Rogers, Arkansas is the kind of destination where attendees will experience an uncomplicated, yet unforgettable experience. It perfectly blends the region’s finest meeting facilities with activities and amenities ranging from outdoor adventure to world-class shopping and fine dining. Today, we hear from Erin Jernigan, Convention Sales Manager with Visit Rogers Arkansas about what makes Rogers a great meeting destination and how her team adds value to the meeting planning experience.
SUZZANNE: What might we find you enjoying in the destination on your day off?
My husband and I enjoy trying new things and being outside. You will find us hiking at Hobbs State Park, boating on Beaver Lake, or dining at one of the many locally-owned restaurants.
SUZZANNE: What makes Rogers, Arkansas a great meeting destination?
Accessibility! We are centrally located in the United States and easily drivable between five states. Airlift is easy with all major airlines servicing our Northwest Arkansas Regional airport. And once you are here, it’s easy to get around Northwest Arkansas when you stay in Rogers. We are a short drive to all the major attractions.
SUZZANNE: What is the one thing planners are always surprised to learn about the Rogers area?
The accessibility and the capacity of our convention center. The John Q. Hammons convention center has 125,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. It is attached to the Embassy Suites hotel with 400 rooms. Plus, there are over 20 restaurants, live music and shops within 1 mile of the convention center, all add to creating a fantastic meeting destination!
SUZZANNE: What advice would you give to a planner who hasn’t worked with a CVB before?
Ask about the city’s peak seasons and what groups work best for the market. And remember, our services are complimentary!
SUZZANNE: What do you see trending in the meeting’s market? How is your CVB proactively addressing this trend or staying current?
Visitors want an experience. They want to participate in something they can’t get anywhere else. With three Fortune 500 companies in our backyard, Rogers has visitors from all over the world who turn into residents. Because of this, Rogers has many locally owned businesses with concepts from across the globe. We love connecting planners with our resources to create a memorable meeting experience for their attendees.
SUZZANNE: How does a planner benefit from consulting with you prior to sending out their RFP?
As the convention sales manager, I develop relationships with planners to help them find the perfect location for their events. I represent over ten hotels and one convention center. I am fortunate to work in an industry where I can create memorable experiences from the initial meeting to the end of their convention. I want planners and visitors to not only enjoy working with Visit Rogers, but leave our city wanting to return year after year.
SUZZANNE: What’s the latest news, developments, or events in your destination you’d like to share with planners?
Rogers is one of five cities that make up the Northwest Arkansas area. We are part of an area known as one of the nation’s most successful regions.
-Lonely Planet, the world’s largest publisher of travel-related books and guides, in February 2016 ranked Northwest Arkansas at No. 7 in its list of “Best in the U.S.”
-The Milken Institute, which published a new report in December 2016, put the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area’s economy at No. 30 among 200 large metropolitan areas.
-Researchers at Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy in California determined in a report that Northwest Arkansas ranked No. 1 in the nation in family friendliness.
SUZZANNE: What differentiates your destination from your competitive set?
With 2,000 hotel rooms and 125,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, 6 shopping areas and over 200 restaurants, Rogers has an experience for everyone, and a fit for every size meeting. We pride ourselves on servicing every size group equally and helping everyone source the best venue for their event. We look forward to welcoming your group to Rogers!
Thank you Erin for talking with us today! It’s fun to hear about all the exciting things happening in Rogers.