The Top Six Questions to Get the Most from a CVB

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Experience Columbus offers tips for identifying sponsors and finding unique venues in a new city without the hassle.

[CVBs] can help you build relationships with the right folks in many different industries and assist you in finding the perfect venues for your receptions to create a truly memorable event.

Convention and visitor’s bureaus (CVB's) help meeting planners with the basics, such as finding the best venue in a new city for an event, but they can also assist in creating marketing materials, securing discounts at local restaurants and introducing planners to valuable contacts and resources. Experience Columbus, Columbus, Ohio’s CVB, offers the top six questions meeting planners should ask to maximize their CVB relationship, saving time and money.

1. How can you help me plan my event?
Find out what services the CVB offers and if they are complimentary. Many CVB representatives will qualify venues, attractions, restaurants and services available in their market, send out RFPs and find the right contacts on behalf of the meeting planner.

2. Do you have marketing materials we could use to help sell the city?
In many instances, the CVB is the local, go-to resource for videos, photos, and pertinent web pages and links to inform and excite guests about visiting a new city. “There’s no need to search for or create city images or stories, that’s something we provide,” said Sharon Levine, CMP, convention services manager at Experience Columbus. “If you’re trying to attract a certain audience, please let us know. We can provide specific materials for various audiences, from families and religious groups to healthcare professionals and engineers.”

3. What other events are happening in the city that day/week?
It’s important to understand what activities are going on in the city, near the event venue or in the venue itself that day or week for logistics planning. For example, event-day transportation could be planned to a tee, but if there’s a marathon near the venue, guests could be waylaid.

4. Can you help me secure transportation or special parking?
Many CVBs can assist in securing transportation to and from the airport and from the event venue to off-site locations for special events. They may also work with venues to create special parking discounts and provide customized maps for attendees.

5. Do you have ideas for incorporating the flavor of the city into my events or gift bags?
CVBs know the city and what makes it interesting and unique. They are a great resource for ideas to bring some of the city into the event. “We’ve created uniquely Columbus events for planners and corporations using our local resources, providing the best of Columbus food, wine/spirits, the arts, and more,” said Levine. “Our city has a very collaborative spirit, and the local business owners understand how important it is to give out-of-towners a real taste of Columbus and its many gems.”

6. Can you help me tap into local resources?
“Connecting people is what we do,” said Levine. “You may be looking for off-site tours of industry-leading facilities, potential expert speakers and/or discounts to local restaurants, shops and attractions. We can help you build relationships with the right folks in many different industries and assist you in finding the perfect venues for your receptions to create a truly memorable event for your attendees.”

When planning an event in a new city, the local CVB can be a great resource. If unsure about whether the CVB can help with a particular planning detail, the best advice is to just ask.

About Experience Columbus
As the convention and visitors bureau for Ohio’s capital city, Experience Columbus’ mission is to sell, market and promote the Destination Columbus experience to visitors. For more information about all Columbus has to offer as a destination for leisure visitors, meetings, conventions and trade shows, go to ExperienceColumbus.com or call 866-397-2657.
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Scott Peacock

Kelly Malone
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