CONVENTION SALES

Working closely with our destination Partners, the Convention Sales department leads all group sales and convention efforts for the Greater Palm Springs group market. Our focus is to achieve growth in the overall meetings market for our destination.

Our team offers unparalleled, experienced and highly personalized customer service for our clients. We assist the meeting planning community with destination inquiries, air service data, and hotel and resort group opportunities while sharing a few destination surprises along the way. 

Building on the success of 2018, the Convention Sales team will continue to concentrate on finding new group customers for our destination. We will also be focusing highly on increased client engagement in-market through direct sales efforts, social media, advertising, sponsorships, media and promotional efforts, always with an emphasis on new prospects, need times throughout Greater Palm Springs and virtually untapped niche markets, such as LGBTQ, infinity (SMERF) and entertainment.

Our 2019 goals are the following:

Room Nights 222,500
Number of Groups Booked 375
Total Lead Distribution 1,148
New Lead Distribution 668


In 2019, Convention Sales will connect in a variety of innovative and effective ways to engage with prospective and existing clients:
CLIENT ENGAGEMENT

  • Social Media

    Understanding that social media is a direct voice to potential meeting planners, the CVB will work with Sparkloft to further develop a paid media social strategy. This strategy is to engage meeting planners, association members and key decision-makers in the meetings lifecycle to advance and support Greater Palm Springs as a premier meetings destination.

    The CVB will utilize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to foster the following goals:

    Increase brand awareness. Progress will be measured through tracking impressions, video views and fan growth.

    Increase website traffic to visitgreaterpalmsprings.com/meetings. Website traffic will be monitored, and engagement on posts will be measured.

    Inspire and generate online engagement by meeting planners: The CVB will measure this by post shares and social media sentiment.

    The CVB will reach these goals by focusing on the following content themes: destination appeal, conferences and trade shows, showcasing local partners and sharing information most important to a meeting planner starting to look at Greater Palm Springs as a meetings destination. Having recognized market differences in relation to geography, the CVB messaging is broken out to target West Coast, Midwest and East Coast. NEW


INTERMEDIARY TEAM INITIATIVES

The Convention Sales team will implement an intermediary “liaison” program in 2019. Sales managers will be assigned to our 8 strategic partners, including HelmsBriscoe; ConferenceDirect; HPN Global; American Express Meetings & Events; Experient, A Maritz Global Events Company; Association Management Center International; Prestige; and ConventionPlanit.

Our program of work will include:

  • CVB Liaison reports each trimester on production, staff updates, company news and maximizing CVB partner benefits.
     
  • Scheduled client presentations with intermediary teams when conducting missions, sales calls, events and webinars primarily in-market. Develop an educational component based on the group destination awareness study so our clients walk away pertinent information and updates on the destination.
     
  • Review of organizations’ top producers from each sales territory. Develop actions plans to enhance our engagement with these meeting professionals.
     
  • Review of sponsorships and advertising opportunities moving forward to keep the destination “top of mind.”
     

MIDWEEK, SUMMER & OTHER NEED PERIODS

  • Promote summer savings with “Let’s Make a Chill” messaging. Our past research has shown that a large percentage of meeting planners are unaware of the savings and concessions available during the summer months, especially midweek. There is an absence of awareness about all the values clients can attain during our summer season.
     
  • Focus on customized needs. In recent years, we have continued to see similar offers from our destination hotels and brands. Meeting professionals we have spoken to are looking for different packages that are customized to their needs. These same planners have asked that we identify all the possible savings that could be available from partner hotels within the destination.
     
  • Create a savings “shopping” list for customers’ RFPs. Meeting professionals have expressed interest in structuring a plan that is built by meeting planners for meeting planners. By implementing a cohesive marketing plan targeting all market segments that could conceivably meet in Greater Palm Springs, we will create a savings “shopping” list that our customers can build into their RFP and submit to our hoteliers. We will also market the plan to our strategic intermediary partners.


GREATER PALM SPRINGS 2019 VIRTUAL TRADESHOW

For meeting professionals who do not have the time or resources to travel to various trade shows around North America, we will host the Greater Palm Springs Virtual Tradeshow in May of 2019. Successfully executed two years ago, the show will highlight various destination features, such as air access, abundance of different hotel products, “wow”-factor pertaining to our destination, unique off-site venues and experiences, and value. Partners will be invited to participate.

In 2016, the event analytics highlighted:

  • 136 meeting professionals
  • average time at the show spent by each attendee: more than 60 minutes
  • leads tentatively valued at more than 4,300 room nights
  • 200 private chats between meeting professionals and CVB Partners


CHANGING DESTINATION PERCEPTIONS

In our latest Meetings Image and Awareness study, 435 meeting planners responded to several questions about meeting in Greater Palm Springs. Several of our attributes surrounded around the relaxing ambiance, WOW-factor of the destination and the quality of our properties and unique outdoor spaces.

Two questions are commonly asked of the Convention Sales team by clients: airlift or ease of getting here, and the cost of holding meetings. It is vital that our sales team, as well as the sales teams of our hotel Partners, have a consistent message to relay to meeting professionals in regards to a positive perception of air accessibility into Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) and the vast array of meeting options to fit their budgets. The CVB continues to accomplish this goal in the following ways in 2019:

  • Providing a sales tool kit to all new hotel salespersons in our destination. A newly produced, updated “Sales Manager Resource” guide is now available online.
     
  • Marketing to our meeting planners about the cost-effective midweek and shoulder season opportunities.
     
  • Sharing updated information quarterly to all Partners relative to additional flights, full flight schedules for Palm Springs International Airport, the number of available seats coming into the destination, etc.
     
  • Promoting our meeting planner-centric “site experience” program that focuses on the planners and attendees needs when siting our destination.


FOCUS ON NEW MARKETS

In 2019, the Convention Sales team will continue to concentrate on finding new group customers for our destination.

  • Chicago Corporate and Association Meetings

    Chicago is the third-largest metropolitan area in the United States and home to nearly 1,600 National Associations that represent more than 27 million members worldwide, according to Association Forum. Illinois ranks fourth in the United States for the highest number of Fortune 500 company headquarters, with 37 companies. We have hired a fulltime sales representative in the Chicago market that will develop new market strategies, generate leads and strengthen our brand position in this important growth market.

  • LGBTQ Market

    Greater Palm Springs has already solidified itself as an attractive destination in leisure travel for the influential LGBTQ traveler. However, there is an untapped opportunity for the destination from a meetings and convention standpoint to attract LGBTQ programs. In 2019, the CVB sales team will aggressively execute a strategy, including sponsorships, marketing and sales activities, to generate opportunities for more groups to meet in Greater Palm Springs.

  • Unique Outdoor Venue Space

    Meeting professionals have been working tirelessly to find engaging, creative solutions for their meeting stakeholders—ways to break the mold of standard 8 to 5 conferences in a four-walled meeting space. For the past few years, Convention Sales has focused on the unique offering that sets Greater Palm Springs apart from other meeting destinations: the creative use of our destination’s desirable outdoor space, available under sunny skies year-round.

    This “movement” has gained momentum in the industry, with no destination better suited to provide exactly what the meeting professionals and participants are looking for than Greater Palm Springs. Convention Sales has worked with our hotel Partners to promote and develop this idea, as well as communicate this resource through advertising, social media and written features in publications and on our website.

    In 2019, the promotion and education of these exceptional venues throughout the valley will be further enhanced to ensure meeting professionals realize the unique potential our destination provides for out-of-the-box conferences that inspire and impress.


INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS

In 2019, the CVB will continue to solidify strong industry relationships with leaders in the field, as well as forge new, important relationships.

  • Association Management Companies Institute (AMCI)

    The AMCI represents more than 180 association management companies that manage 1,800-plus associations full-time and nearly 900 on a project basis. The CVB will take full advantage of networking and educational opportunities provided by AMCI in 2019.

  • Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA)

    With more than 600 industry leaders and 17 chapters in the U.S., PCMA helps lead the hospitality industry worldwide. The CVB benefits greatly from having executive leadership on the Board and attending PCMA-sponsored events throughout the year. In 2016, the CVB began sponsoring and attending the PCMA Partnership Summit where we spent four days with senior level meeting planners for high-level education, experiential learning and networking. We found this format to be successful for engaging clients, and we will continue sponsoring and attending the Partnership Summit moving forward.

  • Cvent

    Cvent is the most sought-after electronic RFP platform used in the industry today, and Convention Sales continues to carefully position itself within the tool with enhanced advertising placements into competitor markets for further reach.

  • ConventionPlanit

    The CVB developed a new partnership with ConventionPlanit, an online digital marketing and RFP distribution platform. More than 27,000 meeting executives, both domestic and international, subscribe to the platform. Many of these meeting professionals use ConventionPlanit as an alternative to the CVENT RFP distribution platform. Additionally, selected hotel partners will have their own listings to further enhance their opportunities to receive leads and advertise on the site. NEW

  • HelmsBriscoe (HB)

    HB is the highest volume group intermediary purchaser in the meetings and event industry. Their 1,200 associates span 55 countries, with an average of 12 years of hotel, meeting planning and industry experience.

  • ConferenceDirect (CD)

    CD has 325 independent meeting professionals, assisting with more than 8,200 events each year, and is responsible for 2,750,000 hotel rooms booked annually.

  • Destination Marketing Association International

    As the global trade association for official destination marketing organizations (DMOs), the CVB will continue to partner very closely with this organization, which protects and advances the success of DMOs worldwide.

  • Experient, a Maritz Global Event Company

    Experient is dedicated to perfecting the event experience for customers by consistently delivering leading-edge thinking, risk-reducing solutions and the best technology platforms in the industry. We will continue to look for additional ways to further partner with Experient in 2018.

  • HPN Global

    HPN has meeting procurement professionals in 45 countries around the world and is committed to being an industry leader, focused on being the best. The Greater Palm Springs CVB was one of the first DMOs to officially partner with HPN Global, starting in 2015. We have made considerable in-roads with the organization, which will only increase as the relationship strengthens each year.


MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Advertising

Based on new research done by Destination Analysts, Convention Sales will be launching a new campaign to create a holistic marketing strategy for meetings that unifies print, digital media, social media and communications under an overall awareness building message.

Our advertising will continue to reach meeting professionals and third-party planners emphasizing key differentiators uncovered in our research. Unique experiences — including outdoor meeting venues, group activities and air accessibility — will be ongoing CVB meetings promotions. The CVB will also continue to promote the destination as a valuable option for midweek meetings.

Public Relations

The CVB Communications team will develop a comprehensive local and national public relations plan, including pre-written editorial placement and a community awareness campaign to highlight local impact of meetings and conventions.

As part of this plan, the team will work with all CVB meeting industry partners to promote successes of the convention and meetings being held in Greater Palm Springs and share new initiatives and developments of local hotels, venues and meeting facilities through a series of targeted, timely press releases, direct pitching and individual visits.

The Communications team will develop an editorial calendar focusing on meetings and convention theme lines, and will collaborate with Convention Sales to identify and plan two targeted sales/media events using brand-specific themes in 2019.

To directly assist meeting and convention planners, a “Do-It-Yourself” kit will be created to guide them in the process of garnering local media exposure through press releases, press conferences, media alerts and social media.

To support the new Greater Palm Springs Tourism Ambassador program, dedicated releases and background information will be created to showcase their passion for Greater Palm Springs. NEW


2019 SCHEDULED TRADESHOWS/SALES CALLS/SALES MISSIONS

Direct client opportunities including sales calls, tradeshows, account sponsorships, FAMs (familiarization trips), sales missions, and events will again be part of the sales teams plans and actions for 2019.

Sales Missions

Drawing on successes achieved the past few years from increasing face-to-face client engagement, we will continue to create sales missions in all our markets with a focus on creativity, education and brand awareness. Face-to-face client engagement includes client presentations, unique group activities in-market, interactive educational sessions and charitable sponsorships with our customers.

Tradeshows

Careful evaluation of all shows each year ensures the CVB is getting in front of the right audience for our destination partners. Incorporating our brand imagery for booth backdrops  — along with stylish, modern and unique furnishings — provides an exclusive and welcoming refuge for meeting professionals.

  • 2019 Joint Share Travel Partner Opportunities

    We thank you in advance for your partnership and enjoy collaborating with your sales teams to introduce meeting professionals throughout the country to our destination.

    Your team’s participation will include the following:

    • Save-the-date and customer invites
    • All organization and payment of venues
    • Attendance to all organized client events
    • Amenities and gifts presented to the customer
    • All branding showing participation
    • Pre-trip call to review details

    Due to the fact that our destination has a wide variety of product, not every call will make sense for your team to participate in. As soon as our managers have the preliminary schedule solidified for each event, we will have them communicate that information to their respective partners. This will give your teams the ability to maximize their time and set up calls on their own during their downtime while in market.

    Event

    Event Date

    Cost

    CalSAE Elevate Annual Meeting 

    April 29 – May 1

    $1,800

    Ohio Sales Calls   

    May 6-8

    $1,000

    The Modern Meeting Oasis Virtual Trade Show, Greater Palm Springs

    May 14-15

    $950

    Spring Southern CA Client Events

    May 20-23

    $1,000

    Sacramento Sales Mission

    June 3-6

    $1,250

    Southeast Sales Mission 

    June 17-20

    $1,500

    Chicagoland Sales Mission   

    July 17-19

    $1,895

    ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition

    August 10-13

    $1,895

    Canadian Meetings & Events Expo (previously known as Incentiveworks)

    August 13-15

    $2,095

    IMEX American

    September 10-12

    $3,995

    Boston Sales Mission   

    September 17-19

    $1,895

    Fall Southern California Sales Mission

    October 2019

    $1,000

    Midwest Sales Mission

    October 2019

    $1,895

    Fall Southern California Specialty Markets Sales Mission (Religious)   

    TBD- Fall

    $750

    CalSAE Seasonal Spectacular

    December 15-17

    $2,300

    Association Forum of Chicagoland Holiday Showcase

    December 17

    $1,895