Mid-sized cities are increasingly seen as places to find affordable conference rates as well as being approachable and personable destinations. That’s because today’s savvy planners know that conference participants want to experience convention cities like they do when they are traveling for leisure, finding local experiences that create a personalized trip. Nellie Freeborn, Sales Director for Visit Visalia
notes that, “Empowering your guests to customize their experience is a growing trend and why we believe the days of cookie cutter meetings held at large, headquarter hotels are in flux. We encourage our planners to rethink the conventional hotel room blocks. With new hotel inventory increasingly comprised of smaller, select service properties, having a variety of hotel tiers and distinctive offsite meeting options allow a planner options, from the unique to the mainstream.” That means CVBs are an even more important resource to planners as they strive to deliver memorable meetings.
Easy to Get to and Even Easier to Navigate
Ease of access and convenience continue to be top deciding factors when awarding convention contracts. With car service, food delivery and just about anything else available with a few swipes or clicks, smart travelers expect convenience. Meeting locations and site venues that are easily accessible and centrally located are important for the success of a meeting. That’s where Visalia comes in—take the map of California and fold it in half to see Visalia right in the center of the state, on the crease, making it easy to get to. Visalia is one of the few convention destinations located between all three of California’s major metro cities (Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco), making this vibrant city a meeting planner’s dream. Once in town, it’s even easier to navigate. While free parking can be found throughout the city, with a walkable downtown we recommend leaving your car behind and enjoy the charm and flavors of the authentic farm to table dining scene on foot. Shop around historical sites, see arts and entertainment, and find loads to do after hours to keep attendees engaged!
Infusing Character and a Sense of Place
Delegates are looking for indigenous experiences and many hotels are restyling their guest rooms and public spaces to meet these expectations. In Visalia, seven hotels have undergone massive redesigns with the next-gen traveler in mind. An excellent example is the Visalia Marriott’s recent upgrade, where character and a sense of place are featured throughout the hotel in murals of sequoia trees, a nod to nearby Sequoia National Park. The introduction of communal workspaces throughout the lobby creates places for collaboration, networking and mingling.
For meeting planners, Visit Visalia is helping add unique offsite venues which make meetings more dynamic and flexible. Hosting an event at the historic Visalia Fox Theatre, for example, provides an experiential and culturally significant meeting for conference goers. Use Visalia to harness the power of their city and add value to your meeting and a more personalized experience for delegates.
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