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 4 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, PO Box 16868 North Hollywood, CA 91615. Editorial and advertising offices are located at 2001 West First St., Gulf Shores, AL 36542. Editorial ideas, photographs and content suggestions are welcomed; however, the publisher and editorial team retains the right to edit all content in print and online. Photos are typically obtained from direct sources and credits are given at the discretion of the editorial team. Copyright 2018 by Covey Communications Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express written permission of the publisher or editor is strictly forbidden. Convention South EXECUTIVE OFFICES 2001 West First Street Gulf Shores, AL 36542 MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 2267 Gulf Shores, AL 36547 TELEPHONE (251) 968-5300 (800) 968-0712 E-MAIL FAX (251) 968-2033 WEBSITE PUBLISHER J. Talty O'Connor ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Ashleigh Osborne (251) 968-5313 SENIOR EDITOR Marcia Bradford DESTINATION EDITORS D. Fran Morley T. Wayne Waters CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Adrianne Bowen Selena Chavis Shannon Rasmussen MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Kayla Brown MANAGER DESIGN SERVICES MANAGER Kelly Williams MANAGER, TRAFFIC Dorothy P. Miller AND PROMOTIONS CIRCULATION MANAGER Ashley Strickland FINANCE MANAGER Mandi Morrison 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, CMP Meetings To Order Sue Walton May & Williams Ltd. James Hobbs Meeting Expectations Loriann White, CMM, CMP American Express Meetings & Events The Joy Of Reconnecting, The Value Of A Familiar Face I have always loved to travel and one of the things I enjoy most about traveling is the opportunity it provides to see and experience new places and meet new people. However, during every journey I try to schedule some time to return to a place I've been before, to take advantage of the chance to reconnect with people I've already met, to have another meal at a restaurant where the food was amazing, or to explore a part of the destination that I didn't have a chance to see on previous visits. As we conducted our survey of meeting planners and CVB professionals to prepare for ConventionSouth's 2018 Meeting Industry Trends Report, we took a look at the main factors that drive repeat business to a destination, asking both planners and CVB officials their opin- ions as to what keeps a group coming back to the same place. It's not surprising that relation- ships between planners and host destination staff were listed among the main elements that generate repeat business. When planners and CVB staff get to know one another, work cooperatively and sometimes become friends, it's usually easier to iron out the differences about how details will be handled or to get in touch if a problem arises. To offer some ideas for cultivating repeat business, we asked various CVB professionals to share their advice based on their own experiences working with groups that enjoy returning to the same destination. Contributing Editor Selena Chavis provides an overview of the five top destination qualities that bring groups back, beginning on page 16. But getting back to the new experiences aspect of travel, we did not want to overlook the growing trend toward adding elements of fun and adventure to meetings, so we checked in with Southern destinations to find out what they offer. As you will see from Contributing Editor Adrianne Bowen's coverage of fun CVB itineraries on pages 19-22, host destination staff can be a very valuable asset when it comes to finding special places for group team building, special events and leisure time. Also in this issue, CVBs from throughout the South share details about their destinations that is very helpful to planners. We hope you will find all of this information useful as you plan future events. As this issue goes to print, the ConventionSouth staff is making the final preparations for Rendezvous South, our annual event which brings planners from throughout the United States together with professionals from destinations and meeting sites around the South. Now in its fifth year, this gathering allows us a chance to get to know meeting professionals we've never met and to reunite with those from previous conferences, building the strong relationships that are vital to success in the meetings and events industry. perspective putting it in Senior Editor

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