ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.
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M A R C H 2 0 1 5 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 11 Miseyko, CMP, CMM, is the president of Site Search Inc., a Florida-based firm that has become one of the most successful site selec- tion and meeting management firms in the industry. Miseyko and his team assist groups of any type—from short-notice weekend meetings to annual global conventions. Working with CVBs, he said, is an essential part of serving his clients. "Quite frankly, I could not represent my clients properly were it not for the services provided by CVBs across the country. As a third-party site selection company, sometimes my clients question why I use them to distrib- ute RFPs (request for proposals) when that's what I do and my answer is: coverage. I can't possibly maintain a database of current hote- liers in specific hotels and their assigned mar- kets, territories, or size group they handle." He notes that he goes straight to the CVB "because they have their fingers on the pulse of the hotel community and, with one email blast, can put my RFP in the hands of the appropriate suppliers. This saves me enormous time and translates to a faster response back to my client." But CVBs don't just sell their destination and distribute your RFPs. They also offer services to assist with selecting the site such as arranging for you to tour the destination in person. "Not only do we experience the desti- nation in a shorter timeframe," Miseyko said, "but we also have the bonus of learning inter- esting bits of information about the city that ultimately could enhance our programs." "We know our community and what makes it unique," said Bob Rogers, vice president of conventions for the Huntsville/Madison County (Ala.) CVB. "We provide planners and group leaders with ideas on venues and work with them to make sure their group not only meets their objectives but also that they have the best possible experience in our community." What's more, many CVBs may help you financially, Miseyko said. "Often, CVBs have booking incentives that range from covering airfare to cash incentives based on room consumption." From organizing site visits to even providing financial assistance for certain groups, CVBs stay hard at work to earn your business. However, CVBs don't disappear once you've selected their city. Ed Dolliver, vice president of sales for the Chattanooga Area (Tenn.) CVB, said CVBs offer convention services staff members who become your main point of reference and connection for any city-related services and information needed. "The director of services works with the planner from the time that the meeting is confirmed through the evalu- ation process at the conclusion of the meet- ing," Dolliver said, noting that this is a complimentary service to groups. Rogers said the Huntsville/Madison County CVB's convention services manager works closely with planners to assist them with complimentary services such as welcome bags and collateral items like maps and dining guides to attraction, shopping and entertainment brochures, and discount coupons. "We also provide registra- tion assistance from our trained and dedicated staff who know our area and can answer questions attendees may have." Amy Scott of the Greensboro (N.C.) Area CVB said, "We are happy to discuss any customized services that your group may need—at no charge—to enhance your event, such as securing local guest speakers for a group welcome and offering an exhibit booth to welcome attendees." n You're looking for the perfect destination for your next event. Along with finding that prime location, you need the right space and great rates. And with limited lead time you need to find that site in a hurry. This is where convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) come in, according to Richard Miseyko. A N N U A L C V B I S S U E "CVBs have their fingers on the pulse of the hotel community and, with one email blast, can put my RFP in the hands of the appropriate suppliers. This saves me enormous time and translates to a faster response back to my client." —Richard Miseyko, Site Search Inc. "We are happy to discuss any customized services that your group may need—at no charge—to enhance your event." —Amy Scott, Greensboro (N.C.) Area CVB "We provide planners and group leaders ideas on venues and work with them to make sure their group not only meets their objectives but they also have the best possible experience in our community." —Bob Rogers, Huntsville/Madison County (Ala.) CVB