If you're a planner in the Chicago area considering booking conventions in Orlando and San Francisco, you can now meet with one rep at one time.
The San Francisco and Orlando/ Orange County (FL) Convention & Visitors Bureaus have pioneered a marketing alliance, opening a joint office in Chicago. The office is staffed by two salespeople, each of whom represents both locations.
Though it is too soon to assess the venture's success, early response from planners has been positive, says John A. Marks, president and CEO, San Francisco CVB. "We think we'll save meeting planners time," he says.
Have the two bureaus started a trend? The partnership has sparked great interest among bureaus and planners, says Marks, who expects that other partnerships might be formed based on whether or not this pioneer effort succeeds.
"It's no different from what's going on in the private sector, where you are seeing strategic alliances [formed] to make organizations more efficient," says William C. Peeper, director and CEO, Orlando/Orange County CVB. "The industry has to do more of this kind of thing."