MAR 2012

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 6 of 68

Home perspective Driven putting it in If you haven't worked with a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) lately, you might want to call them up. These destination marketing organizations are evolving—and rapidly. And as it turns out, your business is much of the driving force behind their changes. In exploring this new face of CVBs, we conducted a flash poll of bureaus across the South to find out just what trends are emerging from CVBs and within their convention services departments. Turns out, 35 percent of CVBs polled said they're more focused on groups over leisure travelers in 2012 compared to the past two years. This number is up nearly 10 percent from last year's poll. And, along with the renewed focus on group travel, CVBs are developing new strategies and practices to best meet the needs of today's trans- formed meetings and, as many of you should agree, overworked planners. While gath- ering insight for this month's cover story, we found that CVBs are especially geared up to assist you with your events with short lead times and last-minute requests. Case in point is the Atlanta CVB, which has recently brought on a new position to their conven- tion services department. Cookie Smoak now works with a team of four to service groups that book more than 250 room nights in Atlanta. Plus, the Atlanta CVB has begun designing event-specific websites to help you promote the city to attendees. And many CVBs are adding websites that are specificly designed for you and your meeting needs with cool tools that can assist you with the planning process. The Issue With Immigration & Events It's a sticky situation in Alabama, Georgia and other states that have recently passed immigration laws similar to Arizona's that allow enforcement officers to check for proof of citizenship of "suspected illegal immigrants." Two national associations have backed out of their meeting contracts with Mobile, Ala., and Atlanta over concerns that their attendees might feel threatened and profiled while in these destinations. But, before you think again about booking your meet- ing in these states, review our special report on page 8. It provides insight on the issue and factors to consider when booking these states. Marlane Andrea Bundock is the associate publisher of ConventionSouth Media Group. Scan this tag & contact me with your thoughts! ConventionSouth (ISSN 1074-0627) is published monthly by Covey Communications Corp., P.O. Box 2267, Gulf Shores, AL 36547. It is mailed under Standard mail rates. POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED TO ConventionSouth Subscription Office, P.O. Box 2267, Gulf Shores, AL 36547. Editorial and advertising offices are located at 2001 West First St., Gulf Shores, AL 36542. Editorial ideas and manuscripts are welcomed. However, all unsolicited manuscripts and photographs must be sent with return postage; otherwise ConventionSouth cannot be responsible for returning them. Copyright 2012 by Covey Communications Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express written permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden. Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase ConventionSouth EXECUTIVE OFFICES 2001 West First Street Gulf Shores, AL 36542 MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 2267 Gulf Shores, AL 36547 TELEPHONE (251) 968-5300 E-MAIL FAX (251) 968-4532 WEBSITE PUBLISHER J. Talty OʼConnor ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Marlane Bundock ASSISTANT EDITOR Kristen S. McIntosh DESIGN SERVICES MANAGER Kelly Williams GRAPHIC DESIGNER/ Jennifer Kelly INTERACTIVE MEDIA COORDINATOR MARKETING SERVICES Pamela T. Redden MANAGERS Alicia Lake Shannon Runge MANAGER, TRAFFIC Dorothy P. White AND PROMOTIONS MARKETING COORDINATOR Beth Strickland ACCOUNTANT Latricia Nall CIRCULATION MANAGER Ashley Brokowsky DATA ENTRY SPECIALIST Stephanie Eckman CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Janis Helton Marcia Bradford Michelle Martin EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Jenny Anderson, CMP National Association of College & University Business Officers David Bruce, MMP, HTS CMP Meeting Services Jeff Hurt Velvet Chainsaw Consulting Robert Mandelbaum PKF Consulting Meg Slentz Nagy, CMP Meetings To Order Sue Walton May & Williams Ltd. James Hobbs Meeting Expectations Loriann White, CMM, CMP Hospitality Performance Network - Global 6 ConventionSouth MARCH 2012 www.con v

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