The key to DMOs growing meetings business right now: develop community partnerships.
Now and in the wake of COVID-19, DMO marketing strategies are and will be shifting. Your organization will need to continue to be resilient, selling and marketing to planners differently by finding group business within your destination and growing meetings business where your community is looking to grow.
Our insights for developing community partnerships to help increase your meetings business are focused on these main objectives:
- Targeting meetings business
- Creating local alliances
- Utilizing digital techniques
Let’s break it all down with these three tactics.
Recognize Group Business Opportunities Within Your Destination
Travel is currently coming back regionally first in key drive markets, which is especially true for meetings where you’ll need to reevaluate where you source business and how you source business.
One way you can begin sourcing group business in your backyard and tying that to your recovery plans is to think of your meetings marketing efforts as matchmaking services for your economic development (ED) office, the local business community and your tourism entities.
Get answers to questions like: What industries flourish in your city? What university or research sectors are in your community? Where is your ED office focused on growing business?
Once you have those answers, find the group meetings and conventions whose interests, mission and platform align.
Focus on Growing Meetings Business Where the Community is Looking to Grow
We recommend DMO’s tie into the industry and market to segments where your economic development office is focused on growing meetings. This will have a long-lasting effect that goes beyond booking crucial room nights and has an impact on your community overall.
When you focus on the industries and market segments that are aligned with your community’s goals to grow the local industry, your DMO is creating value for your destination, on which locals and business professionals can understand and see the ROI.
Utilize the Power of Digital for Meetings Growth
Applying a strategic digital media approach to your efforts is one of the most effective ways to grow your meetings business. By focusing on specific industries and geo-locations, you can really home in on the right audience. You will also be able to refine your targeting as your campaign runs to improve performance.
Our clients’ media campaigns are all managed in-house at Digital Edge, so we can run multiple audience campaigns at a time for specific purposes. This way, the audience, messaging and funding can be specific to each industry’s goals instead of making it a one-size-fits-all approach. We can also then measure engagement and activity based on each campaign’s performance and adjust where necessary.
Tips to Kick-Start Your Economic Development Research
- Identify in-market facilities and secondary education institutions for meetings and conventions to utilize in the target sectors.
- Gather recommendations from your local ambassador board to develop meetings opportunities as a community.
- Identify current conferences taking place in key industry sectors for possible DMO participation and see if local professionals already attend.
For each of our clients’ recovery strategies that we develop, we research these very topics and develop a digital marketing strategy to effectively target meeting planners in the DMO’s key industries, market segments and geo-locations. For guidance on your current or post-COVID marketing strategies, reach out to us.