Last week’s column congratulated the initiative of three Dentonites who partnered with the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) to bring new tourism to Denton. Joe Holland, Marvin Ruyle and Heather Gray rallied the state associations of organizations in which they are involved to host their conventions in our city. The combined attendance of their conventions will be 1,175 people with a conservatively estimated impact on Denton of $363,800.

Well done!

These three conventions are among 70 other groups the CVB has won and will host between 2017 and 2024 for a combined economic impact of $3.2 million.

Like I said last week, winning the bid is merely the first step in the long process of hosting a convention. The CVB’s work with Joe, Marvin, Heather and the organizers of their respective conventions has only just begun.

From the bid-winning moment until delegates are packing their bags after their Denton conventions are over, our CVB team is working to facilitate every little detail that will ensure not just successful conventions, but the best conventions these organizations have ever experienced.

This is the servicing component the CVB does for every group utilizing Denton hotels. Our job is bringing visitors to Denton, and convention delegates are visitors. But our job doesn’t stop there. We run the traps for our clients, do much of the legwork. We are nice to take it on, yes. But our efforts are more than a spirit of hospitality.

Servicing is a convention requirement. The expected details are spelled out, uniquely for every group, in booking contracts. Nuances of servicing run the gamut: attending the previous year’s annual convention to build delegate attendance; transportation assistance; convention registration marketing; liaison to hotels, caterers, and venues; creating off-site networking events; identifying and coordinating local artists and speakers. These are just a few of the most typical services required prior to a convention’s arrival.

A good example is the Texas Travel Summit I attended last week in Arlington. Days were spent attending classes and sessions. The speakers were fantastic, several of them arranged by the Arlington CVB, who also had a staffed information booth on-site. Every evening, the 400 delegates were treated to evening programming that showcased one of Arlington’s attractions. One night, we boarded motorcoaches for dinner at the International Bowling Museum. Arlington restaurants had booths, each featuring a different international cuisine. We bowled, toured, ate and connected with colleagues.

The next night, we boarded motorcoaches for Fright Fest at Six Flags. The park was closed to all but our convention. A few rides were open for us, a band played on-stage, characters and ghouls interacted with us, and food was abundant.

Someone did a lot of work organizing these experiences, and that someone was the Arlington CVB.

This is what CVBs do.

The Denton CVB handles coordination of servicing so Joe, Marvin and Heather don’t have to. Our staff will even be on-site when their conventions are in town. We’ll help with registration assistance. We’ll troubleshoot. Dentoning experts will be there providing visitor information and guiding delegates as they discover our city.

The CVB will work hand-in-hand with all meeting planners to go above and beyond the demands required for a typical successful convention. Denton conventions will be exceptional.

Our goal is that every meeting planner and every convention delegate, also defined as visitors, leaves our city with a great Denton experience to share. From just the three conventions I’ve talked about here, we have the opportunity to develop 1,175 new Denton ambassadors.

Aspire to be a Joe, a Marvin, a Heather. We each could make the same kind of dramatic positive impacts on our city and local business as they have done.

Your connections and networks are valuable assets in boosting Denton’s revenues, the significant outcome of which affects our entire city, all the way down to our individual quality of life. Visitors drive Denton’s tourism economy, and they matter. Without them, citizens must make up the difference in what it takes to fuel our original independent quality of life in Denton.

What are you waiting for?  Now that you know we’re here and what all we do to take the load off of you, the local organizer, call the Denton CVB and let us help you get the ball rolling.