Each year, thousands of visitors make their way into our community because they, or someone in their family, are participating in a large meeting, convention, or athletic event. These groups have chosen the Peoria area to host their special event—not only for our river city appeal, central location, lively downtown, and convenient travel, but for our hospitality. As Peorians, we’re known for our warm, welcoming ways. As our conventioneers are valuable clients whose expenditures help shape our local economy, our job is to roll out the red carpet for them, doing whatever we can to make their time here second to none.
At the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (PACVB), we’re proud to have a top-notch convention sales staff dedicated to bringing groups into our community. Two full-time convention services managers are dedicated to assisting meeting planners from the instant a contract with the PACVB is signed. They work closely with these contacts, making sure every detail is covered, welcoming them when their event date arrives, and following up with them afterward to gauge how well we did. Accommodating these large groups is no small task; here’s a glimpse at the services we provide and how you, as a business community, can make these visitors feel at home:
• A warm welcome. Welcome signs, banners, and name badges are custom printed with the convention name, logo, and dates. We ask PACVB members to display them in their windows or entrances during this time so groups realize their valuable business is important to us. Hostesses employed by the PACVB provide registration assistance and the perfect greeting—a smile.
• Information center. Providing the PACVB with your brochures, coupons, menus, and flyers equals direct marketing opportunities for you. Our members can supply such information at convention booths alongside our Official Peoria Area Visitors Guides—all to people ready to dine out and shop and who want to find entertainment during their stay. Additionally, visitors swinging by our Riverfront Visitors’ Center will find our members marketing pieces.
• Marketing opportunities. Marketing specifically to a convention or group is always welcome and can greatly enhance your business opportunities. Whether you place an ad in our Visitors Guide, provide a menu or coupon, or contact groups prior to their arrival, you have the chance to direct visitors to your door.
• Convention résumé. Produced monthly by the PACVB, this flyer provides each member with pertinent information they need about an incoming group in preparation for their arrival. Mailed one month in advance, the convention résumé allows businesses to prepare, plan, and provide a staff accordingly.
Ways in which we can welcome our visitors to the Peoria area are numerous. From offering an out-of-place stranger directions to his destination or simply extending a thank you for a visit to our city, you’re helping create an experience that will bring these visitors back to us year after year. IBI