Small Market Meetings

JUN 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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Page 13 of 43 Managing Meetings 14 Savings Solutions Savings Solutions After hours, attendees can explore free Greenville sites such as The Liberty Bridge. S taying on budget is often a top priority in the small meetings industry, but knowing how to find the most affordable options is not always obvious. Though the internet is replete with ideas on how to get the most bang for your buck, we spoke with several planning experts to single out a few key points of advice. Susan Flynn is the director of national accounts at the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau in Tennessee and has worked as a sup- plier to meeting professionals for over 30 years. As the vice president of sales at Visit Greenville in South Carolina, David Montgomery has spent more than 25 years as a marketing and hospitality professional. Amy Zientek serves as the director of sales at Visit Lubbock in Texas and has worked on the sales and services team for over 16 years. Talk to the Convention and Visitors Bureau As many planners know, the most valuable free resource at their disposal is a destination's tourist organization, usually known as a con- vention and visitors bureau. This office serves as a gateway to the local community, telling planners where to go, who to call and what to do. "We help with groups, whatever their need may be," said Flynn. "Planners might come to us and say, 'We want to do a fun run — who should we contact, what routes should we take, how do we set up a police block on certain roads — various things like that. A CVB is a one-stop call to everything in the area." The convention and visitors bureau will also be able to tell planners what local services are available for lower prices, in terms of transpor- tation, venue rental, decoration and more. Save on Transportation With Free Shuttles When it comes to finding affordable transportation, a free shuttle service is a planner's best friend. Some cities, like Chattanooga, offer shuttle services throughout the day to major airports in surrounding cities, even if they are more than two hours away. As a result, attendees can take advantage of low-cost airline companies like Southwest or Spirit that do not By Savannah Osbourn CVBs offer tips on planning budget-friendly meetings Courtesy Visit Greenville

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