• How CVBs Can Help you Plan a Successful Meeting

     
    POSTED November 21, 2017
     

    CVB Forecast: What’s New, What’s Trending

  • How CVBs Can Help you Plan a Successful Meeting

     
    POSTED November 21, 2017
     

    CVB Forecast: What’s New, What’s Trending

  • How CVBs Can Help you Plan a Successful Meeting

     
    POSTED November 21, 2017
     

    CVB Forecast: What’s New, What’s Trending

  • How CVBs Can Help you Plan a Successful Meeting

     
    POSTED November 21, 2017
     

    CVB Forecast: What’s New, What’s Trending

When it comes to tracking the role meetings play in a community’s economy, growth and health, California’s convention and visitor bureaus know the score. We asked CVB representatives from around the state to fill us in on what’s trending, what planners should know about the services they provide, and what they’re seeing in their crystal balls for 2018. 

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
MEETLA.COM | 888.733.6952 

What meeting industry trends are you seeing in your destination?

We’re seeing a rising trend in Los Angeles where attendees are arriving earlier or staying later with their families to experience our dynamic destination. That’s no surprise as LA is the perfect place to create everlasting memories. Our family-friendly attractions and entertainment options are endless, from imaginations soaring at the sight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center to enjoying LA’s near-perfect weather on horseback at Sunset Ranch Hollywood or exploring movie-magic at Universal Studios Hollywood.

On the corporate meetings front, Los Angeles is seeing a surge of new business from within the technology and medical verticals. There has been a rapid influx of tech companies and start-ups to the city, creating Silicon Beach, the fastest-growing tech hub in the country. So, tech companies are flocking to do their meetings business here. And some of the country’s finest medical institutions, such as UCLA, USC, Cedars-Sinai and City of Hope, have helped propel a rise in medical meetings.

Los Angeles is also seeing a greater focus on short-term bookings. LA’s hotel occupancies are very healthy and date flexibility is key to offering planner more options on hotels and rates. LA boasts a large mix of boutique properties so planners have a variety of customizable options to choose from. 

In what ways can you assist planners that they might be overlooking?

What sets LA Tourism apart from other DMOs is our service component, specifically our award-winning Client Services team. They have the inside scoop on everything Los Angeles offers and continually think outside of the box to cater to the needs and interests of any group. We promise to deliver a seamless experience that is both professionally rewarding and personally enjoyable.

The latest unique value proposition and competitive differentiator for meeting professionals is leveraging our DMO’s deep reach into the local knowledge and intellectual capital community to enrich and elevate meetings. Los Angeles boasts an unrivaled talent pool of thought leaders that spans several industry clusters, including entertainment, technology, aerospace, international trade, medical, biotech and more. Our Client Services team will utilize these assets during the booking process/ site inspection. Let’s say we’re working with a prospective medical conference; we wouldn’t only show them the Convention Center or meeting space, we’d also collaborate with a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center or a UCLA Health to achieve full integration to engage their finest resources that align with that conference.

What new venues or activities will we see in your destination in 2018?

The spotlight will continue to shine specifically on Downtown LA in 2018. Exposition Park will be the site of the brand-new $350 million Banc of California Stadium, the new Los Angeles Football Club’s future home. Boasting a 22,000-seat capacity, it will be the first open-air stadium in the heart of LA since 1962. Nearby, we’ll see a groundbreaking for The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a $1 billion museum from filmmaker George Lucas featuring 10,000 works of art from his personal collection. It’s set to open in 2021. Across from STAPLES Center and L.A. Live, Oceanwide Plaza will debut a 184-room Park Hyatt Los Angeles, a collection of residential offerings, an open-air luxury retail destination, restaurants and a third-floor deck.

San Francisco Travel
SFTRAVEL.COM | 415.974.6900

What meeting industry trends are you seeing in your destination?

2017 started off with a lot of uncertainty. The new administration, the proposed travel ban, talks of boycotts and such. We had to look and see how this would affect us, and where the opportunity was. A lot of international delegations were hesitant to come here because of what was going on in Washington. I hope what we see moving into 2018 is a lot more stability and confidence that people can travel without worry to the United States. The overnight international visitor volume is 27.7 percent of total overnight visitor volume while the spend is 61.5 percent of total overnight spend. It’s huge. As the industry continues to move forward and more product is developed, we’re going to see even more growth in this area.

In what ways can you assist planners that they might be overlooking?

What’s important is that clients know we’re here and willing to help. For a long time, we were looked at as a destination focused only on big conventions and citywide business. These days we’re looking at more self-contained meetings. We’re able to book meeting into single hotels—it might be just 25-50 people. In the past it was less strategic to focus on that. The most important thing to say is that we’re here to make San Francisco an easier city to select for meetings and to offer services that will make meetings more rewarding and less hassle.

What new venues or activities will we see in your destination in 2018?

Currently we have two-thirds of Moscone Center shut down for expansion. The final building will be complete in fall of 2017, and that will stimulate new conventions. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art reopened and wants to expand its presence in the meetings world. We’re working closely with Chase Center (new home of the Golden State Warriors NBA team), which is opening in 2019 in time for the 2019-20 NBA season. It’s been designed with meeting and events in mind, lots of flex space both indoors and outdoors. 

Our new Central Subway [an expansion of the Muni Metro light-rail system] opens in 2019. Visitors will be able to take BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] from SFO [San Francisco International Airport] and connect in either direction to the city or the East Bay. It’s one more asset in our growing transportation infrastructure. And we have lots of new hotels in the works. Hotel Via just opened, Virgin and Proper will open late this year, and a Waldorf Astoria and others are planned long term. In addition, we’ve had new videos created to tell the world that San Francisco will always be open and welcoming, that the attitude today is similar today to what it was 50 years ago during the Summer of Love.

Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau
VISITGREATERPALMSPRINGS.COM | 760.770.9000

What meeting industry trends are you seeing in your destination?

Site visits are up 34 percent. That’s a big percentage. What’s more, 80 percent of the meeting professionals who come out here for a site visit end up booking with us. Knowing that, we work very hard and spend a decent amount to get everyone that we can here for a visit.

We’ve seen more business coming from the East Coast, both the northeast U.S. and eastern Canada. Groups that once may have gone to Florida are coming here. JetBlue is now offering seasonal nonstop flights from New York to Palm Springs International Airport and that’s helped us tremendously.

Because of the type of playground destination we are, we’re hearing an awful lot from groups and associations that they want to bring their families along and stay pre- or post-meeting. And while we’ve long been seen as a weekend destination, we’ve made an effort to shift more business to midweek, getting the word out that there are significant savings to booking midweek. It’s working. Our weekday occupancy is up more than six percent over 2016.

In what ways can you assist planners that they might be overlooking?

We are most helpful prior to arrival, beginning in the RFP process. We encourage planners to lean on us for information. We can provide information relative to our seasonality, special events, preferred patterns, value time frames, etc., which will help planners build a great RFP that will get quick, serious responses from the right hotels and resorts. We can also set up tailored site inspections and lean on our strong local relationships to help planners create a special event. 

The more we know about the group, the better we can assist them. This includes information on the demographics of the group, like percentage of male and female attendees, as well as the organizational goals and objectives. A good question is: What does success look like for your organization?

What new venues or activities will we see in your destination in 2018?

Let’s talk about activities! Although it opened two years ago, the majority of planners still don’t know that we have the BMW Performance Driving School in Greater Palm Springs. They will customize a track experience to fit any group’s needs. It’s an especially great activity for summertime, when things heat up slightly in our destination since you’re racing around the track at top speeds in a beautiful, airconditioned BMW. 

FootGolf is really catching on nationwide. Anyone can play, it’s a lot of fun and perfect for groups. Riding ATVS in the desert and then enjoying a nice picnic while you gaze at the mountains and blue skies. And desert jeep tours are hard to beat! 

Team San Jose
SANJOSE.ORG | 408.792.4511

What meeting industry trends are you seeing in your destination?

One trend is the rise of event technology, from pre- to-post meeting experiences. Another is the emergence of millennial generation attendees, something that’s been expanding over the last few years.

In what ways can you assist planners that they might be overlooking?

We provide the best of tech, luxury, and culture. Our downtown is compact and walkable, with more than 250 dining and nightlife options, as well as museums and galleries for attendees to enjoy after hours. We also provide a perfect branding opportunity for planners with our “Own the City” campaign. This allows groups to post their branding throughout downtown, the convention center and the airport, making attendees feel welcome upon arrival. Team San Jose offers one-stop service where we do it all, from housing, convention center and facility event services, to customized food and beverage menus, permits, marketing support and special events. We also boast “Wickedly Fast Wi-Fi,” the nation’s best free Wi-Fi experience, which extends from Mineta San Jose International Airport to the convention center and throughout downtown. 

What new venues or activities will we see in your destination in 2018?

A 21-story tower with 280 rooms is being added to downtown’s Four Points by Sheraton. It will be Silicon Valley’s first cantilevered tower, with the seventh story stretching out over a portion of the 1911 building originally built as the Montgomery Hotel. Hotel Clariana, a boutique property with 40 rooms, recently opened downtown, showcasing the futuristic spirit of San Jose to guests while respecting the traditions of the past. The SoFA [south of First Avenue] District is host to an eclectic strip of museums, galleries and nightlife venues. Convention attendees can stroll and enjoy live music and some of San Jose’s best food. The newly opened Uproar Brewing Company and Forager taproom there is a beautiful space available for use as a venue for private and public events. Visitors can also jump on the San Jose Brew Bike and go for a ride through SoFA to sample craft beers while jamming out to tunes and hanging with friends.

Visit Sacramento
VISITSACRAMENTO.COM | 916.808.7777 

What meeting industry trends are you seeing in your destination?

One of the things we’ve noticed is that planners are looking for unique meeting spaces. They don’t want their attendees confined to a basic room; they want  them to have experiences. We like to offer spaces within a very short walking distance to our convention center. We’ve hosted general sessions and events at Memorial Auditorium, a gorgeous building that opened in 1927 and is listed on the National Historic Register. We’ve closed 13th Street, right in front of our convention center, and held events from sit-down farm-to-fork dinners to receptions, cooking competitions and barbecues. We’ve also noticed a longer booking window over the past couple of years. We saw a significant jump in our state association segment this year, and corporate business is also increasing.

In what ways can you assist planners that they might be overlooking?

We offer a wide variety of services that are complementary. We can truly customize your experience based on need. If you’re a religious group, we can bring in a local faith leader to open Morning Prayer. Do your delegates enjoy health and fitness? We’ll coordinate and staff a fun run around our Capitol Park. We’ve even developed fullday excursions to area farms and ranches for groups looking to get a little taste of our farm-to-fork culture. We can leverage Sacramento’s diversity to make the perfect experience for delegates.

What new venues or activities will we see in your destination in 2018?

A lot has happened since the opening of Golden 1 Center last fall. When we built the arena, we were excited about what it was going to bring to the community and the attention it would shine on the city, and it’s all happening. Kimpton will open its Hotel Sawyer [250 rooms, 20,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor function space] this fall. It’s next to the new arena, in a developing area we’re calling DoCo, for Downtown Commons. Meanwhile, renovation of our Community Center Theater and expansion of the convention center have been approved. We’ll be growing our convention center exhibit space to 205,000 square feet, introducing new indoor/outdoor meeting and function options, adding new pre-function spaces and entrances, increasing capacity and improving technology. If we fast-forward four or five years to what Sacramento will be, it’s an entirely different market. A lot of people had an image of Sacramento as a government town, a capital city, and we are shedding that image very quickly.

Visit Napa Valley
VISITNAPAVALLEY.COM | 707.251.5895

What meeting industry trends are you seeing in your destination?

One of the things that’s happened really fast over last few years is a focus on experiences; meeting attendees don’t want to just sit in a conference room and be lectured to. They want experiences where they can get their hands dirty—pull vegetables out of the ground, have a chef recruit them to make a meal. Those kinds of things are happening not just at hotels but at places like the new Culinary Institute of America at Copia, where there’s a museum, teaching kitchens and an amphitheater. Another trend is that our demographic has been dropping in a meaningful way over the last six years. The average age of visitors now is about 42. We’d like to have everyone stay overnight, and we’ve launched campaigns encouraging those who come as day-trippers to linger and enjoy a full Napa experience.

In what ways can you assist planners that they might be overlooking?

We have seven people on our sales team and two are focused on helping meeting planners with all their needs, from hotels to restaurants to off-site experiences. With about 350 partners who are very connected to us, we’re in really good shape to assist with an easy entry into the Valley for meetings. Summer and fall are very busy here, so we try to point meeting groups to what we call “Cabernet season,” November through April. It’s a quiet time of year and especially beautiful in February, when the wild mustard comes out. One reason meetings are so important to us is that we’re a traditional leisure destination, which means we’re busy on weekends and not so much during the week, particularly in low season. 

What new venues or activities will we see in your destination in 2018?

A new venue besides Copia is Napa Valley Distillery; they do experiences for making cocktails, which are becoming more and more popular in Napa Valley, along with microbrews. The Napa Valley Wine Train changed ownership about two years ago and is doing a lot of new things. One is a Quattro Vino tour where groups of about 50 can have a car all to themselves and stop at three wineries to enjoy tastings and a culinary experience. It’s an especially good opening view of the Valley for people who haven’t been here before. Also new is a 12-mile segment of the Napa Valley Vine Trail, a bike path connecting Napa and Yountville that gives visitors and members of the community a green alternative to roads. New on First Street downtown is Archer Hotel Napa, which will open this October, with 183 rooms, 45-50 retail spaces and a rooftop bar. In Calistoga, Four Seasons will manage 85 rooms at what was the Silver Rose boutique hotel; that opens sometime during fall 2018. At about the same time a new Rosewood hotel will open literally up in the hills but within the city limits. 

San Mateo Silicon Valley CVB
VISITSANMATEOCOUNTY.COM | 650.348.7600 

What meeting industry trends are you seeing in your destination?

We’re getting a lot more meetings booked through third-party planners. A thirdparty planner will have multiple accounts, so when they come in and see the area, they think “this group could go here, that one there.” A lot have booked for multiple groups. Another trend: Corporate and association meetings continue to be strong. Affinity groups are finding value; they just have to be flexible with dates. In the north county we cover territory from the San Francisco border through Palo Alto and the whole Coastside. We have a lot of hightech and biotech in our region, as well as Stanford University. Even groups that are not part of high-tech will often want to be near it; there’s an allure to it.  

In what ways can you assist planners that they might be overlooking?

Planners might think of us in terms of just hotels, but we can do a lot more for them. We give planners a variety of options and get bids for them on off-sites, transportation, help put together dine-arounds, arrange pre- and post. We get a lot of inquiries from planners wanting to know if they can tour high-tech Silicon Valley companies. In the past, we could only stop the bus so they could get a picture from the outside. Now we can do all-day tours that go inside Google, Tesla, Apple and a startup. There’s definitely a demand for it. 

What new venues or activities will we see in your destination in 2018?

One big thing that will open in the fall of 2018 is Top Golf, a golf entertainment center with bays that track each shot for accuracy and distance using balls with computer microchips. It’s an amazing experience, and even thought 70 percent of visitors are non-golfers, they can’t stop talking about it. In addition they have private banquet facilities and an enormous bar. In terms of hotels, opening this fall is the AC Hotel San Francisco Bay/Oyster Point Waterfront in South San Francisco. This is a new European-style brand from Marriott. It will have enormous views of the bay, 187 rooms and 8,153 square feet of meeting space.

Santa Clara CVB
SANTACLARA.ORG | 408.454.1254

What meeting industry trends are you seeing in your destination? Planners are looking more and more at packaging, seeking to include other perks with their room-night bookings. We’re working with them to help with off-site venues [listed on the website at SantaClara.org/Venues]. 

Levi’s Stadium and Great America are the two big ones, but we have several art museums and other cultural venue. We’re in the center of Silicon Valley, and our convention business is very robust during the week because of our high-tech base. On the weekends, a lot of shows come in. We have the Pacific International Quilt Festival annual in October, the Adventure Travel Show in Februray; San Jose Championships hosted by Muscle Sports Productions; the variety is wide. We expect our hotel business to continue strong with a slight increase in 2018.  

In what ways can you assist planners that they might be overlooking?

We can assist planners in a variety of ways, especially with technology. For example, we can assist in publicizing events via social media channels. In Santa Clara, we have dedicated social media channels for the Santa Clara Convention Center as well as our Visit Santa Clara channels. We also post planners’ events on our website calendars. We had a recent conference at the convention center [the Northern American Bergali Conference], posted about it on the social media channel and had several people message us asking how they could purchase an exhibit booth at the show. This helped the exhibitor sell extra booths and increase attendance.

What new venues or activities will we see in your destination in 2018? 

Just over a mile from Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara Square will be robust with fine-dining choices. New Santa Clara restaurants include Il Fornaio Santa Clara, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Puesto—Mexican Street Food, and Opa! Authentic Greek Cuisine.

With a beachside locale and a laidback, surf-town vibe, Ventura County Coast is awash with inspiration for your next meeting and event. The region is home to four communities— Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, and Port Hueneme—and is ideal for groups from 10 to 1,000.  

 

With a beachside locale and a laidback, surf-town vibe, Ventura County Coast is awash with inspiration for your next meeting and event. The region is home to four communities— Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, and Port Hueneme—and is ideal for groups from 10 to 1,000.  

 

The CDC defines close contact as within six feet or less, for 15 minutes or more with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. At gatherings of many kinds, contact tracing is used to trace the people that someone has come into contact with, before they learn that they have tested positive. This allows the people that the sick person came into contact with to be aware of the situation, and to make health-informed choices.