Many planners are having their attendees hit the highways to get to meetings as a way to massage the all-important bottom line.
Here are easy-to-drive-to cities in five regions around the United States that are on the radar screens of meeting professionals and are seeing an increase in regional meetings.
The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau not only helps planners promote their meetings but it also helps them grow attendance. The CVB will help the planner identify potential attendees in the surrounding area and then send out a communication on the planner's behalf. Plus, it proudly promotes that the city is positioned between New York City and Washington, DC and is within a day's drive of 40 percent of the U.S. population.
“We’re a regional must-meet destination,” says Beth Carriere, executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Mississippi Gulf Coasts boasts a variety of flexible meeting venues, 13,000 hotel rooms, and over 400,000 square feet in the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center. The bureau takes its role as partner in helping plan successful meetings seriously.
Upper Midwest: Madison
Madison, Wisconsin has a campaign underway called, “Bring Your Meeting Home.” It asks that its residents share the city by asking colleagues and others they do business with to help promote Madison as a meetings destination.
Tucson International Airport is one stop away from more than 200 U.S. locations as well as a nonstop flight from 15 major cities throughout the country. The Metropolitan Tucson CVB will provide planners with a city-to-city airfare comparison chart to prove its affordability.
Pacific Northwest: Boise
Many are surprised to learn that Boise offers more than 6,000 rooms, as many as cities twice its size. The Boise Centre convention center, located in the heart of downtown, features more than 45,000 square feet of exhibition and meeting space and recently debuted a concierge corner and visitor’s center.