As an event planner are you being challenged to do more with less? Is your staff overworked? Has your event suffered from less effective programming or decreased attendance, all while event attendees are expecting more value, service and options?
So what's the secret to hosting a successful meeting? Many meeting planners feel that it's often the services provided before, during and after an event that determine whether a function is a rousing success or just another mediocre meeting. And more and more meeting planners are turning to local convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) to fill the gap left by scarce resources and too few staff to effectively plan an event.
"A CVB does not actually organize meetings and conventions," says Shari Berger, vice president of sales for the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It does, however, help meeting planners maximize their time and resources in a number of ways."
Most CVBs have a convention services department that works with an event coordinator or meeting planner once a city has been selected as the site for an upcoming function. Quite often it's these essential services that make or break the event experience for an attendee.
But I'm not hosting a large convention or trade show, you may say. Don't worry. CVBs work with groups of all sizes-from 10 to 10,000, and with all types of service needs. Better yet, many of these services are provided at no cost. Whether your needs are as simple as on-site registration assistance or as complex as a shuttle system to get your attendees to and from a convention center, the goal of a CVB is to ensure the success of your meeting or event.
"We get all types of requests from every size group," says Julie Pingston, senior vice president of the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau. "In any given day, we'll be helping staff a registration table, designing custom Web pages to help build attendance or sending out press releases to the media. Whatever the request, we help in any way we can."
Whether you're planning a large conference or a small gathering, be sure to tap your local convention and visitors bureau to help make your event not only a rousing success for your attendees, but also a little less stressful for you.
For more information about working with the Greater Lansing CVB visit www.lansing.org or call 517.487.0077.
The information and views of this contributing columnist are not necessarily the views or opinion of Meetings + Events or its parent company, Tiger Oak Publications.