The visibility of cities in the meeting and tour marketplaces is critical to any destination seriously pursuing group business. The awareness made and contacts gained can’t be accomplished in any other manner.
Meeting planner marketplaces allow city representatives to meet site decision- makers, on a one-on-one basis. These decision-makers represent corporations, associations, government agencies and SMERF (social, medical, education, religious, fraternal) groups. Participation in the tour markets is the best way to make personal contacts with individuals who decide domestic tour itineraries. Grant dollars will be used for booth space rental, furnishings, travel costs, registration, lodging and other ITC allowed expenses. Samples of shows scheduled for participation include:
Professional Conference Management Assn. – January
Meeting Professionals Intl. – January
Destinations Showcase – February
Go West - February
TRN – ConFam – March
Cascadia – March
MIC - March
Affordable Meetings Mid-West - April
Springtime in the Park – May
Rocky Mt. Intl.– May
Society of Government Meeting Planners – May
North American Travel Journalists – May
Collaborate Marketplace - May
Meeting Professionals Intl. – July
CESSE – July
Connect - August
American Society of Assn. Executives – August
Affordable Meetings East – September
IMEX America - October
Overseas Brats – October
Nurses Alliance - November
National Tour Assn. – November
Rejuvenate – November
Holiday Showcase – December
The final steps in booking meetings and conventions are often bids and site visits. Bids are done when the group solicited mandates that cities bidding to host the meeting make a formal presentation. Site visits are done by decision-makers to confirm that the needs of the group will be met by suppliers from the destination. Promos are done when a group requires that a city representative attend the meeting to promote attendance for a future meeting scheduled in Boise. All of these efforts will result in hundreds and even thousands of visitors to Boise and Idaho. Site visit expenses include air travel, surface transportation, lodging, meals and entertainment. Bids and promo expenses include air travel, lodging, per diem and other travel related expenses as well as registration or exhibit space when appropriate.
BCVB sales staff will schedule sales missions of three to four days to targeted metro areas where there is a cluster of meeting planners, tour operators and/or travel writers and publication companies. Establishing personal contacts with these decision-makers is a part of the process of creating interest and awareness of Boise as a meeting site or travel destination.
Targeted cities to be considered include but are not limited to the following:
Washington, DC; Chicago; Phoenix; Los Angeles; Seattle; Colorado Springs.
The exact number of sales missions completed and which cities will be visited will be determined by BCVB staff’s ability to identify and make appointments with highly qualified meeting planners, tour planners and/or media representatives. Hotel sales staff will be invited, when appropriate, to accompany BCVB staff.
Grant money will be used to offset travel and special promotion costs incurred, as allowed under the ITC grant rules.
The value of fam trips is very important in cities which have limited awareness among the decision-makers. Those who plan meetings have a higher comfort level in destinations where they have personal experience with the venue and people. Fam trips are used to give these decision-makers the opportunity to experience the “quality” of our city. Historically, those who attend fam trips book future meetings and become salespeople for Boise and Idaho.
Fam trips for meeting planners, tour operators, group leaders, or media representatives may be scheduled for spring, summer and/or early fall. BCVB will co-operate in any fam trips planned by the state or regional organization during this grant cycle. Additionally, local fam trips will be planned for the people who volunteer at the visitor centers in Boise, or frontline hotel employees, to improve their skills in providing information to visitor questions about regional and local attractions. A press trip of travel writers may be held in conjunction with a special event. Grant dollars for fam trips cover those items qualified under the ITC grant rules.
An ongoing component of BCVB’s marketing strategy is to aggressively work to increase the number of sports events and sports meetings held in this region of the state. Grant funds in this element will be used to attend appropriate sports markets, place advertising in vertical sports publications and directories, cover qualified costs for travel on sales missions, bids and promotions, cover site visits and provide seed money in the bid process for eligible amateur events. When opportunities arise to generate national publicity and awareness through a sports event, funds may be used to offset the cost of television, radio or print production.
A. Sports Markets (including, but not limited to)
National Association of Sports Commissions- April
TEAMS - October
ASA – November
B. Sports Advertising and Promotions
Ads will be place in NCAA publications, newspapers and other vertical publications targeted at those interested in sports such as bowling, swimming, biking, golf, etc. Additionally, funds could be used for attendance at, sponsorship of, or participation in sporting events and/or other promotional opportunities that could include, but are not limited to promotional items that are appropriate to a specific sports market such as chair covers, tote bags, basketball backboard covers, sideline banners, water bottles, lanyards, etc. Such ads and promotional opportunities will promote the activity and/or local attendance at events such as the Boise Open, Women’s Fitness Celebration, the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl Game and BAM JAM.
C. Sales Missions, Bids, Seed Money & Site Visits
Grant funds will be used to conduct sales missions to appropriate cities to make contact with sports event planners and those who decide which venues will be used for an event. Additionally, funds will be used to prepare and present bids for hosting future events, seed money for bid fees or incentive fees required to qualify as a host city, and to bring decision-makers to visit Boise and sports facilities.
Match for these programs will come from the investment made by other organizations to plan and implement the sports events.
Direct mail campaigns are used to create top-of-mind awareness among qualified clients in the meetings, group tour and sports markets. Winning attention in a unique and positive way is the goal of this program. Direct mail serves that purpose for the Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau. The campaign will be designed with at least three components so that the impact of the mailings is extended. They are items people would keep and would have a prominent Boise “reminder” on each piece. Direct mail pieces are used in a variety of ways such as to encourage attendance at fam trips, pre-mailings for bids, to gather destination, decision-making information and as a follow-up to sales mission calls.