The Visit Fairfax team has been hard at work selling and promoting Fairfax County to potential clients, groups, and media. The team is always happy to share updates from tradeshows, appointments, and events. Read on for an updated list of recent activities and what will be happening over the next few months. You may find that this information can benefit your business.
Association & Reunions:
- Visit Fairfax hosted our 10th Annual Family Reunion Workshop at the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport hotel in February. We had 85 family reunion planners attend, and we were joined for the workshop by 18 of our great Fairfax County hotels, attractions, and service suppliers. Following the workshop, the planners toured the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. (top photo)
- Visit Fairfax attended the Your Military Reunion Connection (YMRC) trade show in Myrtle Beach, SC in February and met with the planners for 18 military reunion groups.
- We also attended the Rendezvous South trade show in Daytona Beach, FL in February, meeting with 15 association and reunion group planners. (middle photo)
- Visit Fairfax attended Connect Chicago in March and met with 19 national association planners. (bottom photo)
- Visit Fairfax hosted the Reston-Herndon Meeting Planners (RHMP) for their breakfast meeting in March at Convene at Tysons Corner.
- Visit Fairfax will conduct two days of sales call on Virginia state association accounts in Richmond, VA this month.
- This month, Visit Fairfax will partner with Virginia Tourism Corporation and seven of our fellow DMOs from around Virginia on a sales mission to call on corporate and association accounts in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina.
- Visit Fairfax will attend the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE) annual conference in Norfolk, VA in May.
- We will also attend the Smart Meetings “Smart Mart” evening in National Harbor, MD in June to meet with corporate and association planners.
- Finally, we will be hosting The Military Reunion Network (TMRN) and 50 military reunion planners for the group’s annual Education Summit in June, to be held at the Sheraton Reston. We’ll spend a full day showing the planners our amazing Fairfax County attractions, as well as providing them with a special “sneak preview” of the new National Museum of the United States Army, scheduled to open here in Fairfax County in late 2019.
Corporate & Government:
- In partnership with the Virginia Procurement Technical Assistance Program, Visit Fairfax is in the process of coordinating a special seminar to educate and train Fairfax County hoteliers who desire basic training in the government market, including how to respond to state and federal RFPs. The target period for the seminar is early May 2018.
- Here are a few government meetings and conferences that Visit Fairfax has recently participated in or will be participating in soon:
- March 20, 2018: Society of Government Meeting Professionals National Capital Area Chapter (SGMP NATCAP) March Expo and Education Event. Visit Fairfax had a booth at the expo.
- April 18, 2018: SGMP NATCAP Chapter Meeting (5-10 p.m.) at the Canopy by Hilton in North Bethesda, Maryland.
- June 5-7, 2018: SGMP National Education Conference & Expo (NEC) in Norfolk, VA. The SGMP NEC is the largest annual event in the government meetings industry. For more information or to register, visit www.sgmpnec.org. (see photo)
- Visit Fairfax continues to play a leading role in furthering efforts of Fairfax County government’s Sports Tourism Task Force. Recent Task Force presentations have included: 1) Sports Tourism Organizational and Economic Impact Models (Barry Biggar, Visit Fairfax); 2) Review of Private, Federal, State, and Local Funding Opportunities (Scott Sizer, Fairfax County Government); 3) Planning and Development of Sports Complexes (Dev Pathik, Sports Facilities Advisory); 4) Top Immediate Sports Tourism Opportunities (Eric Kulczycky, Visit Fairfax).
- The Nation’s Capital Area Association of the United States Bowling Congress has teamed up with Visit Fairfax to mount a bid to host the 2020 Virginia State Open Bowling Championships, which would take place over six weekends in May and June 2020. The series of tournaments would draw an estimated 400+ visitors/weekend to Fairfax County. Bid presentations will be made in May and final host decisions will be made in September of this year.
- Visit Fairfax recently conducted hotel site inspections with Jon Oppenheimer of MYHockey Tournaments for events scheduled in 2018-2019. The RFP was expected to be distributed in late March 2018 to hotels in the Reston and Dulles areas of the county.
- Here are some upcoming sports meetings and conferences that Visit Fairfax will be participating in:
- April 23-26, 2018: National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) Sports Symposium in Minneapolis, MN. One of the sports travel industry’s largest tradeshows, the NASC Sports Symposium generates lead opportunities through appointments with sports event planners and decision-makers responsible for selecting destinations for state, regional, national, and international events.
- April 18, May 16, and June 20, 2018: 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.
Tour & Travel:
- American Bus Association held their annual Marketplace in Charlotte, NC from January 27 – 30, 2018. This show provided Visit Fairfax the opportunity to network with tour operators as well as directly pitch itinerary ideas in one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments. If you would like to receive the lead notes from this tradeshow, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Visit Fairfax joined Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium on a Receptive Sales Mission to New York, NY during the first week of March to promote international business into and within Northern Virginia. (see photo)
- Visit Fairfax attended Active America China in Atlanta, GA from March 25 - 27, 2018. This tradeshow allowed us to promote Fairfax County to some of the top Chinese tour operators and receptive operators via one-on-one appointments. The Chinese market continued its reign as the Capital Region’s number one international inbound market for the second year in a row in 2017.
- Hainan Airlines and Capital Region USA organized a Familiarization Tour to Fairfax County, Washington, DC, and Baltimore that took place this past week. This FAM Tour included top tour operators from growing second-tier cities in the Chengdu region of China. Thanks to the Hilton Washington Dulles for partnering with us on this opportunity.
- Visit Fairfax will join Capital Region USA on their annual China Sales Mission this month, from April 8 - 13. This year’s mission will go to Beijing, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, where we will be promoting the non-stop Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Washington Dulles International Airport, set to begin in September 2018.
- There is no need for your guests to travel to DC for all of the excitement during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Several memorable events will be happening right here in Fairfax County. The Workhouse Arts Center is hosting Cherry Blossom Art Walk on Saturday, April 14 from 6 – 9 pm. Every building will be celebrating the blossoms with gorgeous art pieces in ceramics, glass, jewelry and other visual arts. All studios will be open. For garden enthusiasts, there are the Glorious Gardens Self-Guided Tours of River Farm (ahsgardening.org), Meadowlark (novaparks.com/parks/meadowlark-botanical-gardens), and Green Spring Gardens (fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/green-spring). Visitors to these lovely spots tour the properties on their own and then receive a special gift as a memento of the Festival (until April 15, while supplies last). Check individual gardens for hours and directions.
- Visit Fairfax has set up a special display at the Virginia Gateway Welcome Center to entice visitors along I-95N to visit Fairfax. As part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation Welcome Centers ad program, localities in the state can pay for a month-long “blitz” in the Centers, featuring brochures, coupons and anything else designed to attract travelers to their areas. April and May are the blitz months for Visit Fairfax, which is particularly timely since Fairfax is hosting several events during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Marketing & Communications:
- Visit Fairfax President and CEO Barry Biggar, and Director of Marketing Patrick Lennon attended the inaugural Connect Travel Marketing Leadership Summit in Orlando, FL. At the conference, Barry and Patrick were introduced to various new products, services, people and ideas that are intended to help DMOs thrive in a rapidly evolving and highly competitive global marketplace.
- In late March, Visit Fairfax joined the Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium (NVVC) on a public relations mission to New York, NY. The group had deskside meetings with various national and international publications to pitch them regional story ideas about Northern Virginia. (pictured at Travel + Leisure offices)
- This past week, NVVC also completed a public relations mission to Toronto, Ontario in Canada to meet with journalists, freelancers, and international publications to share regional updates and pitch storylines about Northern Virginia.
- In May, Ali Morris and Patrick Lennon of Visit Fairfax's marketing team will travel to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area for the Simpleview Summit (the annual conference of our web agency). Both Ali and Patrick are now members of Simpleview's CRM and CMS advisory boards, respectively.
- NVVC was recently accepted as members into the Travel Media Association of Canada and will travel to Victoria in late May to meet with 25+ members of the Canadian press to pitch and cultivate regional storylines as a way of promoting Northern Virginia to the lucrative Canadian market.
- Looking for ways to broaden your reach in the media? You can still sign-up for the Visit Fairfax corporate social responsibility marketing campaign, LoveShare. All we need from you is a special offer geared towards locals. That's it! Read more and submit your offer here.
- Visit Fairfax is pleased to offer marketing and public relations support to the upcoming Lord Fairfax Charity Ride, which will see Lord Nicholas Fairfax, a descendant of Fairfax County's namesake, lead a charity motorcycle ride around the perimeter of the original Northern Neck Land Grant. Read more about the ride here.
- Visit Fairfax continues to see incredible growth on our social media accounts. Please help us continue to grow by tagging us (@VisitFairfax) on your own accounts and by using our hashtag, #FXVA.