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Meeting Planners and DMOs
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Top 5 Reasons Why Meeting Planners Should Utilize DMOs

 

While not every DMO offers the same services, here are some of the benefits you can expect when working with a DMO in Texas:

  1. Familiarization (FAM) Tours or Site Visits: To get a true feel for a meeting destination, nothing beats visiting the community in person. Texas destination marketing organizations can schedule private tours of hotels and meeting venues, as well as some of their cities’ favorite attractions or activities based on your group’s interests. Many DMOs also offer familiarization (FAM) trips for larger groups of event planners to introduce them to communities en masse. FAMs are typically multiday, all-expenses-paid programs, complete with VIP treatment.
  2. Bid Proposals: In Texas, proposals can be distributed to multiple DMOs through the Texas Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus’ website. DMOs will then send the leads to the appropriate properties, venues, caterers and other suppliers who might be interested in bidding for your business. The DMO representative then collects all of the bids, combines them with information on the destination, and submits everything in one bound package to the planner. This not only saves you time on legwork researching appropriate accommodations or available vendors, it also gives the planner all of the information in one package.
  3. Marketing Assistance: After a site has been selected, the local destination marketing organization becomes a free marketing resource for the event. Assistance in increasing attendance comes in a variety of forms: from providing brochures and visitor guides for your attendees to promoting the destination through an ambassador at pre-conference events or distributing promotional postcards. Today, DMOs are creating high-tech promotional tools to help planners sell their chosen meeting destinations. Some offer digital destination kits, complete with print-ready advertising shells, downloadable postcards and distinct e-mail blast campaigns, all focusing on their cities’ highlights.
  4. Housing Bureaus: Arranging housing and managing the room block can be an unwieldy and timely task for event planners. Now, bureaus are stepping in to help with this chore by offering some type of housing management system.  Housing bureau assistance typically includes reservation management services, acting as a liaison between event attendees and hotels, as well as providing weekly reports on reservation activity and final pick-up data.
  5. Full Service: While most destination marketing organizations offer welcome packets for attendees that include information on their communities, some are going a step further, providing discount passes to local attractions or SWAG items for the attendees’ goodie bags. DMOs can also roll out the red carpet for your meeting delegates by arranging for local dignitaries to participate in your event. Mayors, county judges or local celebrities are often included in the opening session to welcome delegates to the community, thank them for visiting and invite them to special attractions or events.

Destination marketing organizations can also help with securing well-vetted local motivational or educational speakers and entertainers. This can help you keep travel costs and expenses at a minimum and provides a local flavor to your agenda.

Some DMOs offer VIP gift baskets or room amenities for speakers and event dignitaries.  Many offer welcome signs at the airports, on streets, in the host hotel, as well as welcome letters from the local mayor or governor.  Still other DMOs offer information tables at the convention to provide attendees with local community information, maps of the city, and dining recommendations.

While these services vary across the state, all destination marketing organizations are experts in their communities, so be sure to contact them and ask how they can assist you in your search for the perfect location in the Lone Star State.


(Content provided by Shannon Overby, CDME; Director, Visit Conroe)

 

Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus
PO Box 8665
Round Rock, TX  78683
Phone: 512-550-3464
Copyright © 2013 by TACVB - All rights reserved.

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