Location is key when selling your conference to potential attendees. One way to create extra buzz about your event and its location is to hold the meeting during or adjacent to dates of big events in the city – think premier music festivals, All-Star games or city food festivals.
So how do you connect your convention with a local event? We have a few tips!
Pre-Promote Events in the Host City
Create excitement for your attendees by promoting what’s happening in the host city. The attraction of the event could even boost registration and attendee ratings for your convention. Pre-promoting the major event could also persuade attendees to come into the city early or stay late which adds to your room block. In Cincinnati, several meetings, from the National Urban League to Gospel Music Workshop and Elks hosted their meetings the same week as the Macy’s Music Festival, a large jazz festival held at Paul Brown Stadium. Attendees received information about extending their stay for the event.
Integrate the Big Event into your Agenda
Incorporate the city into your convention by holding an official conference gathering within the city’s big event. During the TallStacks Riverboat Festival in Cincinnati, meeting planners held private functions on boats that were part of the event. League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) worked with the Cincinnati Reds to create Hispanic Night during their convention, with LULAC members providing music and throwing out the first pitch. Giving the attendees a taste of the locale they’re in helps them experience the culture of their meeting destination.
Create Events Specific to your Convention
Create a unique social experience that provides more engagement with your attendees and draws them into the city - or the city to them! These events are also good ways to get local engagement and attendance at your meeting. During the LULAC convention, the Cincinnati USA CVB brought in local, Hispanic food trucks and booked bands on the city’s Fountain Square stage who celebrated Hispanic culture. These events were publicized on posters and radio PSAs throughout the city, to let locals know that parts of the LULAC convention were open to the public.
Look for a Fundraising Angle
When scheduling a meeting space, research if the city is hosting an event that you can get a discounted group ticket rate for your attendees. If so, you could sell those to your attendees to raise funds, or offer at the discount as an added value.