|Receive, consider and act upon 2018 trade show participation and travel of The Woodlands CVB;
|In 2017, The Woodlands CVB team carried out board direction to attend more sales trade shows and industry conferences. The Board of Directors also suggested to use booth space in a more interactive way and on a larger scale. Throughout 2017, staff analyzed each trade show and conference in an effort to be able to continue attendance or modify participation in 2018.
New for 2018: Convention South Magazine's Rendezvous South to be held in Daytona Beach, Florida, February 26-28, 2018. Visit The Woodlands won the 2016 Reader's Choice Award from Convention South Magazine, offering further justification this particular event will provide an excellent return. Rendezvous South is a limited attendance, boutique-style event offering Visit The Woodlands team the opportunity to build relationships with meeting planners, during one-on-one pre-set appointments. Anticipated travel expenses for two CVB staff members to attend is estimated at $5,200.
In 2017, in an effort to appeal to leisure travelers on a larger scale TWCVB staff exhibited at SXSW in Austin. TWCVB had a 10x20 booth with two bikes and two large TV monitors offering a virtual bike ride through multiple scenic trails within The Woodlands; immersing guests in the beauty of the destination. The costs for this week-long exhibit with travel for two staff members and all associated booth expenses was $26,000. Staff experienced steady foot traffic but found the abundance of large corporate and international destination booths were favored by attendees. For 2018 SXSW, staff recommends showcasing The Woodlands with a one-day outdoor activation in highly visible, Brush Square Park, located in the heart of the SXSW festivities. This concept is more true to The Woodlands brand of an outdoor lifestyle thus raising awareness of The Woodlands.
TWCVB staff successfully exhibited and engaged with international media at IPW for first time in 2017. Visit The Woodlands had a triple size booth where three staff members, one hotel partner and Pete Garcia of the U.S/Mexico Chamber of Commerce had pre-set appointments with travel planners and appointments with international journalists and magazines. The U.S. Travel Association showcases IPW as the premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the United States. The trade show consists of three days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA and more than 1,300 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries participate. U.S. Travel Association's IPW 2018 to be held May 19-23, in Denver, Colorado. The CVB Staff recommends a single shared booth for Visit The Woodlands, as well as partnering with Texas Tourism and Visit Houston & Beyond. Dividing efforts in three separate booths will allow access to triple the number of available appointments and leads. Total estimated expenses for IPW in 2018, for three CVB staff members is estimated $21,340.
Visit Houston produces a small event every May for their partners and meeting planners in Austin. Visit The Woodlands met with 90 planners that are based out of the Austin area in 2017. 2018 will be the third year Visit The Woodlands will participate. This event is great to get to know meeting planners that are based in Austin. In 2018, the anticipated cost of travel and to participate is estimated at $1,350.
Visit The Woodlands participated in Cvent Connect this year for the first time. Cvent Connect brings together meeting planners and suppliers for educational sessions, networking and a one-day tradeshow that enabled CVB staff to scheduled appointments with planners. In total, CVB staff met with 61 planners. CVB staff contracted a double booth that allowed for two appointment schedules. Two hotel properties also participated with Visit The Woodlands. Staff recommends a single booth for 2018 to better oversee logistics and resources. In 2017, the Visit The Woodlands booth saw steady visitation by qualified meeting planners, which will be expected in 2018. Dates and destination are yet to be determined. Anticipated costs for a single booth in 2018 for Cvent Connect, including two CVB staff members, is estimated at $13,400 including booth costs and all travel expenses.
In 2017, Visit The Woodlands participated in Meeting Professionals International’s World Educational Congress in Las Vegas. MPI WEC is one of the largest organizations for meeting planners and meeting professionals in the United States. CVB staff met one-on-one with meeting planners. Two representatives from two of The Woodlands’ hotel properties were in attendance. Visit The Woodlands participated at Level 4, which was priced at $15,000. This level included two registrations, the hosted buyer program and a 10x10 booth. CVB Staff found the hosted buyer program to be beneficial, but not the exchange room floor where the booth was located. Visit The Woodlands also sponsored a sunrise yoga session which was highly successful. Moving forward to 2018, staff recommends participating at the same level to gain access to the hosted buyer program. The 2018 conference will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 2-5, 2018. Cost for Level 4 access plus associated costs of two staff members attending is estimated at $23,000.
Connect Marketplace is a reverse trade show that allows for one-on-one appointments with meeting planners. In 2017, Visit The Woodlands met with 31 corporate meeting planners at Connect Marketplace. In 2018, staff recommends attendance at Connect Marketplace in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 23-25, 2018. Projected costs for two staff members to attend Connect Marketplace in 2018 is estimated at $8,450.
IMEX America is an international exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events. IMEX America is to be held in October, 2017 and another first for Visit The Woodlands. IMEX has 12,000 attendees and 3,200 hosted buyers. Staff will have one on one meeting appointments with meeting planners. No results are available at this time. In anticipation for 2018 participation, costs for three staff members and a 10x20 booth would be an estimated $39,000. Staff will come back to the Board after the show to determine future participation. IMEX America to be held October 16-18, 2018 in Las Vegas.
In 2017, President Nick Wolda attended the Destinations International CEO Summit in Nashville, TN. This summit brings together top level executives from destinations across the world to learn best practices and gain industry insights. In an effort to continue to promote The Woodlands amongst premiere destinations, Mr. Wolda will attend in 2018 for an estimated cost of $3,000 inclusive of registration and travel expenses. Destination is to be determined.
The Texas Travel Industry Association Travel & Tourism College brings together travel and tourism professionals from across the West and Southwest U.S. Attendees convene for one week each summer for an intensive curriculum of travel & tourism sales training, marketing, management, and leadership courses. Designed as a 3-year certification program, with returning students taking 2nd and 3rd year classes. President Nick Wolda will be in his senior year and Brand Development Manager Ashley White will attend as a session speaker and alumnus. TTIA’s Travel and Tourism College is held in Austin/Bastrop, Texas, June 25-28, 2018. Cost is estimated at $2,000.
The Woodlands CVB staff requests attendance of Simpleview Summit for the first time. Simpleview is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database the CVB utilizes to combine marketing and sales efforts. Simpleview Summit is a hands-on training conference to help users of the database get the most out of the CRM capabilities. In-depth training covers cutting-edge trends, best practices and refresher courses for new and experienced attendees. Simpleview Summit will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 7-10, 2018. Estimated cost for three staff members to attend is $7,500.
Digital Summit is a premier digital marketing conference where a variety of industries come together for one reason: continue their digital marketing education. Since digital marketing is constantly evolving, it’s vital for The Woodlands marketing team to stay up-to-date on digital tools and trends. Doing so, will allow the team to maximize advertising budget, support the sales team message and ultimately bring more meetings to The Woodlands. Digital Summit hosts several events throughout the year across the country and invites top-of-the-line speakers from brands like Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. The conference provides the attendees with strategy, hands-on workshops, educational sessions, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Staff would attend the Digital Summit that takes place in February, the 21-22, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. Estimated cost is $1,500.
Destinations International hosts an annual conference offering an exclusive opportunity to collaborate with industry professionals and discuss the issues and challenges facing destination marketing organizations on a day-to-day basis. The goal of Destinations International is to inform, connect, inspire and educate members to drive destination economic impact, job creation, community sustainability and quality of life through travel. This conference, along with its certification program, allows attendees to ensure their destination remains at the forefront of the industry. Scheduled for June, 2018 in Denver, CO. Estimated travel for two staff members is $5,000.
The Texas Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau Annual Conference brings together destinations from across the state of Texas to provide training and problem-solving sessions for convention and tourism professionals. Estimated cost for having all staff members attend TACVB’s annual conference in Sugar Land, August 14-16, 2018 is $3,000.
The Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureau 2018 Sales Summit Series will be held in Austin, Texas February 27-28, 2018. The Sales Summit is a short, hyper-focused event designed to deliver current, relevant, experiential knowledge and skills to DMO Sales professionals. The Sales Summit will feature a hands-on skills lab covering new TxMET leads platform as well as sales blitz training, a general session, several breakout sessions, and a tabletop vendor expo. As an added value to the Sales Summit, TACVB is bringing back the Sales Blitz. The Blitz is offered for an additional registration and will be held immediately following the Sales Summit on March 1, 2018. Estimated travel costs including registration is $1,500.
The TACVB 2018 Marketing Summit will take place May 2-3, 2018 in Temple, Texas. The Marketing Summit is a short, hyper-focused event designed to deliver current, relevant, experiential knowledge and skills to DMO Marketing professionals. The Summit will feature a hands-on skills workshop, general educational sessions as well as a vendor expo. Anticipated cost for one staff member is $1,000.
ESTO (Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations) is the premier annual learning and knowledge-sharing forum for destination marketing professionals. It is unique in that it is created by and exclusively for this specific target audience. ESTO is the place where destination professionals go to learn about new tools and techniques, share best practices, and debate pressing issues affecting destinations. Estimated travel cost for one staff member to attend ESTO August 11-14, 2018 is $2,500.
The Texas Travel Industry Association's Annual Travel Summit offers members policy updates from leading innovators in the industry and partnership opportunities with professionals from across the state. Attendees will return from Summit full of implementable ideas for their destination. Estimated cost for two staff member to attend TTIA’s Travel Summit in October of 2018 is $3,000.
|To be determined by board.