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 Meetings 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:
- We attended the Destination East trade show event in Albany, NY in mid-October, where we met one-on-one with 17 corporate and association meeting planners from the Northeastern United States.
- On Wednesday, October 26, we hosted the Professional Conference Management Association (PCMA) Capital Chapter for their “Sparkler” event at Capital One Hall at Tysons. Over 100 meeting planners and suppliers attended the group’s educational sessions and the reception that followed; most were first-time visitors to Capital One Hall, and everyone came away extremely impressed by this stunning new facility.
- November saw us exhibiting at the three-day AAA “Travelpaloozaaa” conference at Marriott Westfields, where we chatted one-on-one with over 200 AAA travel counselors from twelve Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia. Visit Fairfax President and CEO Barry Biggar personally welcomed all of the attendees to Fairfax County during the event’s opening session.
- We spent a full day in early November in Richmond, VA, calling on select Virginia state association planners.
- Dean Miller and Eric Kulczycky both attended the Connect Winter Marketplace trade show event in downtown Washington, DC in late November. Dean met with 18 association meeting planners, while Eric met with an equal number of corporate planners in the medical and medical technology fields.
- December kicked off with the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE) Holiday Luncheon in Richmond, VA, where Dean Miller kept up-to-date with dozens of Virginia association executives and planners.
- December also saw us attending the Meetings Today Live! trade show event in Savannah, GA, where we had two days of one-on-one appointments with group planners from around the Southern United States.
- January will see us in Memphis, TN, and Peoria, IL in back-to-back weeks, at the IPEC (Independent Planner Education Conference) and Connect Midwest trade show events, respectively. We’ll meet with over 20 planners at each event.
- And February will take us to Knoxville, TN for the Rendezvous South trade show event; once again, we’ll be exhibiting as part of the “Virginia Lovers” team, in conjunction with our tourism colleagues from Richmond and Stafford, VA.
- For the sixth consecutive year, and the eighth time in the past nine years, Visit Fairfax was the recipient of a Reader’s Choice Award from the editors of Convention South magazine. Two of our great hotels – the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner and the Hyatt Regency Dulles – were similarly honored this year. Additionally, The Watermark Hotel was honored in the “New and Renovated” category.
On the Tour & Travel Side:
Lori Scott has joined the Visit Fairfax team as the new National and International Sales Manager, continuing our efforts in the tour & travel market:
Visit Fairfax attended Capital Region USA's Global Travel Exchange in mid-October and met with International CRUSA Reps from Germany, the UK, France, and Ireland and met with 32 international tour operators and inbound international receptive operators. In addition, Visit Fairfax received updates on each market, including these notes:
Western Europe dominates for top visitation to the region and is currently at 67% of 2019 levels for FY22.
The top 4 overseas markets for the CRUSA region, through August 2022, are the UK, Germany, India, and France.
Full recovery to the region is expected by 2023 for the UK, Germany, and France the CRUSA region.
Before and after the Global Travel Exchange, Visit Fairfax hosted both a pre and post-familiarization tour, in conjunction with Virginia Tourism Corporation and Capital Region USA, and welcomed tour operators from France, the UK, and Germany. The pre-FAM group, consisting of one group of 13 operators stayed overnight in the Archer Hotel Tysons and toured Mount Vernon and the Gristmill. For the post-FAM, the group toured Udvar-Hazy on their last day in the area.
HOTEL PARTNERS >> If you are interested in working with and gaining business from the international markets, please contact Lori Scott (LScott@fxva.com). If you are presently working with international receptive operators, let us know!
Visit Fairfax welcomed 72 attendees for the 3rd annual Accent East Showcase which took place November 3-5 at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park, where we met with 18 tour operators to discuss the region. We hosted and welcomed all attendees for the Showcase Reception and Dinner at The Winery at Bull Run serving Mission BBQ and wines from the winery.
After the showcase, Visit Fairfax hosted a post-familiarization tour for 13 Tour Operators showing some of our amazing attractions and restaurants including (and special thanks to) La Sandia Mexican Kitchen, The Barns at Wolf Trap (performance and reception), Woodlawn and Pope Leighey House, the Workhouse Arts Center (art class) and the Lucy Burns Museum, and the National Museum of the United States Army.
Visit Fairfax attended the National Tour Association conference in Reno, Nevada from November 12 – 17 and held a total of 24 appointments with Tour Operators, as well as attending five educational sessions. Visit Fairfax joined other Virginia state DMOs and Virginia Tourism Corporation for a “Sales Mission” while at NTA Trex, showcasing the state of Virginia and the many itineraries available.
STAKEHOLDER WINS >> Glory Days Grill has picked up 5 new groups, from 5 new tour operators, stemming from leads from the tour and travel markets. Additionally, River Sea Chocolate Factory was showcased at this year’s NTA Conference in partnership with Visit Fairfax and Virginia Tourism Corporation. Approximately 150 specially crafted tasting boxes were distributed to Tour Operators from across the country at this year’s NTA Conference, which was the first travel-related trade show for River Sea Chocolate Factory.
Visit Fairfax attended the Capital Region USA mission to Belgium, Switzerland, and France in early December to introduce Fairfax County to tour operators in those markets.
In January, Visit Fairfax will be marketing Fairfax County to the German market in addition to a return to Switzerland.
In February, Visit Fairfax will be attending the largest domestic tour operator show in the country during the American Bus Associations Marketplace in Detroit, Michigan.
Visit Fairfax will be back on the international path attending IITA (International Inbound Travel Association) from February 12 – 15.
On the Sports Side:
Eric Kulczycky, our National Sales Manager in charge of the sports market, has been working hard on furthering Visit Fairfax's foray into sports event tourism:
Upcoming Conferences and Meetings:
- January 5-8, 2023: 2023 American Baseball Coaches Association Convention (Nashville, TN). The ABCA hosts the world's largest baseball convention (attended by more than 7,000 coaches), which features a tradeshow, meetings, clinics, and award presentations. Visit Fairfax will participate in the convention and co-host an event to promote Patriot Park North, the six-diamond turf complex opening in Fairfax in Spring 2023.
- January 18, 2023: Fairfax County Athletic Council Meeting. 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 currently take place on the third Wednesday of every month via Microsoft Teams from 6-9 p.m. Please contact Eric Kulczycky at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Baseball Fam Tour (Fairfax County, VA). In partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) and the Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League (NVTBL), Visit Fairfax conducted a familiarization tour for baseball tournament organizers. Sites visited included the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center as well as George Mason University’s Spuhler Field, the Patriot Park North diamond complex, and several county park and high school diamond facilities. Special thanks go out to Tim Lander (Manager of Patriot Park North) and Rob Hahne (Executive Director of NVTBL and Visit Fairfax Board Member) for their assistance with planning and hosting the two-day tour.
- 2022 Virginia Baseball Coaches Association Convention (Fairfax County, VA). Visit Fairfax co-exhibited with Fairfax County Park Authority to promote Patriot Park North and the county’s satellite fields at the VBCA annual convention held at the Fairfax Marriott. In addition to distributing materials and answering questions at the show booth, Visit Fairfax and FCPA gave presentations to the 200+ attendees regarding the new turf diamond complex and Fairfax County’s tourist attractions.
- 2022 TEAMS Conference & Expo (Oklahoma City, OK). In partnership with other CVBs and sports commissions as part of the Sports Virginia coalition, Visit Fairfax co-hosted a client event and generated leads through appointments with more than 60+ state, regional, national, and international events rights-holders at one of the sports travel industry’s largest tradeshows.