For the past four years, the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has led a successful regional collaboration to bring record-setting numbers of new conventions and economic impact to Cincinnati. Now, the CVB is building on that collaborative strategy with a new campaign to offer incentives to local professionals to bring even more meetings and conventions to the region.
The CVB’s Think Global, Meet Local program is challenging the thousands of Cincinnatians who are affiliated with professional associations, religious organizations, hobby groups, sports and other competitive activities, special events and annual meetings. The goal is to simply invite an organization with which you are already actively involved to bring a convention or meeting to Cincinnati USA.
“There are so many people who are both passionate about this city and actively involved with a variety of social and business organizations,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA CVB. “We want to motivate those people to be proactive advocates of the region and use their influence within their organizations to drive economic impact for Cincinnati USA.”
The program launched May 18 when dozens of local professionals, dignitaries and hospitality students at the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University participated in a Phone Blitz to spread the word about Cincinnati’s world-class hotels, attractions and meeting facilities. Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory participated in the event at the Duke Energy Convention Center, and Sharonville Mayor Virgil Lovitt made calls with the team at the Sharonville Convention Center.
For additional incentive, any person who connects the CVB to a meeting, convention or special event with which they are involved will be entered to win a $500 Cincinnati USA Gift Card as a thank-you for helping the city. Residents can submit their meeting or convention information at www.CincyUSA.com/MeetLocal.
“It is gratifying in so many ways,” said Jason Riveiro, a Cincinnati resident and Ohio State Director of League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), who worked side-by-side with the Cincinnati USA CVB to bring its 2011 Annual Convention to Cincinnati USA. “It was a chance to positively contribute to both a city and an organization that I’m very passionate about.”
Similarly, several members of the Cincinnati Police Department – including Chief Tom Streicher, Assistant Chief Michael Cureton, FOP President Kathy Harrell, Sergeant Bill Halusek and Officer Dan Kowalski – worked to bring the 2013 Annual Convention of the National Fraternal Order of Police to Cincinnati.
“It’s exciting to see our community rally together to bring home new conventions and business travelers to the region,” Lincoln added. “We’ve found our greatest successes in recent years when we work together as a region toward a common goal. This program gives every Cincinnatian a chance to turn hometown pride into real economic impact by getting the right people to pay attention to our wonderful host city story.”
Cincinnati USA has enjoyed four consecutive years of growth, capped off in 2009 by record-setting totals in both future hotel room nights booked and new visitor spending. Most of the region’s convention wins during that time happened because one local advocate made all the difference. Last year alone, Cincinnati USA won the 2011 Shrine annual meeting and the 2013 National Fraternal Order of Police convention, and bested cities around the globe to win the 2012 World Choir Games in what will be the largest international event in the history of the region. In 2010, the region will host several more high-profile events, including the Gospel Music Workshop of America, the National Conference of Black Mayors and the annual conference of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.
“Some of our best wins started with a simple introduction by a local member of a national organization,” said Barrie Perks, vice president of sales and services at the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Just a phone call or a letter, then we take it from there. Our meeting professionals have many tools at their disposal to demonstrate why Cincinnati USA has become one of the premier convention destinations in the country – even the world. We pull together all the necessary meeting facility options, hotel bids, and support services for a proposal. We host selection committees here on well-orchestrated site visits. Once the convention is booked, we provide award-winning services to deliver the best possible meeting experience.”