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INDUSTRY VIEWS:

The Power and Role of a Contemporary Destination Organization

By Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International

For decades, destination organizations around the world, particularly those known as convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), have been the trusted source for meeting planners when considering a destination for a convention or meeting.

CVBs are the single source of knowledge regarding meeting space in hotels, local event venues, partnerships with community organizations and all resources needed to host a meeting. With the advent of new technologies and the evolution of the meetings market, the role of the destination has also evolved.

Today's CVBs serve as event strategists, working with planners throughout the entire process to ensure successful meetings and conventions. They are the trusted organizations to represent their destinations and, based on input from planners around the world, modern CVBs have built organizations that are responsive, adaptive and designed to serve planners. In this day and age, as expectations of a meeting continue to grow, destination organizations are well positioned to provide the critical services needed to book and help produce premier events.

Meeting planners are increasingly asked to do more with less and choosing a destination for an event is only the first step. Today’s destination organizations serve as:

  • Client Vision Advocates: As partners in a meeting planner’s planning process, CVBs serve as advocates for the entire business event strategy. CVBs have direct access to local foundations and resources and they understand the local “climate.”
  • Intellectual Capital Brokers: CVBs help increase engagement and inspire imagination while creating a sense of place through local thought leaders and experts.
  • Community Connectors: CVBs serve as an extension of a meeting planner’s team, allowing them to leverage partnerships to their advantage. The CVB knows who to call, how to ask and how to follow through.
  • Economic Impact Advocates: Meetings mean big business for a destination, and there is no better advocate than the CVB.
  • Destination Influencers: CVBs are well-versed in their location's attributes and work with planners to tie a location's independent spirit into their events.

Events really do begin and end with the destination. Choosing a city to host an event is the important first step in a very strategic process and the local CVB is ready to help along the way to ensure the meeting is successful. Find more examples of how CVB’s can help you plan your next successful meeting at Destinations International.

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