Q1 CONVENTIONS & SPORTS MARKETING PLAN

The Visit Albuquerque Convention Sales, Services & Sports division is dedicated to marketing Albuquerque to citywide conventions, non-center groups and sporting events, and providing excellent service to ensure success and encourage repeat business.

As the meetings industry recovers from COVID-19, we will continue to regularly evaluate market segments to ensure they align with market and industry trends, our hotel partners’ needs and interests, and staff talent to best present and sell the city of Albuquerque to qualified planners. 

We firmly believe that the connections people make through face-to-face interaction cannot be replaced with remote or virtual meetings. At the same time, we recognize that in-person meetings will look different, and that COVID-19’s impact on the event industry will be long-lasting. Visit Albuquerque will work with local properties and the Albuquerque Convention Center to follow the COVID-Safe Practices (CSPs) developed by the State of New Mexico in order to instill confidence in meeting planners. 

Some meeting planners might gravitate away from crowded metropolitan areas and look more favorably on midsized cities such as Albuquerque, where social distancing is easier to achieve. We will actively seek out those who are investigating smaller cities and highlight steps the industry has taken to make meetings safe for attendees, such as the New Mexico Safe Certification program.

Collaborating with local stakeholders in the hospitality industry, Visit Albuquerque’s Convention Sales, Services & Sports division will develop creative solutions that encourage meeting planners to view our city as the ideal place to conduct business and share ideas. 

Data-Driven Marketing

Data-Driven Marketing

Just as with our leisure marketing efforts, Visit Albuquerque’s convention and sports marketing activities during Q1 will be driven by data. The competition among destinations for meetings, conventions and sports will be strong, and timing will be important. In order to efficiently and effectively use our budget, the re-emergence of our convention and sports marketing efforts will be based on the following triggers: 

State and Local Restrictions

  • Easing of restrictions on maximum group sizes.
  • Easing of restrictions regarding maximum occupancy levels for hotels and restaurants.
  • Easing of restrictions on capacity at the Albuquerque Convention Center and the Albuquerque Regional Sports Complex and other sporting event and meeting venues.

Behavior

  • Rescheduling of postponed industry trade shows.
  • Rescheduling of meetings, conventions and sporting events.
  • Increases in inquiries and RFPs from meeting planners and sporting event organizers for future events.
  • Resumption of site visits from meeting planners.
Marketing and Sales Strategy

Marketing and Sales Strategy

Visit Albuquerque’s marketing and sales strategy for meetings, conventions and sports is focused on generating more RFPs from event organizers. To create opportunities, our team’s goals are to:

  • Generate qualified meeting, convention, group tour and sporting event leads and work with area partners to ensure those leads convert to booked business.
  • Provide destination educational opportunities for current and prospective clients in key markets and in Albuquerque.
  • Continue to build a database of qualified planners.
  • Solicit and value local stakeholders’ input regarding trends, need dates and evaluation of business opportunities.

We achieve these goals by:

1. BUILDING AWARENESS

  • Use print and online advertising with engaging messaging in key industry publications and geographic markets. We are going after meeting planners where they get their news and career tips, in both print and email newsletters. Industry leaders we will partner with include PCMA Convene, Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Society of Government Meeting Planners (SGMP) and USAe. We’ll also deliver pre-roll video to a targeted meeting planner audience in areas where we’ve seen success in the past, depending on budget availability:
    • Washington, D.C.
    • Chicago
    • Denver
    • Indianapolis
    • Minneapolis
    • Boston
    • Philadelphia
    • San Francisco
    • Dallas
    • Atlanta
  • Seek editorial opportunities to promote Albuquerque as the ideal meetings and sports event destination.
  • Leverage the general consumer positive press to the advantage of the meetings & conventions and sports markets.
  • Continuously promote the ongoing transformation of Albuquerque’s meeting and sports infrastructure at industry meetings, trade shows, and sales missions.
  • Create impactful profiles on Cvent, HelmsBriscoe and other lead-generation sources.
  • Refresh VisitABQ.org meetings, Sports Commission, and group tour sections with new and relevant content on an ongoing basis.
  • Continue to create meaningful and attractive sales collateral including market-specific destination profile sheets, hotel fact sheets, and proposal delivery templates.
  • Develop and promote key third party-specific opportunities and incentives with HelmsBriscoe, Arrowhead, Conference Direct, etc.
  • Utilize a business development telemarketing company to increase our prospecting call volume.

2. INCREASING PERSONAL CLIENT INTERACTION

  • Set and achieve aggressive monthly prospecting goals.
  • Develop a tradeshow and sales activities calendar that allows maximum exposure to buyers and influencers from key market segments.
  • Execute sales missions in key geographic markets, including hotel partners when possible.
  • Schedule and create memorable site inspections to Albuquerque for highly qualified clients.
  • Design and conduct customized site visits for highly qualified prospective clients and key tentative accounts.
  • Encourage sales staff involvement in industry trade organizations.
  • Maximize gathering and use of mailing and email lists from key industry trade shows for ongoing communication.
  • Utilize social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter) to interact with past, current and potential clients.
  • Partner with other non-competing destinations to increase our reach and leverage our resources.
  • Aggressively work to rebook past Albuquerque clients.
  • Work with locals to encourage them to “Bring Your Meeting Home.” 
  • Maintain and foster relationships with key third-party planners and association management companies who work with multiple clients.
  • Solicit and share positive client testimonials.
  • Maintain targeted in-market interaction with key meeting planner contacts. 

3. COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY AND REGULARLY WITH LOCAL STAKEHOLDERS

  • Encourage local hospitality businesses to become New Mexico Safe Certified, indicating that they have completed training on COVID-Safe Practices specific to their business type.
  • Host monthly Directors of Sales meetings for all hotel partners.
  • Meet twice a month with Albuquerque Convention Center leadership.
  • Foster a sense of collaboration and teamwork between Visit Albuquerque and hotel sales professionals.
  • Provide educational opportunities and implement best practices that ensure a strong consultative approach to sales is utilized.
  • Maintain a strong role in the entire sales process – beyond Albuquerque being selected – and through the contracting stage.
  • Provide opportunities for industry partners to join Visit Albuquerque at key industry trade shows.
  • Coordinate pre-convention meetings for citywide definite business.
  • Act as a resource for destination data such as STR and year-over-year pace information.
  • Continue to foster a strong collaborative partnership with the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce (AHCC).
  • Remain current on local development and conduct regular site visits of area hotels and venues.
  • Partner with appropriate City of Albuquerque departments, such as Parks & Recreation, to maximize opportunities and underscore a united One Albuquerque.
  • Serve as a mayoral appointee on the Balloon Fiesta Park Commission.
  • Conduct a hotel satisfaction survey and action plan report annually.

4. OFFERING HOSTING SUPPORT

  • Continue to provide financial event hosting funds to qualified meetings, conventions and sporting events.
  • Leverage Opportunity Funds to attract premier conventions.
  • Protect financial resources used to provide hosting funds.
     

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