Most cities and regions of any size in the United States have a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) whose primary responsibility is to promote their town, city or region in order to increase the number of meetings and leisure travelers to the area.
However, CVBs can do a lot more than marketing, as I can attest to, with the goal of making your meeting a smashing success. Below are the five things our bureaus do exceptionally well.
Convention and Visitors Bureau Benefits
1. Rolodex of local service providers
Most CVBs are membership and category driven; meaning they have members in every area you can think of for your event. We work with them in the field of transportation, local attractions, presenters, entertainment and so much more.
2. Provide local savings and/or exclusive offerings
Many CVBs offer rebates, discounts or VIP tours of local attractions and businesses during your conference stay. Bureaus are well versed in the “hidden gems” of the area. When on a FAM trip or scoping out a site visit, ask the CVB representative about these types of offerings and how your group can take advantage of them.
3. Market small meeting space
Even though the word “convention” is the CVB name, many bureau organizations help market venues that can nicely accommodate meetings of any size. By the way, small meetings, according to HotelExecutive.com, represent 80% of all meetings in the U.S. which have fewer than 50 attendees and represent more than $10 billion annually in spending.
4. Help with “above and beyond” requests
Many organizations, including Meetings Michigan, are interested in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. If your group wishes to collect food for the local pantry, spend a half-day on a service project or contribute to a local non-profit cause, all of this can be orchestrated through the CVB.
Additional above and beyond examples include: a cooking class with a hotel’s chef, learning more about wine or beer pairings by visiting a local winery or brewery, or kayaking down a river or lake.
The point is, whatever your requests, our local CVB will work with you to make it happen.
5. Provide staffing
If you need additional “feet on the ground.” to work registration tables, stuff welcome packets and/or serve as tour guides of the area, the CVB can help provide this service. Sometimes these staff members function as volunteers while other bureaus charge for this assistance. When you are on your final site visit, indicate how many staff and over what period you them, and the CVB will coordinate this effort to ensure a seamless event for your attendees!
Think of a Convention and Visitors Bureau as being a destination’s marketing department. It is their job to drive awareness to you about all the wonderful things their region has to offer of which they do through articles, blogs, videos, guides and social posts. Meetings Michigan works with our local CVBs and supports their mission and function.
We have the following organizations in our network:
• Destination Ann Arbor
• Detroit Metro CVB
• Discover Kalamazoo
• Experience Grand Rapids
• Flint and Genesee CVB
• Great Lakes Bay Regional CVB
• Greater Lansing CVB
• Muskegon County CVB
• Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau
• Traverse City Tourism
Meetings Michigan Loves CVBs
We are committed to help you with all the logistics for your meeting. Let us be your first call at 800.210.1514 or email us at info@MeetingsMichigan.com for more information about ways we partner and support our local CVBs.