As a third party planner or contractor, you don’t have the luxury of being on the inside. You don’t always know what’s coming down the pike and often don’t have as much lead time, as you would when working inside and organization. Add to this that much of the planning I do is with government agencies, and often we don’t obtain meeting specifics until the budget is approved and there is little flexibility with dates once they are set. We need someone who can get the information to us as quickly as possible: hotel, transportation and evening event options. If one person can handle all of it, then that’s the best option for me.
In the past, I have reached out to the national sales offices of hotels, but have found they might send the information to properties that my client is not interested in. You end up hearing from hotels even if you didn’t make the request. In my experience, direct from the CVB, you know you are going to get the best search results from the destination. They ask more questions to qualify your meeting in order to deliver the right information to you. CVBs know their city best, and its one call for hotel, vendors, and unique venues. It just makes more sense to me, I get everything I need or want to know. I find that moving from hotel to hotel to obtain the information is too time consuming, and then there are gaps in the information that is destination, not hotel specific.
I was introduced to the Dallas CVB in March 2011, through an email to follow up on some work done by a prior planner working on a client event. The relationship was grown through emails and phone check-ins with my CVB representative. I find them very helpful, knowledgeable, friendly, easy to work with, and very accommodating.
I have a very positive relationship with the CVB and am very comfortable working with my CVB representative, Petre White. She was personable and knowledgeable from the start, and you could tell that she has a true love for Dallas. I enjoyed getting to hear her “What brought me to Dallas” story. She was a wealth of knowledge in all things Dallas and organized a very personalize tour of the city.
She even arranged for a Dallas CVB staff person to do presentation to attendees and brought pamphlets, coupons. She was committed to taking the service to the end user. She wanted to ensure everyone, not just me, knew what Dallas had to offer!
I depend on CVBs for vendor selection, discount programs for attendees, and site selection/site visit coordination. I feel they provide a wealth of knowledge on everything related to the destination, and are willing to do whatever is necessary so that our participants feel like they are at home while they are in the city.
I personally think the services provided by the CVB are irreplaceable. I believe it is important to know that the CVB is acting on your behalf, giving you that local advantage especially when you are not familiar to the city. The CVB makes planning events in other destinations very seamless. Don’t overlook your CVB they will make your life easier. Everyone is there to help. No headache, no hassle, no stress.