IACVB is listening." That's been the International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus' (IACVB) message during the last year as it concentrated its efforts on better serving member needs, says Karen Schifelbein-Jordan, IACVB's CEO and president.
Now Jordan wants to take that same message to one of IACVB's major markets: the corporate meeting and incentive decision-makers who read& Incentives.
IACVB's challenge regarding the corporate market is twofold: 1) It's a difficult market to reach, since many executives who plan meetings don't hold the title of "meeting planner," and 2) It's a difficult market to serve because, as Jordan says, "each company's needs are different."
Jordan has come up with a series of questions for CMI readers. "I want readers to tell us directly what they need from us," she says. "Working together effectively is still part of an educational process for both CVBs and companies."
You can respond to Jordan directly with a phone call, fax, letter, or e-mail at IACVB, 2000 L Street NW, Suite 702, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 296-7888; Fax: (202) 296-7889; E-mail: kjordan@ iacvb.org
Her Questions for You: * What technology do you use and how? Do you use e-mail to communicate within your company, with those outside your company, or both? Would you communicate with a CVB via e-mail? Do you use the Internet to learn about a destination and what it can offer you? Would you like to receive information about CVB Web sites? Would you want to use the Web to work with a CVB in other ways?
Jordan points to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau's (GBCVB) recently launched MeetingPath as one of the latest applications of the Web for meeting planning. This Web site lets people send electronic Requests for Proposal (RFPs) to GBCVB members via e-mail.
* What are the most valuable services CVBs currently provide for you? Are there existing services you'd like CVBs to offer in a more comprehensive fashion or with greater frequency? What service(s) do you need from CVBs that they are not now offering?
As Jordan puts it, CVBs can be a corporate executive's "broker, liaison, and on-site meeting planner." And many CVBs are also striving to serve the corporate market with a "more tailored approach" in which information and services are customized to each corporate client's needs.
* How do you currently gather information on a given destination? What form of communication (phone call, fax, e-mail, Web site, or tradeshow participation) is most effective for CVBs to relate new information about a destination and to express their interest in working with your company? Also, how can CVBs find out about your upcoming meetings and plans?
* "If I could tell IACVB one thing it would be . . ." (Complete the sentence.)