As a meeting planner, preparing for a site inspection is the work equivalent to planning a vacation. There is so much to do, and you still have your real work to do up until you leave, and piling up while you are gone, just waiting for your return. A planner friend of mine calls using a CVB to help plan your site inspection the “ultimate no-brainer!” I have to say, I couldn’t agree with her more.
You’re just crazy NOT to enlist the free services of a destination marketing expert when planning a meeting less familiar destination. Hey, even if you are familiar with the destination, they simply make things a whole lot easier! Their services can literally be an extension of your staff, saving you time, money, and allowing you to leverage their local knowledge, relationships, and buying power.
The CVB makes it one call or email verses many. Using them allows you to give your specifications one time, answer questions one time, use one source for local referrals and recommendations, and receive aggregated hotels proposals, upon request. When you are ready to plan your visit, they will schedule your hotel appointments, arrange for your accommodations with their hotels, and arrange your ground transportation in the destination. In some destinations, depending on your meeting specifications, they may even be able to provide you with complimentary airfare.
You are also getting trusted and unbiased referrals. Based on your meeting needs and objectives, the CVB can make suggestions and guide you to the perfect meeting match. Another thing to consider is that you leverage the buying power of all the business the CVB provides hotels and venues when you source your meeting through them. This can be especially advantageous if you are planning a smaller meeting and want to make sure you are getting the best possible value available.
Clearly the CVB is your meeting planning partner (thus the name of our blog!) and you really should consider turning it all over to them as you begin preparation for you next site inspection. That way, you can keep focusing on the work at hand, and maybe even get a jump on what will be waiting for you upon your return! Happy Meeting Hunting!