from a destination touting unparalleled service should reach out to Mindy and her counterparts in Overland Park.
Tell me a little about yourself and your background in the CVB industry?
I am a wife of 23 years and a mother to two great ladies. I have worked in hospitality for 22 plus years, having started my career at the Hotel Thayer on West Point’s prestigious military academy. I have been with the Overland Park CVB for over nine years. I have always found my niche to be the SMERF and Specialty Markets.
What’s the best thing about your job?
MINDY: I enjoy a lot about my position. I love the challenge of problem solving and making sure my clients, as well as my hospitality partners, are satisfied with the results. I am a real people person, so having become friends with some really wonderful clients is probably my favorite part.
What makes Overland Park a great meeting destination?
I would say our Midwestern hospitality and excellent central location in the heart of the country are primary assets to meeting in Overland Park. The destination is tremendously accessible and within a day’s drive for over 60 million people. We also have a wide variety of flexible meeting spaces and 36 hotels for every budget. Furthermore, we always strive to be at the forefront of technology to make a group’s experience unique, whether it is via our mobile app group page, social media expertise or hybrid meeting technology at the convention center.
What is the one thing planners are always surprised to learn about Overland Park?
We really are much bigger than they imagine and much more urban. Overland Park has some really great restaurants and new entertainment options that are very popular in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. We also offer a complimentary mobile app for groups, which planners are always excited to hear about.
How do you see the value you provide to planners as a CVB?
Our expertise is unbiased and our goal is to bring your events to Overland Park, not just once, but time and time again, with unparalleled customer service. CVB’s save planners time, energy and money through providing a filter and support for sourcing, to helping with the planning process…all at no charge.
We strive to become an extension of your team and our goals for a successful meeting or event are the same as yours. Our services are aimed to help you find the perfect fit for your meeting, to increase your attendance and the overall satisfaction of your attendees, and provide lots of resources and local expertise along the way.
What do you think are the advantages of reaching out to a CVB first when planning a meeting?
We have services you will not get if you go directly to a hotel or convention center. We consider ourselves a one-stop-shop and can get your RFP in the right hands quickly and without you having to explain your event numerous times to each property. We have access to ambassadors to greet your attendees and help with registration. We provide complimentary visitors guides and welcome bags and there are many times we have incentive monies available to offset your expenses. You are short changing yourself not to check out what is available!
What size meetings can you accommodate?
We can host events of up to 3,500+ people at the convention center in a general session. I would say that a “perfect fit” for a city wide would be 550 rooms on peak, but we have exceeded that number in the past. We have the potential to successfully host groups from all market segments.
Can a planner of a small or a large meeting take advantage of your services?
Of course. There is a misconception that we don’t want to work with small groups. We want to work with everyone large or small and we have offerings to fit all meetings and planners!
Why are your services free?
Our services are covered by a small bed tax and therefore free to any group interested in hosting a meeting, convention or event in Overland Park. Our bureau is not membership biased. We tailor our recommendations to the specifics of your group and work with just those suppliers that are a perfect fit.
What motivates you to provide the excellent service you are known for?
I believe in the satisfaction of a job well done. At the end of the day, I like to know my clients are more than pleased with the results of their meeting.
What would you like all planners to know about Overland Park?
We are an easily accessible destination offering metropolitan amenities along with warm and friendly hospitality. We always work very hard to exceed your expectations in all aspects of your event from the RFP stage to the post-con.