Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About CVBs
What is a Convention & Visitor Bureau?
Convention & Visitor Bureaus (CVB) are not-for-profit organizations charged with representing a specific destination and helping the long-term development of communities through a travel and tourism strategy. CVBs bring together businesses that rely on travel for revenue and economic development.
For visitors, CVBs are like a key to the city. As an unbiased resource, CVBs serve as a broker or an official point of contact for meeting planners and visitors. They assist planners with preparation and encourage business travelers and visitors alike to visit local historic, cultural and recreational sites.
Why is a Convention & Visitor Bureau valuable to a visitor, a business traveler or a meeting planner?
CVBs offer unbiased information about a destination’s services and facilities. CVBs save visitors time and energy, as they are a one-stop shop for local points of interest. CVBs can provide the full range of information about a destination. Most services provided by CVBs are complimentary
For most services CVBs do not charge their clients — the visitor, the business traveler and the meeting planner. Instead, most CVBs are funded through a combination of revenues but most notably, hotel occupancy taxes.
Why are meetings and events important?
They enhance the quality of life for a local community by providing jobs, bringing in tax dollars for improvement of services and infrastructure. They also attract facilities like restaurants, shops, festivals, and cultural and sporting venues that benefit both visitors and locals.
Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest service exports and largest employers. In the United States, for example, travel and tourism is the third biggest retail sales sector. In Wilson County, it is the fifth largest industry employing 10% of the workforce. The industry contributes $99 million annually to the local economy in travel related expenditures, generates $9 million in local & state tax revenues (2009 figures).
How do CVBs help meeting planners?
CVBs make planning and implementing a meeting less time-consuming and more streamlined. They give planners access to a range of services, packages and value-added extras. Before a meeting begins, a CVB 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.
Among the advantages of going through a CVB to plan a meeting:
- CVBs assist in all areas of meeting preparation and provide planners with detailed reference material
- CVBs can assist with establishing room blocks at local hotels
- CVBs will market the destination to attendees via promotional material, thereby encouraging attendance
- CVBs can act as a liaison between the planner and community officials, thus clearing the way for special permits, street closures, et cetera
- CVBs can obtain special letters of welcome from high-ranking government officials and in some cases, can bring officials to speak at a meeting
- CVBs can offer suggestions about ways meeting attendees can maximize free time, along with helping to develop spouse programs and pre- and post-convention tours
What are some of the specific services CVBs can offer the meeting planner?
- They can assist in the creation of collateral material
- They can assist with on-site logistics and registration
- They can provide housing bureau services
- They can develop pre-and post-conference activities, spouse tours, and special events
- They can assist with site inspections and familiarization tours, as well as site selection
- They can provide speakers and local educational opportunities
- They can help secure special venues
- They can assist in the coordination of local transportation
What information do CVBs have on hotels?
CVBs keep track of room counts, as well as other meetings coming to the area. In this way, they can help planners avoid conflicts with other events. Moreover, as CVBs have first-hand familiarity with the hotels and with meeting space in the area, they can help planners match properties to specific meeting requirements and budgets.