MAR 2018

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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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ M A R C H 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 16 5 Top Destination Qualities That Bring Groups Back By Selena Chavis Building Repeat Business Destinations across the South engage in business-retention strategies for obvious rea- sons. A predictable book of business delivers economic advantages that serve as a catalyst for ongoing sustainability and growth. Likewise, meeting planners also realize benefits by forging ongoing and recurring destination partnerships. When groups identify a location that meets their current and future needs, and solidify local relationships, they can achieve economies of scale, higher satisfaction rates and fewer headaches. So, the question is: What are the destination qualities that provide the needed foundation to generate recurring business? Below, industry professionals offer their insights into the top five destination characteristics that keep groups coming back. Good First Experience A destination may win the bid for a convention or meeting but if the first impression is less than optimal, it's hard for a group to justify returning, said Donna Allen, vice presi- dent of sales and marketing with VisitNorfolk. "Was it a good fit?" she asked, pointing out that the experience begins upon arrival at an airport and extends to interactions with hotel staff, quality of food, venue expertise and en- tertainment. "Was there overall value and were there enough things to do to meet the needs of the attendees and the organization?" April Ellerbe, director of sales and services with the Durham Convention and Visitors Bu- reau (CVB), pointed out that meeting planners ANNUAL CVB ISSUE 1 Pride of Place: The staff of the Durham, N.C. CVB is proud to show off their destination, aka "Bull City."

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