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Howes 101Each major city in the world has a team of folks who educate, champion and inform us on the benefits of their city and why it is a good fit for our delegates. These offices are commonly referred to as Convention and Visitor Bureaus, also known as CVBs.To entice consideration for organizations and meeting planners to choose their city, a select number of destinations offer incentives in the form of monetary investments or they extend value in the form of conference services. Any offer is determined by the size of group as monetary investments must adhere to specific guidelines set by the destination.

These ‘destination marketing funds’ are collected as a tax (aka pillow tax) that is implemented on each bedroom stay.  The size of a fund is proportionate to how many bedrooms a destination has and how busy the destination is on an annual basis.

Examples of the services provided by a CVB may include:

  • High resolution photos for your conference collateral / website
  • Signage onsite / airport / offsite venue
  • Local destination brochures for your delegates
  • Maps for delegates to navigate the city
  • Discount coupons from local participating retailers
  • Contacts for ground transportation, destination management companies and unique offsite venues/restaurants
  • Sound knowledge for each hotel / contact information

It is important to note that most CVBs are member based organizations and they are not in a position to negotiate on your behalf.  Their role is to represent each property equally as each hotel is an equal member in their organization.

This is the significant differentiation between CVBs and site selection companies.  While both services are at no additional cost to the end user, only site selection companies are able to negotiate directly with the hotels.

When we work with a destination, we ensure to engage the CVB early on in the search process.  It ensures then that if and when assistance is required ‘down the road’, because the destination initiated the search to the hotels, they are then considered to be the lead on the file and in a better position to find a solution and advocate on our behalf.

These are always exceptions to the rules but generally, this is the industry standard for engaging the destinations in the site selection process.

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