"We are a one-stop shop for planners and provide the services and connections to create a convenient, value-driven experience."
Michelle Oden-Heubner, National Sales Manager, at Visit Mesa, shares her perspective on the value of partnering with your Convention and Visitors Bureau, with Suzzanne Ravitz from Destination Marketing Association International.
Michelle began her hospitality career working in hotels and resorts in California, Texas and throughout the greater Phoenix area. She joined Visit Mesa in 2013 as National Sales Manager working the group market nationwide. She is currently the active President with the HSMAI Arizona chapter. Previously, she was Co-chair for HSMAI Arizona Chapter Student Relations Committee, and served on the Board of the Arizona Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. Michelle is passionate about bringing exceptional service to meetings, conferences, and events in Mesa.
SUZZANNE: What makes Mesa, AZ a great meeting destination?
MICHELLE: The diversity! There is a huge variety of things to do within the Mesa/Greater Phoenix area. It’s really a gateway city to one of the most dynamic regions in the country. Additionally, Visit Mesa offers the services and connections to create a convenient, value-driven choice for groups that need to make the most of their budget without compromising the unique Arizona experience.
SUZZANNE: What is the one thing planners are always surprised to learn about Mesa?
MICHELLE: How convenient we are to get to. Sky Harbor International Airport, serving the greater Phoenix area, is only 12 miles away. Additionally, we have the Phoenix/Mesa Airport in Mesa that was recently named the 2nd cheapest city to fly in and out of in the country. The Gateway airport services a lot of regional flights including some nonstop flights to and from Minnesota and California.
SUZZANNE: How do you see the value you provide to planners as a CVB?
MICHELLE: Meeting planners will find it a breeze to work with the professionals at Visit Mesa. We are a one-stop shop for planners and provide the services and connections to create a convenient, value-driven experience. We have a team of dedicated and experienced professionals who have strong relationships with the surrounding hotels and restaurants. We can offer more flexible rates/pattern than some other destinations.[bctt tweet=”CVBs provide the services and connections to create a convenient, value-driven experience.”]
SUZZANNE: What do you think are the advantages to reaching out to a CVB first when planning a meeting?
MICHELLE: We are the destination experts. By reaching out to Visit Mesa before sending your RFP, we can help craft the RFP to get the best results and save planners precious time.
Working with Visit Mesa not only saves time, but also provides the connections and access to important event support such as professional registration, local vendor information, and pre and post-event services.
SUZZANNE: What size/type of meetings best fit in your destination?
MICHELLE: We are a really good fit for groups between 200-220 peak with about 250 attendees. Of course, we handle smaller groups and can accommodate up to 400 peak rooms in our downtown area.
We are also a great fit for incentive groups looking for that unique Arizona experience. Mesa is ideally located within the Greater Phoenix area where attendees can take advantage of amazing outdoor adventures and team building events in the beautiful Arizona landscape.
SUZZANNE: Can a planner of a small meeting take advantage of your services?
MICHELLE: We love working with any size event that is able to meet in Mesa. From small seminars in a hotel venue, to mid-sized board meetings, up to those conferences that require 400 peak rooms, Visit Mesa is ready to help bring your meeting to life. Additionally, planners are always happy to learn that the major meeting hotels in our destination all offer free parking, complimentary Wi-Fi, as well as complimentary meeting space.
SUZZANNE: Why are your services free?
MICHELLE: Visit Mesa is a nonprofit organization and is primarily funded by bed tax revenue. A portion of those funds are allocated to Visit Mesa to fund tourism promotion efforts. Therefore, the more profitable our hotel partners and surrounding businesses are, the more the destination grows and thrives.
SUZZANNE: What motivates you to provide the excellent service you are known for?
MICHELLE: It’s really a love for the destination and working with the great community partners we have here in Mesa. Our team loves helping to create memorable meeting experiences and connecting planners with the local vendors and service providers that are sure to bring more attendees, more value, and more of the true Arizona experience.
SUZZANNE: What would you like all planners to know about Mesa and Visit Mesa?
MICHELLE: Mesa is a fantastic city to hold meetings in! There are an unlimited amount of things to do. From visiting the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, to our farm to table cuisine options, to the growing technology industry sector, Mesa is limitless. We like to think that holding a meeting in Mesa is a place where all things are possible and attendees will be sure to see why we are “City Limitless.”