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:
- We kicked off May by attending the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE) Annual Conference in Hampton, VA. Visit Fairfax was a Gold Sponsor of the event, and Dean Miller met with more than 25 Virginia state association executives and meeting planners over the course of the two-and-a-half-day conference.
- Fairfax County was prominently featured in the May issue of Convention South magazine; six of our Fairfax County meeting hotels were mentioned by name in the article.
- June will see us teaming up with our DMO peers from around Virginia to entertain meeting planners for an afternoon at a Washington Nationals game, promoting the advantages of meeting in Virginia.
- Also in June, we’ll travel to Niagara Falls, NY, where we’ll meet with the planners for more than 40 military reunion groups at The Military Reunion Network’s annual Educational Summit. Fairfax County has already been chosen to host this event in June of 2024; the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport has been selected as the host hotel for this high-profile event.
- We’ll start off July in Nashville, TN, where we’ll meet one-on-one with over 30 meeting planners at the Meetings Today Live! trade show event.
- July will also see us entertaining a select group of locally-based planners for lunch and a tour of the National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir.
- In August, we’ll travel to Minneapolis, MN, where Dean Miller will meet face-to-face with 35 association planners at Connect Marketplace, while Eric Kulczycky will meet with an equal number of sports tournament organizers.
- Working with the executives of the Reston-Herndon Meeting Planners (RHMP), an association of planners based here in the county, we have assisted the organization in evolving to a new name and mission. The group will be known going forward as FLEX, the Fairfax Loudon Event Executives. The group will continue to hold its annual full-day “Summer Camp” educational program for planners; for this year’s program, both Visit Fairfax and Visit Loudoun will be marquee sponsors.
- The Quantum World Congress, a major international summit devoted to the future of quantum computing, will take place here in Fairfax County in September of this year. Visit Fairfax worked with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) to attract this high-profile scientific program here to Fairfax County. The conference will be held at Capital One Center at Tysons; The Watermark Hotel will serve as the headquarters hotel for the meeting. The event organizers have contracted with four additional hotels at Tysons to provide accommodations for event attendees. More than 1,200 scientists, government officials, researchers, and computing visionaries from around the world will attend this program. Additional information about the program may be found at www.quantumworldcongress.com.
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 Connect’s RTO Spring in Las Vegas from April 10-13 with Inbound International Tour Operators throughout the United States during pre-scheduled one on one appointments.
Visit Fairfax also attended Southeast Tourism Society’s Domestic Showcase and SMPR Educational Forum in Huntsville, AL from April 15-20, 2023. The Showcase portion, through pre-scheduled appointments, educational breakouts, and networking events, provides the opportunity to meet with tour and travel group planners, specifically those interested in experiences and destinations throughout the Southeast for future tours. During the SMPR Forum, Visit Fairfax participated in two days of educational opportunities focusing on Sales, Marketing, Public Relations, alongside other DMOs across the Southeast.
Visit Fairfax attended IPW in San Antonio, Texas from May 20–24, meeting with tour and travel-related partners and clients over three days through pre-scheduled appointments and networking events.
In conjunction with Capital Region USA, a webinar was hosted for hoteliers interested in working with the inbound international FIT markets. Thank you to those that participated in this webinar on June 7. If you missed the webinar and are interested in working with the international markets, please contact us.
Visit Fairfax participated in the celebration of the inaugural flight into IAD from Norse Atlantic Airways, running 6x a week - daily non-stop flights to and from Gatwick Airport in London. Additional new routes have opened at IAD since April including a daily non-stop through Play Airlines to and from Reykjavik, Iceland; a new daily non-stop to and from Berlin through United Airlines; a 3x a week non-stop to and from Calgary, Canada through WestJet; and ITA Airways running a 5x a week service to and from Rome.
- Visit Fairfax hosted a familiarization tour from USA Travel Consultants, out of Belgium, the first week of June.
- Visit Fairfax will be busy preparing for Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) being held in August.
- Hotel surveys are being sent around as we continue to work on an audit of our hotel information. Please respond as this information is vital to sharing opportunities with you, our stakeholders.
- 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.
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:
- Fairfax County Athletic Council Meeting (June 21 and July 19, 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.
- CONNECT Sports Marketplace (August 22-24, 2023; Minneapolis, MN). CONNECT Sports is an annual education conference and tradeshow bringing together sports event planners and suppliers for three days of general sessions, workshops, and pre-set appointments.
- 2023 SGMP NEC (June 6-8; Bloomington, MN). Attended the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) National Education Conference (NEC), the largest annual event in the government meetings industry. Government event planners from across the country convened for industry education, award ceremonies, and networking.
- IPGW Site Tour (June 2, 2023). Sponsored the Independent Planners of Greater Washington luncheon at Eddie V’s in Tysons for nine event planners. The luncheon was followed by a site inspection of the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center and IPGW’s education meeting.
- 2023 Sports Events & Tourism Association Symposium (May 8-11, 2023; Kansas City, MO). Attended one of the sports travel industry’s largest tradeshows, the Sports Events and Tourism Association (Sports ETA) Symposium, which generated 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 co-sponsored 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.
- Major League Baseball Home Run Derby X (April 29-May 1, 2023). Major League Baseball hosted the co-ed Home Run Derby X competition, which is part of a global baseball tour based on the Home Run Derby that is contested the day before the MLB All-Star Game. With hotel sourcing and logistics assistance provided by Visit Fairfax, the event was held at Patriot Park North in Fairfax and Capital One Park in Tysons.