I will start by saying, I am not a “meeting planner,” although my administrative duties include planning meetings, and a little over a year ago, I had never heard of a CVB. Then last fall, Rose Dudycha, of the Bloomington CVB facilitated a tour of Bloomington hotel and conference facilities for a large group of administrative professionals within our U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Regional office.
My colleagues invited me to come along since they knew I plan several meetings, workshops and/or conferences throughout the year. In the first educational meeting the CVB conducted, it was made very clear their priority was to promote the destination and help me not only hold my meeting in Bloomington, but make it as successful as possible. They explained how a CVB is operated, funded, and what their priorities are-they were very up front, which I appreciated. Following this initial tour, Rose also engaged our group with a follow-up tour of additional hotel and conference facilities and a Technology Tuesday workshop, where we learned about the extensive technological services the Bloomington CVB could provide.
I value the forward-thinking nature of the Bloomington CVB, especially when it comes to integrating technology into their suite of products and services. I appreciate the fact that they are ahead of the curve, already anticipating their client’s needs in the years to come. I never have to worry about their products or services being outdated. They obviously work hard to make sure their offerings are “fresh” and in sync with current (or even future!) market trends.
Their RFP service and their technology services (landing page, Facebook page and their mobile texting service) are just tremendous resources. As a government employee, I can’t say enough about the flexibility working with the CVB provides. I don’t have the opportunity to just create a page; there are simply too many layers involved. Our policies restrict our agency from creating a landing and/or Facebook page independently (I can’t even IMAGINE what using a mobile texting service would look like!), so the ability of the CVB to create and launch a web page within weeks is an invaluable asset.
I was impressed with how far ahead of the curve the Bloomington CVB is in meeting marketing trends and anticipating future needs. They have been an incredible resource, and I’ve even bragged about them to CVBs in other states! Our agency recently held a national conference in another city, and the CVB there ended up contacting Bloomington, so they could get up to speed on all the services I told them about.
As I plan future events, I am now keeping the Bloomington CVB in the loop. So, even if I don’t foresee a role for them at the outset, by keeping them in the know, they come up with ideas about how to support me. They have such an extensive suite of products and services to compliment my needs. I keep them informed to insure I don’t miss an opportunity to take advantage of their assistance.
I think using a CVB is a well-kept secret, almost too well kept. Especially for people whose job title is not meeting planner, but the responsibility falls to them. I have done it alone before, and I won’t go back there again! Working with the support of a CVB saves time, energy and frustration. As a federal employee, I am also aware that sourcing a CVB to help me plan my meeting saves tax payer money! Instead of paying another 3rd party professional, I can tap into the existing knowledge base of a CVB for FREE. Thanks Bloomington CVB for helping me understand what was here for me all along!