When meeting planners seek a destination for their meetings, it’s critical that they work with a team of knowledgeable destination experts and hospitality professionals who can ensure that the event will be a memorable experience for their delegates. Our team of experts at the Montgomery Chamber’s Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) is educated and experienced, and they each have a passion for what they do. They work very closely with our hotel and hospitality partners to ensure a smooth and seamless process during the meeting planning phase.
How we do it:
Meetings and events make up a crucial piece of the city’s tourism pie. MBJ asked Ron Simmons, Vice President Sales for the Chamber’s Convention and Visitor Bureau, to outline how he and his team can help planners pull off a great event.
The city has changed so much in such a short period of time. We have so much to offer, and that’s what the delegates and planners love about our city. It’s important that our team understands what groups want and need during and after their meeting or event. Our job is to identify their needs and match them up with the right solutions.
Each sales manager is assigned specific market segments, and they are “Subject Matter Experts” in these areas. The markets are:
- Social, Military, Educational and Fraternal
- State Associations, Government and Military
- Regional and National Associations, Corporate and Education
- Leisure and Tourism: reunions, weddings, motorcoach and international travel groups
- Sports: youth, college and adult sporting events
THE CHAMBER CVB’S APPROACH:
Our sales team has a multi-prong approach to selling Montgomery as a meeting destination:
TRADE SHOWS: Each sales manager attends approximately four trade shows throughout the year to meet with meeting and event planners who are seeking a destination for their meeting or sporting event. After meetings and relationship building, we review their Request for Proposals (RFPs) that outline their meeting requirements. This helps us determine if we should invite the planner to the city for an official site visit.
SITE VISITS: A site visit is when we do our best work! We are able to spend time one-on-one with the planner as we showcase our city, hotels, meeting space, restaurants and entertainment options. We are able to determine if this would be a good fit for the city and the group. The goal is to have a win-win for everyone involved.
FAM TOURS: Familiarization Tours are very similar to site visits, except we are hosting several meeting planners from different organizations in different markets. There is always a temptation to show all Montgomery has to offer in such a short time (usually two days), but we can’t over-whelm the planners on a FAM. The Montgomery CVB sales team is known for hosting excellent FAMs and generating great results!
RESEARCH & PROSPECTING: The CVB sales team attends educational sessions throughout the year at the trade shows we attend in order to learn more about the changing industry and its needs. We conduct hours of research on the internet and meet with local organizations to learn more about the conferences, conventions, meetings and sporting events they attend. Many of the local groups and organizers are proud of Montgomery and want to showcase their city.
Bring it Home!
If you’re interested in bringing a meeting, reunion, tour group or sporting event to Montgomery, contact the Chamber’s Convention and Visitor Bureau at 334-261-1100. Ron Simmons and his team will be happy to assist you.
Ron Simmons, Vice President, Sales
Chamber Convention and Visitor Bureau