A local CVB, or Convention and Visitors Bureau, is often an underutilised source of business for hotels. But what is a CVB, exactly? Below, we’ll talk about what CVBs are, how they work with hotels, and how properties can leverage them for marketing opportunities and earn more business from meeting and event planners.
What is a CVB?
A CVB is a Convention and Visitors Bureau or tourism bureau. These organisations are usually nonprofit and provide education and resources to local communities and travellers with the aim of promoting travel to a location, events and conventions in the area, and other hospitality business. CVBs are funded by a mixture of membership fees, hotel and occupancy taxes, and allocations from regional and state governments. Their services and resources are typically free for event planners, hospitality venues, corporations, and individual travellers.
Why are CVBs important for hotels?
The hotel-CVB relationship can be incredibly beneficial if approached the right way. Event planners and group organisers will reach out to a CVB for an on-the-ground perspective about the location for their event, including local wisdom, connections to venues, and helpful information about how businesses in that area work. CVBs, in turn, ask lots of questions about the planner’s event and process so they can understand how best to help and who to refer the planner to.
If a CVB knows about a property and the types of event and group stays that it facilitates, they can recommend appropriate planners and facilitate an introduction. These planners have therefore been pre-vetted by the CVB and are already qualified as a potentially good lead for the types of events that a specific hotel can accommodate. The better a hotel's relationship with its local CVB, the more they will know about the types of events that hotel is targeting.
CVB resources are also a great marketing tool for hotels. CVB websites and print booklets will often include information about local venues, including information about the layout, room capacities, A/V, seasonal demand, and more. By creating a relationship with a CVB, a hotel can ensure that it is presented in these materials in the best light and that all information is accurate and up to date.
How can hotels work best with CVBs?
To form a great relationship with a local CVB, hotels need to understand their motivations. The goal of any CVB is to promote the location to various stakeholders, increasing the hospitality business in the location. To do this, they need to show how and why their location stands out, as well as give great recommendations for everything from transportation and food to venues, A/V suppliers, and organisers of outside activities.
Hotels can make the job of a CVB easier by:
- Sharing the latest exit data from planners and group organisers who have held events at the property. What did they love? What areas will be improved as a result of their feedback?
- Showcasing new spaces, amenities, and features of the property in an annual open house or during quarterly update calls.
- Making recommendations for other venues when it makes sense. This shows that the hotel values the relationship with the CVB and helps the CVB send the hotel planners and organisers that are a great fit for the specific offering.
- Connecting CVBs with people and resources that can help them promote the location as a whole. This could be hotel guests that are enthusiastic about the location, local vendors the CVB doesn’t already have a relationship with, or up-and-coming offerings that are helping to make a location more attractive for event planners and organisers.
- Keeping CVBs updated regarding capacity, large events coming up, and seasonal demand. CVBs are often the first source that planners go to for this type of information, and providing it up front can help hotels regulate the flow of new leads coming in for each type of event.
- Coordinating with CVBs on marketing campaigns. CVBs need video and other rich content to reinforce their message about what makes a location great.
Remember that anything a hotel can do to help its local CVB will increase the chance that more business comes to the area, which should improve a hotel's own business in the long run. By investing in this relationship, hotels can ensure a much greater chance of success with event planners and group organisers in the future.
Now you know more about what a CVB is and how it can help a hotel!
Remember, CVBs are super beneficial to both hotels and planners, and the relationship that those parties have with each other can help increase business significantly.
Up next, explore 14 tips to help boost hotel sales.