I can’t speak more highly of my experience of working with the Spokane CVB. Amy Cabe, Convention Services Manager, was like having family in the city! We began our bonding about 18 months prior to our convention.
Beginning with the site visit, I knew I was connecting with people who truly cared. They made sure I saw everything I needed to see in their lovely city. They gave me the opportunity to experience Spokane like my delegates would during our convention. After listening to our needs, they were able to showcase the Spokane that would most appeal to our attendees. Hey, they even waited while I stopped to buy a pair of shoes! My brother’s not doing that!
Amy helped coordinate the efforts of the four hotels we were using. Suggestions and contact information for specialty items, from florists to decorators, were delivered quickly at our request. Assistance was supplied for promotional items to raffle off and bookmarks for our attendees were provided. They even helped us reach the local media to solicit a media award. I would have spent considerably more time and effort on the internet and telephone and…all the time guessing about the stability and expertise of my anonymously found contacts. It’s almost impossible to pull all this detail together without someone on site or additional staff.
And when we got there, unlike many relatives, they were actually glad to see us! Our 1600 delegates were warmly welcomed in the downtown area with store front signage and banners, and discounts from local restaurants and businesses near the convention center. Even the citizen patrol and the great walkability in downtown Spokane made us feel comfortable and at home in an unknown destination. They knew we were coming, knew all about us and made us glad we came. It was simply a great family-style welcome.
The CVB pulls an unknown area together for a planner. They know what they have to offer and what will appeal to the various demographics in any group. Also, the CVB doesn’t play favorites; they give you a well-educated, but unbiased picture, and let you make your own decisions. You’re not funneled into their “sales” pitch. Their partnership is highly superior to going into any city on your own…asking the locals is always a good idea. And here’s the best part…I think they liked us too! They weren’t itching for us to get out of town after 3 days!
Even though Benjamin Franklin said, “Fish and company smell in three days.”