"The CVB can be a part of your team – use them as much or as little as you need. You are the one who dictates the amount of their involvement."
Andrea Marks, Executive Assistant, Sales & Customer Activation, Pure Fishing, a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation was willing to share her unique expertise and a few tried and true tips on using a CVB as a resource in the meetings world, and Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI’s) Terri Roberts records her thoughts for your reading pleasure.
Andrea has obviously found value in working with a CVB who knows the ropes and can provide valuable contacts and recommendations without providing her with another bill to pay at the end of her meeting! She has developed trust and a foundational relationship with the Columbia, SC CVB that she feels she couldn’t do without, and she is eager to share the wealth! Read on to learn more about this valuable meeting asset!
TERRI: First, can you tell me a little about yourself and your planning background?
ANDREA: I have over 15 years of experience planning events and meetings. I started with hotel sales, moved onto association meetings and then fundraising and special events. I am currently working for Pure Fishing and have been planning the National Sales Meeting, as well as, other meetings throughout the U.S.
TERRI: How did you first become aware of the services CVBs provided?
ANDREA: Pure Fishing had outgrown our former meeting location, and we contacted the CVB to find a new home for our dynamic week-long event.
TERRI: What do you most value about your relationship with Columbia or other CVBs in general?
ANDREA: We could not do our National Sales meeting without the help of the CVB. They are always willing to assist with event ideas, suggestions for venues, and sometimes just the support – whether a friendly smile or a quick email – goes a long way.
The fact they have dealt with larger events and groups than ours and they know how to give proper guidance is reassuring. They are always ready to help.
TERRI: How would you describe the relationship? What would you compare it to?
ANDREA: The CVB is like a great pocket book because they have all the tools we need to make our events shine.
TERRI: Which specific services do you rely on?
ANDREA: From large to small, we rely on them for recommendations for transportation, housing, ideas and resources for evening events, even informational handouts for our visitors.
TERRI: What do you think is unique about the value CVBs provide compared to other planning partners you might use?
ANDREA: Obviously, they don’t send us a bill at the end of the event, and who doesn’t like that! It’s just another group of professionals that have “been there, done that” and you feel that if you needed anything they would be there.
TERRI: What is most compelling to you about Columbia SC as a meeting destination?
ANDREA: Columbia is my home town – so I’m partial. I love the vendors and business owners who are very hospitable to our guests. It makes me want to spread the word about what other planners who haven’t brought a meeting to the destination are really missing out on!
TERRI: How do CVBs make your job easier?
ANDREA: Quite simply, it is the guidance they give us and the access to the great resources they have.
TERRI: If you didn’t use a CVB, how would you replace their services?
ANDREA: It would add a lot more work to my plate, and I would have to reach out to my limited resources…and there would be more bills at the end of the event.
TERRI: What would you like other planners to know about using a CVB?
ANDREA: The CVB can be a part of your team – use them as much or as little as you need. You are the one who dictates the amount of their involvement. I’ve called to just ask for a referral and they are so quick to respond. They truly care about the quality of your event and want it to be successful in their destination.