DEC 2017

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 13 of 75

⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 14 The AWARDS Issue! Readers' Choice Award Winners • Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center at Grand National • Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau • The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa • The Beach Club, See Ad On This Page • The Caribe Resort • Greater Birmingham CVB • Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism • Hotel Capstone • Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel, See Ad On Page 13 • Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa • Mobile Marriott • Perdido Beach Resort • Turquoise Place, See Ad On This Page • Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports Commission • Visit Foley • Von Braun Center • Westin Birmingham • Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore, See Ad On Page 15 Honorable Mention Award Winners • Bellingrath Gardens & Home • Visit Mobile New & Renovated Award Winners • The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa • The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center • Huntsville Marriott at the Space & Rocket Center • OWA Alabama 'back to business' press release, that includes a status report on the destination," Ritter said. "We also use our social channels to share similar messaging, using the hashtag #FloridaNow for additional sharing by VISIT FLORIDA. Lastly, our sales team works the phones and makes sure our travel partners and meetings clients, includ- ing travel agents and meeting planners—both across the nation and internationally—have the most up-to-date information on the status of our hospitality industry and to assist with business booking and rebooking." Ritter said she also will make personal calls to further assure a group planner that it's OK to go ahead with meeting plans. Also, sales teams attend trade shows and meet one-on-one with customers to make them aware the destination is back to normal. In advising other meeting professionals about storm preparation, Ritter said: "Ultimately, mother nature has a plan we cannot alter. But, being prepared, putting plans and procedures in place and communicating before, during and after a storm with local authorities, hospitality partners, attractions, planners and visitors helps minimize the impact of natural occurrences and build confidence in the destination." n

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