Sales and Marketing Segment: Conventions / Meetings

Objectives

  • Implement plan that focuses more on mass-market print and digital advertising to reach meeting planners, and less on trade publications.
  • Create experiential opportunities for meeting publication editors in metro Detroit to showcase revitalized convention center and enhanced hotel product.
  • Utilize business-to-business retargeting campaigns that serve up digital advertising as online meeting planners are searching out Detroit or other Midwest meeting locations.
  • Apply new creative campaign to meeting publications by end of first quarter.

  • Produce a quarterly sales newsletter to distribute to database.
  • Identify social media channels that will create the best opportunities for sales account managers to reach clients.
  • Develop community relations plan to encourage local organizations to bring their meetings to Detroit.
  • Promote the newest product downtown —the new Little Caesars Arena and The District Detroit, in conjunction with Detroit Sports Commission.
  • Promote the variety of meeting venue options in the suburbs and downtown.
  • Provide marketing support to assist in securing family reunions coming to Detroit.

 

Strategies

Sales

  • Continue to grow relationships with third parties that handle corporate business.
  • Continue to identify pharmaceutical opportunities that produce large meetings as well as short-term business.
  • Grow business opportunities through American Express.
  • Work with sales research analyst to identify meetings with a history of meeting in the Midwest.
  • Direct sales efforts to include personal sales calls, telemarketing, industry conference and trade shows, site visits and bid presentations.
  • Continue to pursue meetings/conferences that have history of meeting in Detroit region.
  • Emphasis on inviting qualified customers in for 2018 familiarization tours scheduled around major events.
  • Continue with Michigan Society of Government Meeting Planners (SGMP) and SGMP sponsorships.
  • Implement a presidents forum that will encourage the partnering of organizations within the city, region and nation to look at Detroit as an innovative incubator for vibrant conversations and a perfect destination for future conversations.
  • Expand the current relationships with key representatives and plan to host a luncheon with key diversity and inclusion officers in the region who represent Fortune 500 companies that can support the funding of key conventions that are planned for the future.
  • Maintain a strong Detroit presence in the Washington, D.C. association community by attending regular industry events.

  • Work with sales research analyst to identify associations with history of meeting in the Midwest.
  • Continue to foster relationships with third parties who represent associations.
  • Review lost business, especially in Maryland and Virginia, to qualify/solicit future RFP opportunities.
  • Attend industry conferences and trade shows that are association based.
  • Determine key cities and make sales calls to customers that meet in the Midwest.
  • Continue attending industry shows and events that are geared toward the religious meeting planners.
  • Form a local coalition of religious influencers who support Detroit and will help bring national programs here.
  • Work with third parties that handle the religious market.
  • Work with hotels so proposals are completive as cost is critical to selecting a location.
  • Determine accounts that have previously considered Detroit and solicit them for future opportunities.
  • Make regular sales calls in Lansing to prospect for new opportunities as well as maintaining market share.
  • Host a client event in Lansing during 2018.
  • Review lost business reports to re-evaluate and qualify association accounts that have historically not considered Detroit or left for other reasons.
  • Continue participation in Meetings Michigan.
  • Provide multiyear incentive to secure groups rotation for Detroit.
  • Grow partnership with local UAW.
  • Work with area union properties to determine union strategy and groups to solicit.
  • Continue the family reunion seminar event in the fall.
  • Expand marketing and social media coverage.
  • Attend family reunion conferences at competitive locations to look for new ways to strengthen our event.
  • Work with local charities to help promote the seminar.

 

Advertising

  • Emphasis on advertising on third-party booking sites such as TripAdvisor and Expedia, understanding that meeting planners are also leisure travelers.
  • Aggregate testimonials and positive headlines to serve up to meeting planners in publications and on websites and social media as proof points of Detroit’s revitalization.

  • Support sales sponsorships (i.e. HelmsBriscoe, Cvent and ASAE) to increase advertising opportunities.
  • Develop subtle safety messaging in advertising. Promote reduced crime statistics as needed to support the sales effort and react to negative publicity.
  • Identify national publications that the DMCVB can affordably use to amplify its advertising message.
  • Utilize targeted trade publications to promote metro Detroit as a desired family reunion destination.

 

Interactive

  • Utilize LinkedIn as the tool for sales account executives to create awareness of the region and market to meeting planners.
  • Re-orient web editorial calendar to add content that drives hotel bookings and RFP submission.
  • Optimize lead conversion opportunities on the website.
  • Create social media “menu” for planners to select that will best reach their clients.

  • Develop customized content for VIP conventions.
  • Develop plans to support incoming conventions with on-the-spot information about the destination.
  • Create sales content by market focus (i.e. associations, corporate, family reunion).
  • Attend trade shows as necessary to provide social media support.
  • Update sales digital blasts and e-vites.

 

Public Relations

  • Host press tour for meeting trade editors during North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Charity Preview.
  • Host individual trade publications on an ongoing basis.
  • Leverage relationship with Crain’s Homecoming event to encourage ex-pats and local organizations to hold their meetings in Detroit.
  • Leverage advertising partnerships for value-added editorial in trade publications.
  • Invite trade media to attend sales events in key markets.
  • Attend hotel and attraction openings and renovations in order to promote new product to trade press.

 

Print and Digital Publishing

  • Complete phase two development items on website.
  • Add quality videos to website to complement magazine features.
  • Focus on website analytics to guide content development based on meeting planner needs.
  • Continue to develop meetings success stories for website.