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 kicked off January at two meeting planner events in the Mid-West: IPEC (Independent Planner Education Conference) in Memphis, TN, and Connect Midwest in Peoria, IL (pictured). We met with more than fifty association, corporate, third-party, and sports planners at the two gatherings.
- February will see us in Knoxville, TN, attending the Rendezvous South trade show event, where we’ll meet one-on-one with more than twenty-five corporate and association planners.
- On Saturday, February 25, Visit Fairfax will be the exclusive sponsor of a two-hour online workshop for family reunion planners, hosted by the National Family Reunion Institute (www.familyreunioninstitute.net). The workshop will feature (among other things) tips on negotiating a hotel contract for your reunion, as well as highlights of our great Fairfax County attractions of interest to family groups. Our thanks to Matt Hurst and his team at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport for their assistance in preparing our sponsorship videos!
- In March, we’ll host several locally-based planners for lunch and personal tours of the new National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir.
- Also in March, we’ll travel to Richmond, VA, for two days of in-person sales calls with the meeting planners for more than a dozen Virginia state associations. Two of our great Fairfax County meeting hotels will accompany us.
- In May, we’ll attend the VSAE (Virginia Society of Association Executives) annual meeting in Hampton, VA, where we’ll meet with more than fifty state association executives and meeting planners.
- Convention South magazine's February issue contained a feature article on trends in hosting reunions and other social groups. National Sales Manager Dean Miller was quoted at length in the article, and photos of military reunion groups recently meeting here in Fairfax County were featured.
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 attended the Capital Region USA mission to Belgium, Switzerland, and France in early December to introduce Fairfax County to tour operators in those markets. She was joined by DMO partners in Virginia Beach and Charlottesville. The group met with 15 operators throughout Belgium, France, and Geneva, Switzerland, as well as the president of Visit USA Belgium. The group also held a reception for the top 35 operators in the Paris, France region and surrounding area.
Fairfax County is seeing tremendous interest from these international buyers and product is being requested through inbound receptive operators. For any restaurant, hotel, or attraction interested in this market, please contact Lori Scott - LScott@fxva.com.
Additionally, the Metrorail extension has brought great awareness to the Fairfax County area and is now a driving force for demand and for hotels along the Metrorail line.
In January, Visit Fairfax additionally partnered with Capital Region USA and was the featured US destination at the Visit USA 2023 “Island Hopping” event in Switzerland, which welcomed over 230 travel agents from well-known providers across Switzerland and Europe. The event was part of a larger sales mission to Germany and Zurich, Switzerland, in which the delegation visited 10 operators including the US Commercial Services in-market and United Airlines.
In February, Visit Fairfax attended the country's largest domestic tour operator show during the American Bus Associations Marketplace in Detroit, Michigan. Tour operators from both the adult and student market segments are reporting expectations of a record year in 2023 and that all sales are now surpassing 2019 levels.
Visit Fairfax was back on the international path by attending IITA (International Inbound Travel Association) from February 12 – 15.
Visit Fairfax will also be joining Capital Region USA on a sales mission to the United Kingdom in March.
In April, Visit Fairfax will attend both the Southeast Tourism Society Domestic Showcase and the Connect Receptive Tour Operator Summit.
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:
- Visit Fairfax Baseball Fam Tour (March 2-3, 2023): In partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority, Visit Fairfax will conduct a familiarization tour for baseball tournament organizers to showcase Patriot Park North, the new six-diamond turf/lighted facility opening next to Willow Springs Elementary School in Spring 2023. Other facility stops on the tour include George Mason University’s Spuhler Field, Capital One’s new baseball complex currently under construction, and several county park and high school diamond facilities.
- Fairfax County Athletic Council Meeting (March 15, 2023): 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.
- SportsNOVA Fam Tour (January 24, 2023): In conjunction with Loudoun Sports Tourism, Visit Fairfax toured various Northern Virginia sports facilities with a representative of Sports Virginia, the sports marketing arm of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Sites visited in Fairfax County included The St. James, George Mason University, and Patriot Park North.
- Major League Baseball Site Tour (February 4, 2023): Visit Fairfax toured Patriot Park North and Fairfax County hotels with a representative of Major League Baseball (MLB) who was evaluating potential locations for the co-ed MLB Home Run Derby X (HRDX). Tentatively scheduled to take place in late April 2023, the HRDX is part of a global baseball tour based on the Home Run Derby that is usually contested the day before the MLB All-Star Game. Kudos to Visit Fairfax board member Rob Hahne and PPN manager Tim Lander for their partnership in making the site inspection a success and securing this event.
- 2023 American Baseball Coaches Association Convention (January 5-7, 2023). This past January in Nashville, the ABCA hosted the world's largest baseball convention (attended by more than 8,000 coaches), which featured a tradeshow, meetings, clinics, and award presentations. Visit Fairfax attended the convention and co-hosted a client event to promote Patriot Park North and other baseball facilities in the county. Visit Fairfax’s marketing activities resulted in strengthened relationships with existing baseball clients as well as new tournament organizers committing to participate in Visit Fairfax’s Baseball FAM Tour on March 2 & 3, 2023.