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Baltimore Area Convention & Visitors Association
BACVA Launches "Meet Local" Sales Campaign to Boost Convention and Meetings Industry
Program Calls on Business Community to Take Lead Role
BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA) is calling on leaders in the private, nonprofit and public sectors to help bring new business to the Baltimore region through its "Meet Local" campaign by tapping into national and international contacts with which they do business or serve on boards. The program will be unveiled tonight at the World Trade Center Institute's 12th Annual Maryland International Business Leadership Awards ceremony at the American Visionary Art Museum.
The "Meet Local" campaign builds off the Mayor's successful "Buy Local" initiative and encourages CEOs and the leadership of our business community, government, universities and medical institutions to use their resources to keep a meeting in Baltimore or to open the door to future events. Participants will be given the tools they need to generate sales leads through a special micro-site, meetlocal.baltimore.org, and/or a local hotline they can call at any time during the day or night. That number is 410-659-7039.
"Too often, business goes to another city because local executives who sit on boards or plan meetings don't think of Baltimore first," says Tom Noonan, president & CEO of BACVA. "We want to change that trend and keep those meetings here or bring new ones to the city. Even a meeting with 100 people would generate an estimated $103,000 in direct spending and taxes, so imagine the impact if we could get 10 of those in one year."
In Fiscal Year 2007, BACVA convention sales and marketing efforts resulted in a total of 294 groups and 520,700 convention and meeting attendees coming to Baltimore, generating approximately $539 million in convention spending to the region. These groups included conventions, tradeshows and in-house hotel meetings. Combined, the visitor spending generated by Baltimore's convention, meetings, group and leisure visitor industry is estimated at $3.5 billion.
BACVA launches the program at a time of increasing competition in the marketplace. The city is planning for more than 2,000 new hotel rooms coming online in the coming years, the Gaylord opening next month, and neighboring cities such as Washington, Philadelphia and Boston expanding and building new convention centers and hotels.
The "Meet Local" campaign will include sponsorship opportunities, yearly goals, updated reports for the community and stakeholders on the success of the campaign, and annual recognition for those business leaders who assist in booking business.
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The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA), a membership-based organization, is the official destination development and marketing leader for Greater Baltimore, responsible for generating incremental economic benefits to the community through the attraction of convention and leisure visits.
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