As a new Sales Manager with the Greater Lansing CVB I bring some unique insight to the position. Prior to my most recent meeting planning role with a state association, I spent 13 years in the hotel industry. Over the course of that time, I was a sales manager for Marriott hotels in 3 different large cities. At every stage of my career I have seen the value in partnering with Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) to help bring meetings and events to those cities by participating in sales missions and site visits. I loved my CVB’s as a hotelier, but I had not yet learned how much more they would do for me later in life as a meeting and event planner!

During my tenure as a meeting planner, I relied on my local CVBs so much. Here’s the how and why:

Business women meeting1.    CVBs saved me precious time and energy - I didn’t have to spend hours on end researching the contact at each hotel or venue and then reaching out to those properties individually providing them all with the same meeting information. My CVBs did that for me. They assisted in streamlining the process because they took my Request for Proposal (RFP) which listed all of the event’s details and distributed out to the hotels on my behalf. We also had a candid conversation about which properties would be a good fit and only sent the RFP to those relevant – not everyone in their database. I can’t even begin to imagine how many hours I would have spent reaching out on my own! CVBs even saved me time by making transportation arrangements and helping organize and secure local restaurants for evening dine-arounds.

2.    CVBs saved me money – Whether a nonprofit or for-profit, who doesn’t want to brag to their boss that they saved money for their company? They saved our association money because they saved ME so much time. The time I saved allowed me to be productive in other areas, like spending time on marketing our programs which led to more revenue for the association. They also helped save money because I knew they would work with the hotels to ensure I had the very best rates for my attendees.

3.    CVBs were quick and efficient – Often times I needed a quick turnaround for my events.  They were always able to meet my deadline, even if I needed details from properties within a few days.

4.    CVBs are a key to the city -Once I had locations and properties narrowed down, the CVBs helped arrange site visits. The entire day was planned out for me all the way from when to get there, when to meet which property, who I was meeting for lunch, what tourist attractions I was visiting and where I was staying overnight.

Odyssey1
CVBs are essential for big complex international events like Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, held in East Lansing, Michigan every other year.

5.    CVBs helped promote our events – We were able to increase awareness by offering attendees Visitors Guides which listed all the local attractions, restaurants and maps of the area. As a meeting planner, I relied on CVBs as an extension to my own team and utilized their resources to the maximum benefit. After all, that’s why they exist!

6.    CVBs are free – I couldn’t believe it! They do all of this to save my organization time, money and so much more but don’t charge a thing!

CVB’s are a great asset to a busy planner and now that I’m with a CVB I’ll do my best to make your job easy and your next event in Greater Lansing easy to plan and a smashing success for attendees. Contact me for more information on meeting in Greater Lansing, Michigan.