An innovative sales strategy for convention bureaus is taking root. The approach is based on the hotel model, in which national sales offices encourage groups to sign multiyear contracts at properties located around the country, often with an incentive for doing so.

Back in June, the convention and visitors bureaus of Fort Worth, Texas, and Baltimore formed an innovative marketing partnership to sell both destinations to meeting planners. Now the Fort Worth–Baltimore connection has added Sacramento, Calif., to its partnership, and the CVBs of Hartford, Conn.; Madison, Wis.; and Spokane, Wash., have also announced a new marketing relationship.

In the first group, by joining forces and sharing three additional salespeople, the partner cities be more competitive by offering possible discounts for booking Baltimore, Fort Worth, and Sacramento in a multiyear deal. If one of the cities isn’t a good fit for a group, the sales staff will continue to push the other two destinations, according to a joint press release.

The trio of Hartford, Madison, and Spokane plans to cater to groups that prefer the amenities, personalized service, and attention that second-tier cities offer and highlights the green aspects of the convention centers in Madison and Spokane. The partnership entails pooling resources and cooperative marketing and sales efforts at trade shows and events. It formally launched at the annual Nursing Organization Alliance Fall Summit last week at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee.