Communication Is Key
In our rush to complete deadline-oriented tasks, we often forget the most important job we have: communication. If we aren’t communicating our plans and our needs to those around us, we won’t accomplish our organization’s goals.
Bobbie Patterson, executive director of the Boise CVB, made this point during our recent webinar “Partnering with a DMO: What Meeting Planners Need to Know” from the DMAI annual convention in Seattle. “The bureau is a liaison between the planner and the property,” she said. “Planners need to understand this. It’s up to the planner to tell me what they need. ”
More than ever, CVBs are acting as advocates for meeting planners, not only to ensure convention attendees have a good experience in the host city, but also to educate their own partners, administrative managers and politicians about the changing requirements of conventions and meetings.
In the past few years, CVBs have played a major role in pushing for more sustainable practices at venues, adding sources planners can use to inject local flavor into their events, and working with others in their communities to develop information about local service projects that welcome attendees. “I love the fact that this is probably no longer a trend,” said Visit Orlando’s Tammi Runzler, senior vice president of convention sales and services, referring to CSR. “It’s gone beyond that now. It’s like a spider web, and I have seen the return on investment for meetings and attendees.” Runzler and Patterson, like many of their counterparts around the country, recognize that these trends not only add value to meetings but also contribute to their own ROI by benefitting the local economy.
“It’s a paradigm shift,” added Patterson. “ There is an expectation and a real call for return on investment that allows us to have a more meaningful conversation with the planner.”
This shift extends beyond the relationship of planner and DMO. Research on learning and workspace design, along with the growing use of tablets and other electronic devices, has created a demand for more collaborative meeting space. CVBs can influence the development of new conference space and designs, and make sure the planners’ interests are voiced. “Ergonomics, mind-body levels…we’re doing a lot of work on that and trying to be more proactive,” said Patterson. The key to their success and the future of face-to-face events is communication.
Learn more about the research influencing the design of meeting space in hotels, conference centers and the convention centers of tomorrow—and how you can employ the research now to enjoy better learning outcomes and report stronger ROI. Read the third installment in our “Rethinking Meetings” series in the October/November issue of Rejuvenate magazine.
You can listen to the webinar here.