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 on the road at tradeshows and seeking new leads for Fairfax County. Here are some recent updates:
- Mid-August saw National Sales Managers Dean Miller and Eric Kulczycky in Minneapolis, MN for the Connect Marketplace trade show event. Dean met with more than 30 association planners over the course of three days, while Eric conferred with an equal number of sports tournament organizers.
- Dean and Eric represented Fairfax County at the FLEX (Fairfax – Loudon Event Executives) “Summer Camp” meeting of event planners at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA in early September. Visit Fairfax was a Presenting Sponsor of the event, which attracted more than 100 corporate, association, and government planners from around the Washington, DC area for the day. (see photo)
- October will also see us travel to the Mohegan Sun resort complex in Uncasville, CT for the Destination East trade show event, where we’ll meet one-on-one with 25 association and corporate planners over two-and-a-half days.
- On Thursday, October 6, we were in Richmond, VA for the annual Virginia Society of Association Executives (VASE) Fall Conference & Expo. Five of our great Fairfax County meeting hotels and attractions joined us in our booth for the day, as we dressed in hospital scrubs and played an oversized game of “Operation” to highlight that Fairfax County is The Cure For The Common Meeting! (see photo)
- And we’ll wrap up October in Raleigh, NC with eight of our fellow DMOs from around the Commonwealth of Virginia for a three-day sales blitz, including a major presentation to the Association Executives of North Carolina (AENC) at their Fall Meeting.
- In November, we’ll travel back to Richmond, VA for a two-sales blitz of Virginia state association accounts, highlighting the advantages of bringing a group to Fairfax County in our meetings with association executives and planners.
- And we’ll close out the year at the Connect DC trade show event in Washington, DC, where we’ll spend two days meeting one-on-one with 30 association and corporate meeting planners looking to place their programs here.
- Visit Fairfax was well-represented at the grand unveiling of the top-to-bottom renovation of Marriott Westfields on Thursday evening, September 21st. Visit Fairfax President and CEO Barry Biggar offered congratulatory remarks to all of the attendees at the event.
- Meetings Today, the highest circulation publication in the United States edited for meeting professionals, cited Visit Fairfax in its October 2023 issue with a “Best Of” award among Southern DMOs. This was the first time Visit Fairfax has received this prestigious honor.
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:
Where We Are
- The marketing to our European tour and travel partners has begun with a multi-step approach lasting through the spring of 2024.
- Visit Fairfax secured a two-page advertorial on the luxury side of Fairfax County in the UK’s leading influential tour and travel magazine Wanderlust, which hit newsstands in the UK in mid-September.
- In September, we met with European travel companies and providers to that market at this year's CRUSA-Global Travel Exchange in Annapolis, MD. (see photo) Visit Fairfax has secured placement in itineraries highlighting some of our amazing attractions and experiences. Visit Fairfax, in collaboration with our partners through NVTP, welcomed some of our esteemed tour planners from throughout Europe as they kicked off their pre-familiarization tours through the Capital Region prior to the annual conference for an evening of celebration aboard the Tall Ship Providence in Alexandria. Visit Fairfax had a very special opportunity to welcome our guests with introductions and greetings made by President & CEO Barry Biggar and our guests enjoyed a 2021 Petit Verdot, compliments of Fairfax County’s Paradise Springs Winery, a Virginia Governors Cup Case Winner.
- Visit Fairfax will be returning to the UK in mid-October to attend Brand USA’s Travel Week U.K. and Europe 2023 meeting top-buyers from the UK and Europe to build future awareness and future visitation to the United States and destinations throughout.
- Stay tuned for more over the coming months as we welcome groups from Switzerland, conduct Sales Missions, and continue our media and relations through Europe.
- Planning for the 2024 student group season is underway and Visit Fairfax attended the annual Student Youth Travel Associations (SYTA) annual conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba in late August. Meeting with over 24 student tour planners and operators from across the United States, we shared insight on group-friendly restaurants, hotels, experiences, and tours. Reports from all the tour planners and operators say that 2024 will be a record year and travel has already surpassed pre-Covid numbers! Did you know? Fairfax County is a prime destination for groups as Washington, DC is listed as one of the Top 5 destinations in the United States for student groups.
- As a long-standing member and partner to The Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC, Lori Scott, serving as an official Evaluator for those guides taking their final exam to become Certified Master Guides, participated in this year's class as the guides conducted their final exam where they are evaluated on their skills and knowledge of key memorials and monuments in our region.
- Through our partnership with NVTP, Visit Fairfax conducted a one-day familiarization tour of some of the amazing leisure group and FIT experiences available in Fairfax County. Through this collaboration with our partnering DMOs in Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William, and Loudoun, we support each other's destinations and the experiences they offer to promote our region to visitors. Thank you to those Fairfax County partners who participated: Sully Historic Site (Fairfax County Park Authority), River-Sea Chocolates, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (NOVA Parks), The Perch, Wren, USA Guided Tours, Silver Diner, and Great Falls Park. (see photo)
Leisure Market News
- Dulles International Airport was just announced as the fastest-growing US Gateway. And, just announced, beginning spring of 2024, Swiss Air will begin daily non-stop flights to and from Zurich out of IAD! Swiss Air is the latest addition to the growing number of international flights to call IAD home and bring more international visitors into our region. Did you know? The Top 4 markets to the Capital Region are the UK, Germany, France, and India as reported by MWAA! Want to learn more about these markets, the airlines and their frequencies coming in through IAD, or details about these key markets? Contact Lori Scott.
- Silver Diner is the newest partner to welcome motorcoach groups! With tour operator-friendly menus, systems, and scheduling, Visit Fairfax is thrilled to assist in their marketing efforts to welcome more tour groups to Fairfax County! If your business is interested in building leisure group sales, contact us and we will be happy to provide you and your team with knowledge about this lucrative market and one-on-one assistance on how to get started and how to attract them.
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:
- CONNECT Sports Marketplace (Minneapolis, MN). CONNECT Sports is an annual education conference and appointment-only trade show bringing together active planners and rights-holders, suppliers, and experts in sports events for three days of general sessions, workshops, and pre-set appointments. Visit Fairfax met with 27 tournament planners and, in conjunction with Sports Virginia and other DMOs in the Commonwealth pursuing the sports market, co-hosted tournament planners at a special client function during the show.
- S.P.O.R.T.S. Relationship Conference (Bend, IN). Visit Fairfax attended the S.P.O.R.T.S. Relationship Conference, an exclusive, space-limited show offering pre-qualified, one-on-one appointments that are twice as long as those at similar industry events. In addition to personal meetings with a variety of sports rightsholders, Visit Fairfax hosted a client function to promote Northern Virginia as a preferred destination for travel sports events. (see photo)
- TEAMS Conference & Expo (West Palm Beach, FL). 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 80+ state, regional, national, and international events rights-holders at one of the sports travel industry’s largest tradeshows.
- Fairfax County Athletic Council Meeting (Nov. 15 and Dec.13, 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.
- 2024 American Baseball Coaches Association Convention (January 4-7, 2024; Dallas Texas). The ABCA hosts the world's largest baseball convention (attended by more than 8,000 coaches), which features a tradeshow, meetings, clinics, and award presentations. Visit Fairfax will co-host a special client event to at the show to promote Patriot Park North, Capital One Park, GMU’s Spuhler Field, and other baseball facilities in the county.