The Room Key: Securing a Seat at the Table With Convention and Visitors Bureaus

Mavis Early, executive director of the Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association, shares her advice for how hoteliers can build good relationships with local convention and visitors bureaus.

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The Room Key is LODGING’s advice column for hoteliers, managers, and team members at all levels of hospitality. Have a question for our experts? Submit it here.


How can hoteliers build relationships with local Convention and Visitors Bureaus?

“How can hoteliers make sure they have a good relationship with their local DMOs/CVBs—and have a seat at the table with those organizations?”  

A hotelier’s first goal should be to create a symbiotic relationship where hotels and convention and visitors bureaus (CVB) work as a team to promote the growth of tourism in the area. CVBs drive economic success and help create jobs by generating tourism, ultimately enhancing the region’s quality of life. That’s the big picture. Think of your hotel as an integral part of the team advancing tourism and the economy, and the CVB as part of your sales team.

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How do I create this relationship?

Become a member. Approximately 50 percent of CVBs have dues-paying members. If this is the case in your city or town, then join—and show up. Make your hotel and sales force highly visible to the CVB. Attend and participate in as many meetings and events as possible. Join a committee. Use your leadership skills to become a chair or co-chair.

What if your CVB is not membership-based?

Whether your CVB is membership-based or not, you can still cultivate relationships and increase the profile of your hotel.

Host a social gathering for CVB leaders and staff at your hotel. Identify a key person or colleague and invite them to breakfast, coffee, or lunch, preferably at your hotel. Feature and talk about the best qualities of your hotel and what types of meetings or conventions are the best fit for your property. Write a handwritten note or send an email thanking them for attending. After that, stay in touch.

If your hotel sponsors community events, ask the CVB to join you. Likewise, if the CVB hosts community or charitable events, volunteer to assist with those.

In addition, advocate for the best interests of the industry with your hotel association. Sponsor events, share renovations and accolades, and attend civic events related to travel and tourism in the region. Be seen.

 

Answered by Mavis Early, executive director of the Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association.

 


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