Meetings

Three Cities Sync Up to Generate More Meetings Business

By / Aug 19, 2014 (Photodisc/Thinkstock)

Taking a new team approach, Baltimore, San Antonio, and Anaheim, California, will combine resources to offer meeting planners a one-stop-shop for all three destinations.

Are three cities better than one? San Antonio, Baltimore, and Anaheim, California, are banking on it as they team up to help boost their convention business.

As part of the newly announced Synchronicities partnership, the cities will work together to cross-promote each other’s locations and provide consolidated services to meeting planners, said Tom Noonan, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore.

The three cities will cross-train sales representatives to be able to sell the other locations as possible future meeting destinations.

“If we hear West Coast, we go, ‘Oh, I need to let my Anaheim friends know,’” said Noonan, who added that Synchronicities is now starting conversations with customers to book meetings in all three cities in consecutive years. The National Postal Forum recently announced that it selected Anaheim, Baltimore, and San Antonio to host its annual conference in 2015, 2017, and 2018, respectively.

Why these three cities? First, there’s the geographic diversity, which may appeal to event planners who are booking meetings on a regional rotation. Each city also has available tourist options—Anaheim has Disney Land, Baltimore features the Inner Harbor, and San Antonio is known for its River Walk, Noonan said.  “There is a real tourism product that we can offer in each one of these cities, and a lot of convention planners love going to convention destinations that also happen to be tourist destinations.”

The new partnership has benefits for meeting planners as well, including unified services and customizable options. For example, when the International Association of Exhibitions and Events booked Baltimore for its 2015 meeting, the sales team in Charm City offered to improve the business deal and come on board as a strategic partner of the association if it booked San Antonio and Anaheim as well, which it did.

“It’s a customer-engagement strategy, a customer-service strategy, and a sales strategy that is kind of different than what singular cities are offering,” Noonan said. “We want a customer to feel like when they’ve had the experience of all three cities, that they’ve really met with all three cities for three years in a row. It’s not like you get a one and done.”

 Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct years Anaheim, Baltimore, and San Antonio will host the annual conference of the National Postal Forum. 

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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