CVBs, or Convention and Visitors Bureaus, are invaluable resources for hotels. You might be surprised to know, however, that many properties neglect their relationship with them or forgo one altogether.
In this blog, we’ll talk about what exactly a CVB is, why hotels should partner with them, and how you can make that partnership last.
What is a CVB?
A Convention and Visitors Bureau - or CVB - is an organisation responsible for promoting tourism, conventions, and other travel-related activities within its city, region, or country.
The primary goal of a CVB is to attract visitors and events to their destination through marketing and advertising, public relations, and visitor information centres. CVBs are often nonprofit and are funded by the local government, tourism taxes, and membership fees.
How CVBs operate
While no two CVBs are alike, most share similar objectives to promote tourism, attract visitors and events, and support their local economy. Here’s a general overview of how CVBs operate:
Destination marketing and promotion
Tourism is a major part of the local economy. And this is why CVBs work hard to create awareness and generate interest in their locations. They develop marketing campaigns that target specific audience segments. These include leisure travellers, business travellers, and event planners.
Methods CVBs employ to market and promote their destination include social media marketing - both paid and organic, content creation, online and offline advertising, email campaigns, and search engine optimisation (SEO).
CVBs are the place to go for travellers and tourists looking for advice for their trip. Their visitor centres and websites exist to help planners obtain maps, brochures, and other useful information about local attractions, events, accommodation, and transportation.
Convention and event planning and assistance
CVBs play a vital role when it comes to meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE) business. They attract event planners from all around the world by creating awareness and working closely with them to find the right venue, plan logistics, and coordinate with local vendors.
CVBs are valued highly by event planners due to their extensive knowledge of their location, available venues, hotel accommodation, and local vendors.
Sales and business development
Like any business, CVBs use sales and business development to attract new events and business travellers to their destinations.
It’s common for CVBs to actively contact meeting planners, corporate executives, and industry professionals to promote their locations. This may involve attending trade shows, participating in industry conferences, conducting sales presentations, and organising familiarisation tours for event planners and decision-makers.
Collaboration and partnerships
CVBs collaborate and partner with local businesses, hotels, restaurants, and others in the tourism industry to produce packages and experiences for visitors.
This might include marketing campaigns, incentives, and promotional activities. CVBs will also collaborate with local councils or government entities and other tourism organisations to pool resources.
Economic impact analysis
CVBs collect data on visitor spending, hotel occupancy rates, and other tourism statistics to assess and communicate the economic impact of tourism on their destinations.
This information is useful when it comes to requesting funding, making policy decisions, and strategic planning.
Why hotels should collaborate with CVBs
Partnering with a CVB is a great way to boost your MICE, corporate travel, and leisure segments. What’s more: their services and resources are typically free for hospitality venues, event planners, corporations, and travellers. There are a couple of reasons why you do not want to miss out on that all-important hotel-CVB relationship, including:
CVBs have connections, strategies, and resources. Tapping into these will help you reach a wide audience, bring in ideal prospects, and increase bookings.
Access to MICE business
CVBs know all about attracting MICE business to their destination. They often serve as intermediaries between event planners and hotels. They’ll help you make connections, bring in more MICE business, and provide support in negotiating room blocks and rates.
Attending CVB-run industry events, trade shows, and networking sessions can help you meet the right people and schmooze them into doing business with you.
Market intelligence and research
The data that CVBs collect can offer invaluable insights for hotels. By collaborating with CVBs, you’ll have access to visitor trends, market insights, and other information. Viewing and analysing this data can help you better understand your audience, identify trends, and adjust your strategies accordingly.
Advocacy and industry representation
CVBs represent the interest of their members - which often includes hotels. They work with government entities, lobby for favourable policies, and address issues that impact the tourism sector. Working with a CVB gives you a seat at the table and allows you to have a say in decision-making.
How hotels can build meaningful partnerships with CVBs
Building meaningful partnerships with CVBs will help you in a myriad of ways. But it’s a little more complicated than just sending a few emails back and forth. CVBs and their workforces are busy which means, like any relationship, you’ll need to work on it.
Here are some things you can do to build that partnership and ensure it pays dividends far into the future:
Establish clear objectives and expectations
First things first: it's important that the CVB understand your hotel business and its customer base to serve you in the best way possible.
Start by identifying your hotel's specific objectives and what you hope to achieve by collaborating with the CVB. This could include increasing occupancy rates, attracting specific types of guests (e.g., business travellers, leisure travellers, and event attendees), or generating more revenue from MICE bookings. Clearly define your goals to have a clear direction when working with the CVB.
Next, you’ll want to identify the mutual benefits gained from working together. While the CVB can provide resources, marketing reach, and industry connections, what can you offer them? This might include attractive accommodations, event venues, or unique amenities.
Communicate these objectives and expectations clearly and ensure they understand the level of communication, reporting, and feedback you expect from them.
Collaborate on marketing and promotional campaigns
Collaborating on marketing and promotional campaigns with CVBs can be a great way to build a strong partnership and bring more business to your property.
Begin by understanding CVB’s marketing strategies, target audience, and key messaging. Understanding how they promote their destination helps you maximise your collaboration and the impact of any joint marketing campaign.
But how do you decide what to collaborate on? Fortunately, CVBs often present plenty of opportunities for hotels. This might include being featured in marketing materials like brochures or visitor guides. You can even create exclusive promotions or packages with a CVB and target specific market segments – like MICE business.
Once you’re up and going with your joint marketing campaigns, it’s important to measure and evaluate campaign performance. Collaborate with the CVB to review the results, identify areas of improvement, and make adjustments to future campaigns to maximise their effectiveness.
Coordinate efforts for event planning
Finding good quality MICE leads and securing the business is a tough job. But this is where CVBs can lend a hand. Working with a CVB to secure better-quality event planner leads can help take the strain off your team and increase revenue in the long run.
To make the most of a CVB’s MICE services, you should first understand the CVB’s role in event planning. Familiarise yourself with the services they offer, such as venue selection, logistics coordination, attendee marketing, and support for event organisers.
It’s also vital to showcase to the CVB your hotel’s event capabilities. Provide detailed information about event spaces, room capacities, audiovisual equipment, catering services, and any unique features that make your property an ideal choice for hosting events. Use diagramming technology to accurately portray your event space to both the CVB and event planners.
Maintain open communication
Maintaining regular, open communication with your CVB is arguably the most critical part of managing your relationship. But with so much on your plate - and theirs - communication often slips and relationships slowly deteriorate. Here are a few methods you can put in place to maintain strong channels of communication:
- Designate a point of contact: Things become a little complicated if you’re reaching out to multiple people. Instead, work with the CVB to designate a point of contact for them and you. This person should have a deep understanding of the partnership objectives and be knowledgeable about the hotel and CVB’s offerings and services.
- Schedule regular meetings: A great way to keep the relationship going is to have recurring meetings. This can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly depending on your level of partnership and how closely you are working together. Consistent meetings ensure that both parties are up to date on current initiatives, challenges, and progress.
- Share updates and news: It’s important to keep your CVB up to date on any changes, updates, or news from within your hotel. This could include renovations, new amenities, special promotions, or upcoming events.
- Provide performance reports: Share regular performance reports with the CVB, highlighting key metrics and outcomes related to the partnership objectives. These reports can include data on room bookings, occupancy rates, revenue generated, or guest satisfaction scores.
Go forth and foster great relationships with CVBs!
Beginning, developing, and maintaining a relationship with a CVB is beneficial to everyone involved.
Next up, discover a complete guide to RFP Response Automation.