In today's hot hotel market, the role of convention and visitors bureaus has never been more valuable for meeting planners seeking space. “Going through a convention bureau and letting them move that potential piece of business among the whole competitive set so that meeting planners can get a better assessment of the total marketplace is really helpful,” states Bill Peeper, president of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, who recently announced his retirement after 22 years with the bureau. (See below.)

Christine Shimasaki, executive vice president of sales and marketing at the San Diego CVB, agrees. “I think [the seller's market] is a huge opportunity for convention and visitors bureaus, because as availability and supply tighten, what meeting planners are going to need is a source that enables them to do a comprehensive search for availability — and that's what CVBs are here for.”

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