This post is part IV in a series of posts on “best practices” to follow when contacting local board members.
In the last post, What Motivates Local People to Bring Conventions to Their Hometown?, we outlined some reasons why a local person might be motivated to invite an association to which he or she belongs to hold a convention in their hometown. A related question is what motivates the association to meet in your city?
We focus a lot of attention on selling facilities (hotels, meeting space, convention center, etc.) and rightly so, but are there some hidden reasons why an association might be pre-disposed to choose your city over others? In other words, what are some local reasons for an association choosing your city beyond the facilities, air access, cost, etc..
Consider this list of possibilities:
- Tours of industry companies: you may have a company in your area attendees want to tour
- Strong local chapter/host committee: strong chapters/host committees make the association look good
- Historical: maybe the association held its first meeting in your city and it is now the 25th, 50th or 100th anniversary meeting; maybe the association would like to come back to the city where it started.
- Proximity to the association’s membership base: attendance means revenue for an association and the better the drive-in traffic the greater the revenue.
- Are there particular attractions in your city that pertain to the exact market segment of the association? For example, if you have a renowned botanical garden—wouldn’t agricultural related associations be attracted to your city for that reason alone? What new attractions are coming to your area and what industry associations might be interested?
- New cutting-edge facility or industry specific equipment in your area for tours: anytime there is a new research facility, new piece of expensive equipment, or cutting-edge technology that opens or is developed in your city—consider what associations might be interested.
- Sometimes outside activities like golf are as important as the meeting facilities for a meeting: what are your local gems, and how can you take advantage of them and beat the competition?
- Sponsorship Money Available: does the convention need sponsorship money? If so, do you have vendors in your area who are potential benefactors to that association because of the industry they represent? Maybe certain companies in your area already sponsor different activities for a particular association; how could they help you bring the convention to its hometown?
And these are just a few reasons. Can you think of other reasons associations might be pre-disposed to bring conventions to your city beyond the facilities, air accessibility, cost, etc.?