State or County Tourism Agencies
These are often called DMOs – destination management organizations – and many are funded by taxes collected by hotels for each night a guest stays. The more successful each DMO is in filling hotel rooms, the more dollars become available to promote. And so the cycle continues to grow and the demand for room nights will fuel hotel construction.
Festivals and events can be a visitor activity, a thing to do. Activities that appeal to visitors are those the DMO staff should want to feature on their website, in their visitor guide and use as a hook to get visitors to come.
If the visitor friendly event has the right appeal – fun and cultural, is staffed by a volunteers or paid personnel with a solid reputation and has “the” magic everyone wants to be connected with, there’s an additional layer of opportunities. Those can include:
- Being the main focus of a travel writer’s or travel blogger’s visit,
- Hosting a travel writer familiarization (FAM) trip or
- Serving as the host site for an economic development recruitment junket for potential businesses. These VIPs will be wined and dined by local dignitaries, given preferential seating or access. Often they will receive the same treatment as sponsors including mingling with the entertainers.
The event’s chairman or immediate past chairman typically serves as the economic development agency go-to person for the event and can quickly answer the “would you like to….?” questions.
Developing relationships with DMOs will reap benefits for years to come, as long as the event can deliver on promises. You may feel your event deserves to be included, but demanding “entitlements” is unproductive. No one owes your event anything.
To learn more about event and festival management, check out “Secrets to Successful Events: How to Organize, Promote and Manage Exceptional Events and Festivals.” For those with event planning experience, consider, “Secrets to Successful Events Resource Guide: 42+ Easy-to-Use Tools and Resources.” Both are written by internationally known author and speaker Lynn Fuhler and are available on Amazon and at major booksellers.