LAKE PLACID, ADIRONDACKS USA - The Lake Placid CVB (LPCVB) is pleased to report that the Conference Center at Lake Placid sales team continues to gain momentum in the meetings market, having booked over 19,000 room nights to date through 2017.
Recent contracts include the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA), representing 1,100 attendees and 4,000 room nights from October 11-14, 2017. "This conference will generate an estimated $1M in direct spending in the region," said James McKenna, president and CEO of the Lake Placid CVB. "A group of this size, held at this time of year is even more valuable, as it increases business during a typically slower time for leisure travel visitors."
Conference Sales Process
The meetings market is distinct from the leisure travel market, in which travel planning lead time is getting shorter and shorter. In contrast, town-wide meetings and conferences are typically planned and booked years in advance.
The Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau has been responsible for Lake Placid's town-wide meeting and convention marketing since 1950. The Conference Center sales team continues its aggressive drive to acquire town-wide business in cooperation with the Olympic Regional Development Authority, whose staff takes the lead in attracting regional day business.
"Some of the groups we host are more appropriately placed in the destination's resort facilities, but the new Conference Center acts as a 'hook' to bring them to Lake Placid to begin with," added McKenna. "Our end goal is to drive overnight group visits to the destination, and ideally to increase business during shoulder seasons and mid-week."
The Conference Center at Lake Placid opened in May 2011 after 22 months of construction; and was completed with no debt load to the community. Although this great asset will serve as a mechanism to increase business in the region, the sales team's primary challenge has been to regain top-of-mind awareness in the northeast meetings market.
The LPCVB Conference Center sales team is led by Maryjane Lawrence, director of sales and marketing. "We've been courting new, and revisiting previous clients to introduce them to the new Center," said Lawrence. "Once a group tours our flexible meeting space in person, they're very impressed. We're working to gain that top-of-mind presence, armed with a fantastic meeting space in a fantastic meeting location."
Director of sales and service Arlene Day agrees. "I had been in contact with the NYSSBA representative for years. In fact, he is a longtime leisure visitor. Until now, though, our product didn't meet his group's requirements. When he toured the Conference Center, that all changed. And we've got the signed contract to prove it!"
In addition to reaching out to meeting planners directly, the sales team has been busy updating marketing materials to match the exquisite quality of the Conference facility. Updates include printed collateral, a revised online presence that includes a new sales kit, participation in online marketing, trade shows and events.
In response to community members inquiring about how they can contribute to the increased business activity that the meetings market brings to the area, Conference Center sales team launched the "Community Connection" program in late 2012.
Community members can help by connecting the sales team with any groups or clubs with which they are associated. "We're pleased that some of the recently booked room nights were obtained with the help of community members," noted Lawrence. "In fact, we've awarded the first Community Connection gift certificate to Fred Richards."
The Conference Connection program works like this: individuals with connections to associations, groups, clubs, trade shows, conventions or meetings simply fill out an online form. When a contract is signed with the provided contact for a multi-day event at the Conference Center, the individual responsible for the connection can choose from several gifts.
Interested individuals are encouraged to visit our meetings website for more information and to access the online Conference Connection program form, or to contact Ashley Andrews for more information at 518.523.2445 x104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.