Planning meetings from a distance can be a challenge, but as Susan Delle Shaffette, CEO & President of Team Dynamics explains, utilizing the CVB is like having a local partner on the ground, ready to help you create memorable meeting experiences. Read on to hear about what Susan sees as trends in the meeting industry and how the team at Explore Gwinnett partnered with her to create a fantastic meeting.
SUZZANNE: Tell us, what does your job entail?
SUSAN: My job entails overseeing projects from start to finish, including hotels, speakers, print materials, CEU and certificate management, onsite staffing and volunteers, exhibits, etc. We have seven people on staff and expand that as needed per the project. My company has evolved into a conference and event planning consulting firm over years of working with government and nonprofit entities.
SUZZANNE: What is one of your significant job challenges that working with Explore Gwinnett helped you solve?
SUSAN: The Explore Gwinnett Meetings Grant provided us with an opportunity to provide the same amenities that attendees were accustomed to and really helped us in stretching our budget.
SUZZANNE: What are some of the distinctive attributes/destination offerings of Explore Gwinnett that helped to make your meeting great?
SUSAN: Explore Gwinnett was able to help us identify hotels in the area when we were doing our RFP for sites. We were also able to identify local sources for additional overflow hotels, activity lists for attendees that went out in their registration confirmations, discounts for several venues and they even brought an info booth to the event to help attendees with outings and evening plans.
SUZZANNE: What do you see as innovative or trending in the future of the meeting’s industry?
SUSAN: A large movement away from the big city events to the outlying areas due to costs. It is more cost effective to have events in smaller markets. We don’t encounter the really high hotel room costs or the parking fees.
SUZZANNE: How would you describe the relationship you have with the CVB? What would you compare it to?
SUSAN: The CVB is like having a local partner on the ground.
SUZZANNE: What did your attendees say about your overall experience in Gwinnett?
SUSAN: We consistently heard that they loved the hotel, the location was easy to access and the shopping in the area was great!
SUZZANNE: The top 3 things your attendees enjoyed about meeting in the Gwinnett area?
SUSAN: No parking fees, shopping/restaurants abound, easy to get to.
SUZZANNE: Did you use a unique venue for a gathering or event while in the Gwinnett area?
SUSAN: We met at the Sonesta Gwinnett Place and used the Hampton Inn as our overflow. We also used the Premier Events Hall for a pre-conference training on Sunday afternoon. All in all, we had a great event!
Thank you so much Susan for talking with us today about Atlanta’s Gwinnett County’s CVB.