Welcome to Kankakee County, IL home of the Chicago Bears Summer Training Camp, Barn Quilts, the Kankakee River and more. The mission of the CVB is to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting Kankakee County as an overnight destination, increasing visitor awareness and developing a united tourism industry. Get updates on attractions and events in Kankakee County... an affordable destination just an hour south of Chicago at our website, www.visitkankakeecounty.com.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Welcome to the Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau blog! I am Larry Williams, Executive Director of the Kankakee County CVB and I would like to share information about the benfits and purposes of a CVB.
One Should Know About CVBs
Consider a convention and visitor bureau (CVB) a meeting
planning Yellow Pages. You don't even have to let your fingers do the walking;
the CVB will do that for you as well.
While many are aware of the existence of CVBs, often the
full range of services that a CVB has to offer is not realized.
Most CVBs are not-for-profit organizations representing a
specific destination. Most are membership organizations bringing together
companies that rely on tourism and meetings for business.
Among its many areas of expertise, a CVB:
·Encourages groups to hold meetings in the city
·Assists groups with meeting preparations
·Provides promotional materials to encourage
·Establishes room blocks for hotels
Most importantly for you, CVBs serve as the official
point of contact for convention and meeting planners. Meeting professionals
have access to a range of services and value-added extras through a bureau.
Misconceptions about CVB's
Before going into the specifics of what a CVB can do for
a meeting planner, let's examine a few common misconceptions.
CVBs solely book hotel rooms and convention space.
CVBs represent the gamut of visitor-related businesses,
from restaurants and retail to rental cars and racetracks. Therefore, they are
responsible for introducing planners to a full range of meeting-related
products and services the city has to offer. Basically, they match needs to a
CVBs only work with large groups.
More than half of all meetings involve less than 200
people. These meetings are just as important to a CVB as larger ones. In fact,
larger bureaus often have staff members specifically dedicated to small
Bureaus own and/or run the convention center.
Only five percent of CVBs run the convention center in
their location. Nevertheless, CVBs work closely with local convention centers
and can assist planners in getting what they need from convention center staff.
Planners have to pay CVBs for their services.
In truth, the services of a CVB are free. Michael
Gehrisch, president of the International Association of Convention &
Visitor Bureaus (IACVB), points out, "Convention bureaus are both a
hotel's and a meeting planner's best friend. They don't charge either one, but
book business for the hotel without a fee and provide the same service, for
free, to planners." Most bureaus are primarily funded through hotel
occupancy taxes. Some bureaus also charge membership fees.
Some may question the need to work through a CVB when
planning a meeting, particularly in cases where the bulk of an event takes
place at one hotel or at the convention center. The bureau can help you work
with those entities and can help fill out the convention schedule with off-site
activities (including spouse tours and pre and post-conference tours). An
objective resource, the bureau can direct planners to products and services
that will work best to accommodate their needs and budgets. In summary, a CVB
acts as a mediator, matching meeting needs to the products, services, and
speakers available in a community.
Why Use a CVB?
CVBs make planning and implementing a meeting less
time-consuming and more streamlined. They give meeting planners access to a
range of services and packages. Before a meeting begins, CVB sales
professionals can help locate meeting space, check hotel availability, and
arrange for site inspections. CVBs can also link planners with the suppliers,
from motorcoach companies and caterers to off-site entertainment venues, that
can help meet the prerequisites of any event.
What are some of the specific services CVBs offer
·CVBs can offer unbiased information about
services and facilities in the destination.
·CVBs serve as a vast information database and a
one-stop shop, thus saving planners time, energy and money in the development
of a meeting.
·CVBs act as a liaison between the planner and
the community. For example, CVBs are aware of community events with which your
meeting may beneficially coincide (like festivals or sporting events). They can
also work with city government to get special permits and to cut through red
·CVBs can help meeting attendees maximize their
free time through the creation of pre and post-conference activities, spouse
tours, and hosting of special evening events.
·CVBs can provide hotel room counts and meeting
space statistics, and will keep a convention/meetings/events calendar in order
to help planners avoid conflicts and/or space shortages.
CVBs can match properties to specific meeting
requirements and budgets.
Other services provided to planners include:
·Help with on-site logistics, including
·Auxiliary services, such as production
companies, catering, transportation
·Site inspections/familiarization tours and site
·Speakers and local educational opportunities
·Coordination of local transportation
·Access to special venues
The overall job of
a CVB is to market and sell a destination. A CVB wants every single client to
be happy. It is going to do everything it can to match every client with the
perfect setting and services for its meetings. The bottom line — the CVB is
working for you.
So, make your life easier and let a CVB's fingers do the
walking for you.