The sales team at Visit Fairfax is hard at work promoting and selling Fairfax County as a prime meeting destination. From virtual tradeshows and virtual FAM tours to in-person conferences, events, and meetings, our sales managers are planning many exciting strategies to represent the great assets and businesses of Fairfax County.
Here is a snapshot of some upcoming events, activities, and appointments our sales team is working on. The team is always happy to share updates and notes from these events, so feel free to reach out at any time.
On the Associations/Reunions Side:
Dean Miller, our National Sales Manager in the Associations/Reunions markets, has been back out at tradeshows and seeking new leads for Fairfax County. Here are some recent updates:
- On Saturday, February 25th, Visit Fairfax was the exclusive sponsor of a two-hour virtual family reunion workshop, hosted by the National Family Reunion Institute (NFRI). Over 110 family reunion planners tuned in from around the country for tips on planning a great reunion. Planners viewed two videos prepared by Visit Fairfax, one on hotel selection and negotiations, and one on our great family-friendly Fairfax County attractions.
- At the end of March, we conducted two days of sales calls on state association planners in the Richmond, VA area, meeting one-on-one with representatives from more than a dozen Virginia state associations.
- On Friday, April 21st, we’ll entertain a select group of locally-based meeting planners for lunch and a tour of the National Museum of the United States Army, showing off the unique meeting and event spaces at this one-of-a-kind facility. We hosted a similar event for locally-based planners in March.
- On Tuesday, April 11th, Dean Miller and Eric Kulczycky attended the MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Potomac Chapter’s annual ReConEx all-day education event at the Hyatt Regency Dulles. This was the first time this event had been held in Northern Virginia in more than fifteen years. Visit Fairfax President and CEO Barry Biggar extended words of welcome to the more than 150 meeting planners and suppliers in attendance.
- May will see us at the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE) Annual Conference in Hampton, VA, where we’ll chat with more than 50 state association executives and planners about the advantages of getting together here in Fairfax County.
- And we’ll finish the month of June in Niagara Falls, NY, at The Military Reunion Network’s annual Educational Summit. We’ll meet one-on-one with the planners for more than forty military reunion groups over the course of three days.
- The March issue of Meetings Today magazine featured an article on the extension of the Metrorail Silver Line to Washington Dulles International Airport and the exciting advantages that the new Metrorail service offers to both meeting planners and attendees. National Sales Manager Dean Miller was quoted extensively in the article.
- In an article on unique group dining options in the Washington, DC area, the April issue of Meetings Today highlighted group outings to Wolf Trap as a unique experience that groups of all types can enjoy. Visit Fairfax staff assisted in the preparation of the article.
- And, in a major win for Fairfax County, the organizers of the Quantum World Congress, a large high-level conference focused on the future of large-scale computing, have elected to meet at Capital One Center at Tysons for three days in September. It is expected that this program will bring more than 1,000 attendees to Fairfax County, as well as substantial media attention. Visit Fairfax partnered with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority to land this terrific program.
On the Tour & Travel Side:
Lori Scott, our National and International Sales Manager, continues our efforts in the tour & travel market both domestically and internationally:
Visit Fairfax was back on the international path by attending IITA (International Inbound Travel Association) from February 12 – 15. The summit includes U.S. inbound operators (the majority of their operations are focused on inbound international travel to the United States), DMOs and suppliers (lodging companies, transportation, attractions, restaurants, etc.) from across the country. IITA inbound operators (also known as receptive tour operators) are US-based companies that market and sell US travel products to international travel buyers, including tour wholesalers, travel agents and other travel producers, and provide travel services throughout the US for their groups and FIT travelers. During IITA, Visit Fairfax met with over 24 Receptive Tour Operators. Fairfax County is of great interest and many requests have been made for hotels. Any hotels interested in partnering with these Receptive Tour Operators, please reach out to Lori Scott for show notes: LScott@fxva.com.
Visit Fairfax joined Capital Region USA on a return to the United Kingdom to meet one-on-one with tour operators, travel agents, and buyers from this lucrative market, including Lusso and North America Travel Service. (Travel agents are commonly used, and in fact are booming, in the UK and throughout Europe, to plan, schedule, and book vacations.) As part of this mission, the delegation took part in UNITE 2023, an event geared towards bringing together UK-based tour operators to hold pre-booked one-to-one meetings with tourist boards, airlines, hoteliers, attractions, tour providers, cruise and rail companies from throughout the United States in one place.
In April, Visit Fairfax attended both the Southeast Tourism Society Domestic Showcase and the Connect Receptive Tour Operator Summit.
In other news, Lori has been busy connecting with restaurateurs throughout Fairfax County to engage and educate stakeholders on the group tour market. If your restaurant is interested in learning more about this market, about how you can attract tour groups and grow your group business, and about how Visit Fairfax can promote your business to this lucrative market for free, contact Lori by email to schedule a time: LScott@fxva.com.
For our hoteliers in Fairfax County: Coming soon: a one-time, complimentary, online receptive training session specially geared to hotels and/or those new to the international market. The date will be announced soon or feel free to contact Lori for additional details: LScott@fxva.com.
On the Sports & Corporate/Government Side:
Eric Kulczycky, our National Sales Manager in charge of the sports, government and corporate markets, has been working hard on furthering Visit Fairfax's foray into sports event tourism and also in the government and corporate landscape:
- 2023 Sports Events & Tourism Association Symposium (May 8-11, 2023; Kansas City, MO). One of the sports travel industry’s largest tradeshows, the Sports Events and Tourism Association (Sports ETA) Symposium generates lead opportunities through appointments with tournament organizers and decision-makers responsible for selecting destinations for state, regional, national, and international events. At the Symposium, Visit Fairfax is co-sponsoring two client events: one through its partnership with the state’s sports tourism arm, Sports Virginia, and another through its SportsNOVA regional sports tourism alliance with Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford counties.
- Fairfax County Athletic Council Meeting (May 17, 2023). The FCAC serves in an advisory capacity to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, School Board, and county agencies on matters relating to the use of public sports facilities and the programming of youth/adult sports programs in the county. Meetings take place on the third Wednesday of every month (Pennino Building at 12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035; 7:30 p.m. on the 2nd floor in room 206). Please contact Eric Kulczycky at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- 2023 SGMP NEC (June 6-8, Bloomington, MN). The Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) National Education Conference (NEC) is the largest annual event in the government meetings industry and is where government professionals from across the country come together for non-stop education, resources, and connections. For more information about this conference, visit sgmp.org/conference.
- Fairfax County Sports Tourism Task Force Meeting (Fairfax, VA). Established to evaluate and improve sports tourism infrastructure and opportunities in the county, the Fairfax County Sports Tourism Task Force reviewed progress with the construction and marketing of Patriot Park North, the six-diamond, turf/lighted complex opening in Spring 2023. Located next to Willow Spring Elementary School in Fairfax, this facility features four 90-foot diamonds, two 70-foot diamonds, portable mounds, scoreboards, a press box, concession stands, and a playground. Visit Fairfax has worked closely with the Fairfax County Park Authority to market Patriot Park North to baseball and softball tournament organizers throughout the country, which has resulted in over 20 tournament bookings through the end of this year.