Priscilla Close, Meeting & Event Planner with HD Vest Financial Services recently opened up about her experiences planning and executing her organization’s meetings and how working with convention & visitors bureaus (CVBs) adds to its success. Priscilla started her meeting planning career as a meeting coordinator for a financial investment firm and has now been the meeting and event planner at HD Vest Financial Services for nearly three years. Throughout her career, she has enjoyed all aspects of the meeting planning process and especially enjoys seeing the exhibit hall come together and the attendees enjoying the meeting experience.
SUZZANNE: What’s the hardest/most challenging part of your job? What do you most enjoy?
PRISCILLA: I would say that staying within budget seems to be the most challenging part of my job. What I enjoy the most is the creativity that comes along with planning an event and having the opportunity to meet all of our attendees that we work with.
SUZZANNE: Outside the industry, what is your dream job?
PRISCILLA: My dream job outside the industry would be to decorate and sell cakes, or even better – to be independently wealthy and not have a job!
SUZZANNE: How did you first become aware of the services CVBs provided?
PRISCILLA: I first became aware of CVB services when we had an event at the Irving Convention Center and there, we were introduced to the CVB and the great services they provide. I’ve been utilizing their services ever since.
SUZZANNE: What do you most value about your relationship with Irving CVB/other CVBs in general?
PRISCILLA: Their willingness to help! Whether help with an RFP or answering questions, they are always there for me when I need them.
SUZZANNE: Which specific services do you rely on?
PRISCILLA: I especially appreciate their help with sourcing hotels. It can be an overwhelming process and they really know our meeting and what we are looking for, saving us precious time. Additionally, we utilize their administrative services which help provide name badges, lanyards, pens, etc.
SUZZANNE: What do you think is unique about the value they provide compared to other planning partners you might use?
PRISCILLA: Cheryl, at the Irving CVB, genuinely cares about your needs and follows up with you, even if you neglect to follow up with her! She is a valuable partner.
SUZZANNE: If you didn’t use a CVB, how would you replace their services?
PRISCILLA: I don’t know if they could be replaced! You’d end up having to do everything on your own, which isn’t really possible.
SUZZANNE: What would you like other planners to know about using a CVB?
PRISCILLA: They’re knowledgeable about the area they’re in, friendly, will go the extra mile to get what you need, and best of all, their services are free! I would definitely recommend working with a CVB, they have saved me so much in time and resources.