This post is part III in a series of posts on “best practices” to follow when contacting local board members.
In my last post I explored How To Maximize the Potential of Your First Phone Call to a local association contact. Before moving on to other best practices, I want to outline some reasons why local people are often motivated to have their respective association meetings in their hometown (even though hosting these meetings usually means lots of work for them). Another way to look at it is “Why would a local person be pre-disposed to taking your phone call?”
By agreeing to invite, bid for, and host an association meeting in their hometown—locals are very often volunteering to be part of the sales process and serve on the local host committee. Both of these tasks require quite a lot of work above and beyond their normal job. What motivates them to take on such a responsibility… and why would they be interested in talking with you? Here are just three ideas:
- The local person gets to be part of the sales and planning process
We often take the hospitality industry for granted, but to a local person this is an opportunity to be part of this hidden industry of tourism with all the frills of dining out, site inspections, planning social events, etc.. Despite the work involved, being part of a host committee can be a fun experience. The local person also enjoys the attention of the local DMO, hotel sales people, restaurants, and other local businesses throughout the sales, planning, and hosting process.
- Hosting a convention is a status symbol in your local area
Conventions are big business and a tremendous boost to a local economy…and this does not go unnoticed by local leaders. Local people who help bring meetings to their hometown usually get recognized in some way. Here are just a few possibilities:
- Publicity in the local media
- Recognition by local businesses who depend on conventions for part of their revenue
- Recognition by local politicians and community leaders
- Appointment to the local host committee
- Introduction and/or speech during the convention opening ceremony
- DMO Recognition in hometown hero related programs
- Recognition among industry peers or other members of the association. Just consider a few of the possibilities:
- Future leadership positions (board, committee, etc.) with the association
- Rubbing shoulders with recognized industry peers as part of the host committee
- Opportunities to be a speaker
- Recognition by upper management of the local company or organization for their role in hosting the meeting
- Exposure of local company’s headquarters to attendees through tours, etc.
- Getting to know local people involved in the hospitality industry (DMO, hotel sales staff, contacts with attractions, restaurants, etc.
- Being remembered as someone who planned the ___ year convention and how well that meeting went.
So don’t be timid about calling local people. They may more eager to get involved in the sales process than you expect.