"They (CVB) can pave the way for you to make the best deal with any or all of them. They can get you access to the person you need to contact for whatever you need."
Today, Audra Horton, General Arrangements Co-Chair with the Association of Desk and Derrick Clubs is sharing her recent experience planning and executing a meeting in Lubbock, Texas. Audra plans meetings where involving the petroleum, energy and allied industries within the destination is vital. The Lubbock CVB had the connections and expertise she needed, saving her precious time!
SUZZANNE: How important is the destination in your attendee’s decision to attend your meeting?
AUDRA: The destination is very important. As an education organization for the petroleum, energy and allied industries, we strive to hold conventions in a city with different aspects of our industry, and Lubbock meets those needs.
SUZZANNE: How did you first become aware of the services CVBs provided?
AUDRA: Having worked with the CVB in Abilene, Texas, I knew some of the services offered. My client put me in touch with the Lubbock CVB when we started looking for a place to hold the 2015 convention.
SUZZANNE: That’s great you contacted Lubbock when you began your search! Contacting a CVB when you begin your search will ensure that you are able to take advantage of all of the great services they offer.
SUZZANNE: What do you most value about your relationship with Visit Lubbock/other CVBs in general?
AUDRA: The CVB has the ability to put us in touch with the different aspects of our industry in their area. They were able to offer suggestions for possible field trips, speakers and also information about bus companies.
SUZZANNE: Can you share a specific time when your CVB partner came to the rescue in a difficult situation?
AUDRA: We needed a proclamation from the City of Lubbock welcoming us to their city and needed a press release. The CVB took care of this for us.
SUZZANNE: It’s great to have all of those resources and connections that CVBs have built within their destination. It sure can help save you time!
SUZZANNE: How would you describe the relationship you have with the CVB? What would you compare it to?
AUDRA: I think we have a very good relationship with Lubbock. Lisa was excellent to work with. She came to see me after my initial contact, she met with us in Wichita Falls as we discussed hosting in Lubbock. She supported us with packets to take to each convention for the three years prior to us hosting. She was there any time I had a question or concern. I would say the Lubbock CVB is like a fountain of information about their city and the surrounding area.
SUZZANNE: Why do you think some planners choose not to use CVBs? Do you think their concerns are valid from your experience? How would you advise planners to create a beneficial partnership with their CVB?
AUDRA: I don’t know why anyone would not contact the local CVB if they were going to a city where they did not have any contacts. That would be like going into planning a convention blind, not something you want to do. The CVB can make you look very good to the members!
SUZZANNE: What do you think is unique about the value CVBs provide compared to other planning partners you might use?
AUDRA: The CVB is unique in that they have access to all of the businesses/hotels in their city. They can pave the way for you to make the best deal with any or all of them. They can get you access to the person you need to contact for whatever you need.
SUZZANNE: That is so true. CVB consultants really are destination experts and have formed extensive relationships throughout their city, which in turn meeting planners are able to take advantage of.
SUZZANNE: What would you like other planners to know about using a CVB?
AUDRA: Don’t try to plan/execute any activity in a city you are not familiar with, or even a city you know, without the help of the local CVB. Even if you live in the city, you will not know everything you need to know to put on the very best function without the help of the CVB.
SUZZANNE: Thank you Audra for taking the time to talk with us today about your experience working with the Lubbock CVB, I’m glad to hear you had a great experience!