• An Inside Look at What It Means to Work for a CVB

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    So You Want to Work for a CVB?

I was recently conducting interviews for a sales manager position with the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board and it got me thinking. Why would you want to work for a Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)?

After 15 years of working for CVBs, I think I finally have the top five reasons: 

Every Day Is Unique

As the director of sales for the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board I can honestly say that each day is a unique adventure. Each day contains a mix of client meetings, sales calls, site inspections, presentations, membership outreach and strategic planning. The days always seem to keep you on your toes and time flies by.

Major Events

Over the course of my 15-year career I have had the opportunity to be involved in several high-profile events including the Democratic National Convention, World Meeting of Families and NFL Draft. However, my most memorable event was hosting the Dalai Lama for five days of teachings at Lehigh University. All of these events are proof that with the right committee, you can host almost any special event. 

Clients Become Friends

One of the most unique parts of the hospitality industry is the relationship you form with your clients. Whether it’s a military reunion or an association’s annual conference, the daily communications create a memorable relationship. 

Tourism=Family

While the meeting planner/supplier relationships is close, the supplier/supplier relationship is family. From other CVBs to magazine publishers, these relationships have been formed on the road, in convention centers, at networking events and even at the occasional bar. These relationships will last the test of time and will often involve several career changes. 

We Do Some Really Cool Stuff

Let’s face it: With the creation of Facebook, everyone knows about the cool stuff. From FAM tours to hosting clients at professional sporting events, a CVB’s job is never done. While this all seems glamorous, we do it to create lifelong relationships with our clients (see No. 3). These events are some of the most rewarding experiences. 

Marc Kaminetsky, CTIS, is the director of sports, tourism and convention sales for the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board. He is responsible for selling Montgomery County, PA, as a destination for meetings, conventions, tournaments and international tourism.

With executive orders and restrictions across the country in a state of constant flux, not everyone is ready to jump back into meeting in person. While some planners are eager to get back to “normal,” the long-term adjustment to new meeting protocols and potential risks make some hesitant to gather.

While wearing masks and social distancing can help keep attendees safe, intentional design choices—such as including nature-inspired elements and materials and plenty of plants—can also help to calm attendees.

 

The times they are a-changing, and that has never been truer than when it comes to selecting an A/V partner and deciding whether the in- house A/V vendor or an outside third-party provider is the right partner for you. Due to advancements in technology, lighting and other A/V equipment that has come down in price, planners are now finding op- portunities to use previously out of budget technology with a much more palatable price tag. 

 

Retreats and off-site meetings present wonderful opportunities for groups to collaborate, strategize and build relationships away from their normal office environments. With proper planning, these sessions can be highly effective and even pivotal in setting a new direction. However, off-sites may present some unforeseen challenges that can quickly deflate the energy in the room if not anticipated and addressed in advance.