Small Market Meetings

NOV 2016

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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November 2016 November 20 1 6 7 Huntsville hosts gather for a photo at A.M. Booth's Lumberyard. meetings, sporting events, medical gatherings and so on," he said. "So far, things have been great. They treat us well here." Destination Pros Find Business Michel Madjerich of Scenic Luxury Cruises and Emerald Waterways European River Cruises in Boston tried to win niche business. "It is specialty and niche groups we want," she said. "It's a great avenue for that. I'm really happy to meet people who want river cruises. With everything going on in the world, some are hesitant to do Europe; but business is just now starting to come back, due to the many specials." Amanda Davis of Visit Grove City near Columbus, Ohio, is selling her suburban area. "We're unique in that we don't have a lot of full-service hotels but have 16 hotels and many meeting facilities," she said. "I'm asking planners if their groups are willing to be transported around and if we can do some creative planning. We're definitely not a cookie-cutter meetings destination." Karen Harris of the Akron/Summit County CVB was asking questions: "I want to find out what these small groups are looking for and match them up exactly with what we have available," she said. "We want to put our name out there." Jolie Lyfong of the Greater Green Bay CVB, future host city of the 2019 SMM Conference, is seeking first-time visitors. "We're trying to get people to come to the area who have never been there," she said. "We have the Green Bay Packers, tours to take, many family-friendly attractions, breweries. We can do a lot, depend- ing on the demographic of the group." Rob DeCleene, executive director of Visit South Bend Mishawaka, the host city for next year's conference, sees value for his college town. "We view it as an opportunity to host a FAM tour for 100 meeting planners who pre- fer second- and third-tier cities, exactly what South Bend is," he said. "We look forward to having those planners in our community next year."

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