Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You are our best marketing tool

Nothing speaks louder to the benefits of a community than a person who lives there, who loves their hometown and is excited to welcome visitors to it.
We recently worked with Perkins, EconoLodge and Best Western to successfully bid for the 2012 Kansas State Firefighters Association annual convention. KSFFA has held their convention in McPherson before in 2003 but the whole bid would not have happened if a local member of the organization had not stepped forward and asked for our help in bidding on the convention.
The McPherson Fire Department and Capt. Wade Hall in particular worked with us to bid for the 250 plus person convention. To make it work we’ll use convention facilities at Perkins and Best Western that are just across the parking lot from each other.
We have other convention and meeting facilities as well at The Cedars and the McPherson Opera House that can accommodate large groups.
I know McPherson has a wide and varied workforce and population and many of us are members of one or more associations or organizations that hold district, regional or statewide meetings.
In April alone we saw five groups – American Legion, Optimist Club, County Treasurers and Registers of Deed, Kansas Twins Association and the Wordfest Writers Conference – hold meetings in McPherson. The CVB worked with each of those to provide gift bags, door prizes, name tags and printed information to assist with their event. We are here to help and if you would like to bid on a convention for your organization, we are the best place to start. The CVB can be a go-between the organization and convention centers, hotels, entertainment venues and caterers when pulling your bid together. If you are successful, there are many ways we can help as I mentioned before.
Finding local members is the best way for us to make a connection with an organization. Conventions can pump thousands of dollars into a local economy, boosting guest and sales tax. A favorable impression of our town can create return business, possibly even future residents.
Here’s a few talking points when considering why you should hold your meeting in McPherson:
• Centrally located: If you’re tired of driving to the eastern portion of the state, centralize your meeting in McPherson. We are less than 300 miles from every city in Kansas.
• Affordability: Convention room rates are consistently under $80 and when blocking large blocks of rooms you can save even more.
• Top-notch service: I’ve personally worked with the staff at all of our convention facilities and customer satisfaction is their No. 1 priority. If you don’t have a great experience, come talk to me and I’ll pass your concerns on to the right person.

• Modern equipment: Best Western recently upgraded its A/V system and The Cedars is a new facility with modern equipment. The sound and projection at the Opera House, as John Holecek will tell you, are superb.
• Activities: No matter what the interest of your group is, we can find outside activities to suit them – hunting, shopping, sports, art, historical tours – you name it.

Give Pam and I a call at the CVB, 241-3340 or check out our group meeting planner online at

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