6 Ways to Use Your Convention Calendar
The confidential Convention Calendar is one of the most valuable benefits of membership with Visit Salt Lake. The calendar is a great marketing tool with many applications.
The Convention Calendar contains the best information available about conventions, meetings and conferences coming to Salt Lake. This information is available online at VisitSaltLake.com in the Member's Only section. Various search options are available to you. You can search by dates of the groups arrival/departure, by the group's name, or just view changes made within the past 30 days.
- Direct Marketing to Meeting and Convention Planners: Use the name and address provided in the calendar to make contact with meeting and convention planners. By sending information about your services and products, you'll let them know how you can make their job easier while improving the experience of their attendees. In addition to large citywide conventions, the calendar lists many small conferences and meetings; please do not overlook the value of marketing your business to these groups.
In many cases a name and address is not provided. These meetings were booked directly with the hotel listed. Work with the sales and service staff of the individual hotels to obtain contact information. Cultivate relationships with hotel staff and make sure they are aware of your services. Visit Salt Lake functions provide an excellent opportunity to build these relationships.
Make your sales efforts more effective by researching a group before soliciting their business. Use the Encyclopedia of Associations to gather information about the dynamics of associations; e.g., How often do they meet? What types of professions or interests are represented? What is the structure of the convention?
Conventions, hotel rooms, and meeting, trade show or conference space may be booked several years ahead. Venues, dining, outings, tours, entertainment and other arrangements are usually made no more than six months to one year in advance. Prior to one year, planners are usually working on another convention in a different city. Telephone calls to meeting planners are not encouraged. However, repeated written reminders will distinguish your business. E-mail is also becoming an acceptable method of communication.
Information Resource: Large conventions impact the city in many ways. Often, transient tourism business is displaced throughout the valley. Restaurants, attractions, shopping centers and other businesses experience an increased number of patrons. Use the calendar to keep abreast of the flow of convention business. When will the downtown hotels be full? When will there be a high volume of visitors (potential customers) in town?
Direct Marketing to Convention Delegates: As you review the convention schedule, keep in mind that many delegates will be using the downtown Visitor Information Center. Consider creating a customized brochure or special offer for specific groups. Contact the meeting planner to find out about having your brochure or coupon placed directly in convention registration mailers or in attendee packets; or about obtaining the registration list to send your own mailing.
Scheduling Tool: The calendar informs you of when large conventions will be in Salt Lake. Consider adding staff or extending hours to accommodate increased business. The Convention Services department can provide information that may help predict delegate spending patterns, such as the schedule of meetings and events. To learn more about each group contact Convention Services.
Specific Corollary Interests: Use the calendar to look for groups that may have an interest in your business. Would a literature-related association be interested in using resources available at your bookstore? Would your museum be of interest to a historical association? Are your products made from a natural resource studied by a scientific association?
Information: If you have specific questions regarding convention groups, their needs and any special programs (shuttle services, restaurant information booth) to be provided, contact the Convention Services department at 801-534-4900.