Four Ways to Maximize Your Business Events Website

February 3, 2016

When visiting DMO websites, meeting planners look for specific information which often gives them their first impression of the destination. In order to stand out, a DMO website should be resourceful, innovative, user-friendly, and fun! Here are four ways to maximize your website and eight destinations that showcase great examples.

Go beyond the “one-dimensional” venue finder

Planners are not always familiar with a destination and as such, it is difficult to determine in which part of the country/city they should look for venues, let alone which venues will suit their programs. Going beyond a simple finder which just lists available venues, interactive maps can help planners get a good idea of the destination layout, the location of the venues and the nearby entertainment and attractions. The following destinations are brought to life through engaging website tools:

  • Los Angeles: LA’s meetings website is beautiful, and while technically a subsection of the larger Discover LA website, the meetings landing page has its own look and feel. The Regions section provides a fact sheet on each area of Los Angeles and the Discover L.A.’s Neighborhoods section features an interactive map with information on venues and attractions citywide.
  • Holland: There are a number of useful interactive features on the website. By answering a few simple questions, the site selector tool/meeting tool provide you with tailor-made advice and offer suggestions of suitable venues and ideas for social programs.
  • Austin: Even meeting planners with only a passing knowledge of Texas will feel like experts on its capital city after visiting the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s meetings webpage. A simulated flyover of the city shares information on meeting spaces, hotel rooms available in downtown Austin, transportation details and nearby entertainment opportunities in a concise and accessible video.

Provide a Comprehensive Resource for planners

Once a venue and DMC have been selected, planners typically require other resources to ensure the success of their programs. From a list of printers, interpreters, and audio visual companies to ideas for CSR programs, DMOs should find a way to have these types of suggestions and advice easily accessible. Tasmania has a dedicated website for business events which provides a comprehensive resource for planners; in addition to a variety of planner-friendly features, such as a detailed supplier search and print-ready promotional materials for boosting delegate attendance, Business Events Tasmania (BET) offers unique options for corporate social responsibility opportunities. Visit Denver‘s digital marketing kit is a one-stop online library for planners looking for banner ads, destination branded email templates, videos to embed into program sites or presentations, and much more. Taking it one step further, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau outlines a timeline for planners with a toolkit for each step, from announcing the location of the meeting to attendees to the day everyone arrives in Atlanta.

Share creative sample itineraries that are unique to your destination

Planners are always looking for the “WOW” factor for incentive programs. What can your destination offer that no other destination can? Often planners are not aware of the activities that can be planned in specific destinations and this is your chance to give them a small taste by creating a sample itinerary. The Meet in Ireland website has an Incentive Ideas tab which offers sample itineraries in several regions nationwide for incentive groups. Furthermore, they showcase the activities from past programs using YouTube videos.

Be clear on what type of support your DMO can offer planners

In addition to the free services a DMO provides (sourcing RFPs, venue/DMC suggestions, marketing materials), what does your DMO offer that is different? As research suggests, planners are relying more on Tourism Bureaus in 2016; it is important to clearly highlight what type of financial support your DMO can offer to groups confirmed in your destination. Ireland provides detailed Conference Supports and highlights the financial support that can be provided depending on the size of group. Nashville provides information on support and access to discounts for both planners and attendees on their beautifully designed meetings portal.

What features would you like to see on business events websites? Tweet us @AboutDCI!

Stella Tsitsipatis

Written by Stella Tsitsipatis

Stella is a destination marketing veteran with experience in marketing communication campaigns and leisure/business tourism sales efforts for destinations in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East.

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