MAR 2013

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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Page 9 of 46

What's Inside: Welcome to Meetings The CV IssuB! e PALOOZA 2013 A one-of-a kind exchange connecting you to meetingsfocused CVBs acoss the South. Opening Remarks This one-of-a-kind issue of ConventionSouth is a "trade showcase" of CVBs (Convention and Visitors Bureaus) and DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations) across the South—all of which are aggressively working to assist meetings and groups. Weʼre presenting this CVB issue as Meetings Palooza 2013 in order to celebrate the relationship between meeting planners and CVBs and how the two come together to best serve the meetings industry. As meetings return to pre-recession levels and hotel rates continue to climb, CVBs are intently positioning their services and destination assets to best assist todayʼs cost-conscious and timeconstrained planners. Dean Miller, national sales manager for groups and meetings for Visit Fairfax, has worked within Fairfax County, Virginiaʼs hospitality sector for the past 23 years, 15 years in hotel sales and 9 with the bureau. Heʼs witnessing a renewed enthusiasm among CVBs of all sizes when it comes to their group-based efforts. "I think the recession w w w. c o nve n t i o n s o u t h . c o m Keynote Address (page 10): Have High Expectations For CVBs Kevin Kane, president/CEO of the Memphis CVB and former chair of DMAI, shares his insight on CVBs today and what you should expect from them. Town Hall Session (pages 11 & 12): Planners' Relationship Status With CVBs Meeting planners & CVBs voice their thoughts in an open exchange about their working relationships. CVB Showcase (pages 13 - 41): CVBs In The South "Exhibit" Their Services In this special advertising section, youʼll find in-depth information from CVBs from across the South. The showcase is divided into four themed categories in order to present each CVB by their defining attributes. BY CONVENTIONSOUTH EDITOR MARLANE BUNDOCK has humbled a lot of destinations," Miller said. "In many cases, CVBs are now more eager to help planners, especially in the larger bureaus where before the smaller requests of planners may have been handed off to a less senior person. Weʼre not all perfect, but I think on the whole, CVBs are committed to a high level of service. Anybody who is not will not last long in this industry." The value of CVBs is shown in a 2012 study by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), which revealed that in the 275 U.S. markets where CVBs are active in group sales, CVBs represented 19 percent of all group room demand. Michael D. Gehrisch, DMAI president/CEO, said "CVBs play a significant role in the group meetings business. Approximately 275 cities and towns across the United States rely upon the sales and marketing efforts of CVBs to attract events to their destination." The DMAI study also showed that in 2011, 35.6 million group room nights occurred as a result of CVB sales and marketing efforts; 37.5 million group room nights for future events were booked by CVBs; and new group room bookings by CVBs grew 4.8 percent. So as CVBs prove their worth and bring their "A game" to the meetings marketplace, we present you with Meetings Palooza 2013. This trade showcase of CVBs, found throughout the following pages within this issue, aims to offer you an in-depth look at what you can expect from CVBs in the South. ➤ M A R C H 2 0 1 3 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ 9

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