This idea of a blog about meeting planning partners came about after participating in several CVB customer advisory boards. When I worked for the San Diego CVB, we created the industry’s first ever customer advisory board. Today there are over 28 CVB customer advisory boards and the common objective of them all of is how to be better Meeting Planning Partners.
I attribute our customer advisory board in San Diego for fueling San Diego’s success…we were a fairly “young convention city” with our share of issues. And who doesn’t have issues? When you work for a CVB, there is never a dull moment. In San Diego, I remember when we were awarded the RNC (Republican National Convention) and had to clear the way for their extensive move-in at the convention center. And right after that there was the 2-year delay in the convention center expansion. I think I recall having to move 72 conventions as a result of those unforeseen circumstances. At the time, I had no idea how we should manage this situation. So I cried. And then I turned to the members of our most loyal customer advisory board who were instrumental is helping us be proactive. Our customers appreciated and respected how we communicated and”unbooked” them…so much that we secured more business for future years as a result. The reason? It’s because we became exceptional meeting planning partners.
Fast forward to today, I’ve had the good fortune to join DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International) in a very unique role as managing director of empowerMINT.com, an industry initiative representing CVBs in the meeting market. CVBs are amazing meeting planning partners and I hope to expose those benefits through future posts. And as evidenced by the customer advisory boards I have experienced so far (including Denver, Philadelphia, Tucson, Charlotte, and Salt Lake) they continue to aspire to improve themselves and their destination’s competitiveness. It’s a beautiful thing.
The whole business of being an exceptional meeting planning partner is dynamic, ever changing because of the many economic, social, and environmental factors planners face. And because of these dynamics, I’m not exactly sure how this blog will unfold…but we have a”half baked” idea here and we’d love to evolve it with your continual input and advice. Some of the topics that we will explore will include:
– How the CVB industry is serving the meetings industry and meeting planners as their valued partner. (For those of you that don’t use CVBs, maybe you’re missing out on something BIG!)
– How can CVBs continue to improve their partnership, what resources can we bring you to make your life a little simpler? (And speaking of life….we’ll occasionally bring you thoughts, tools, and suggestions that will help us all be more productive.)
– We will look for opportunities on how we can connect planners to planners. We have heard over and over again in our customer advisory boards that the connection to other planners is a huge benefit and since CVBs touch so many planners on a daily basis, we are an excellent conduit to other planners who are planning similar meetings.
We invite meeting planners and CVB professionals to join in and share! We aspire to be your best meeting planner partner in the industry!