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.
Associations & Reunions:
- Visit Fairfax hosted another hugely successful Family Reunion Workshop on Saturday, February 16, at the Fairfax Marriott at Fair Oaks. As we always do, we partnered with Reunions magazine to put on this annual event. Eighteen of our great Fairfax County hotels, attractions, and service providers joined us for a morning of education, information sharing and networking, attended by 86 family reunion planners, our second-best attendance ever! Following lunch, we treated the planners to a tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. (see photo)
- In February, we traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC, where we met one-on-one with the planners for 18 military reunion groups, accompanied by a representative from the Sheraton Reston, at the Your Military Reunion Connection trade show event. (see photo)
- Also in February, we took a trip to Itasca, IL (suburban Chicago), where we met individually with the meeting planners for 18 corporate and association accounts at the Connect Chicago trade show event.
- March began with a trip to The Woodlands, TX (suburban Houston) for Rendezvous South, where we teamed up with representatives from Richmond and Stafford County, Virginia to promote Virginia as a great meeting destination. We met individually with 20 association and corporate planners over the course of three days. (see photo)
- Also in March, Visit Fairfax hosted a special workshop for our hotels, restaurants, and catering venues eager to book more LGBTQ wedding business. Representatives from Q Virginia Magazine will speak about opportunities to attract bookings from this rapidly-growing market segment.
- This month will see us in Richmond, VA on our annual spring blitz targeting Virginia state association accounts. Representatives from the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport and the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner will join us for two full days of sales calls.
- In May, Visit Fairfax will be at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA for the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE) annual conference, connecting with meeting planners from dozens of statewide associations.
- June will take us to Nashville, TN, to meet with more than 30 military reunion planners at The Military Reunion Network’s annual Education Summit.
- Also in June, we’ll attend the trade show event hosted by Smart Meetings magazine in Washington, DC to meet face-to-face with 20 or more association and corporate planners.
Along with other members of Sports Virginia, Visit Fairfax attended the Virginia Sports Summit from February 5-6, 2019 in Norfolk, VA. This inaugural event delivered education and networking opportunities to Virginia’s sports tourism industry, connecting staff of CVBs, sports organizations, parks and recreation departments, and businesses throughout the Commonwealth. Topics at the Summit included: Best & Worst Practices in Sports Tourism Marketing; Use of Technology in Sports Event Management; Evolution, Growth, and Future of Esports; and Sports Tourism Industry Trends and Strategies. [see photo - pictured left to right: Eric Kulczycky (Visit Fairfax); Carey Harveycutter (City of Salem-Tourism); Lisa Pacheco (Sports Williamsburg); Lisa Logan (Stafford Tourism); Torye Hurst (Visit Loudoun); Brooks Hierstein (Sports Hampton); Courtney Braman (Stafford Tourism); Lisa Meriwether (Lynchburg Office of Economic Development and Tourism); Kenneth Payne (Visit Virginia Beach).]
The Fairfax County Sports Tourism Task Force, which was formed to better understand the potential economic impact of the $10 billion and growing sports travel industry, issued an interim report with recommendations on how Fairfax County can improve its sports tourism infrastructure. A subcommittee of this Task Force is currently in the process of hiring a consultant to help investigate the feasibility of developing tournament-friendly sports facilities in the county.
Visit Fairfax will attend the following conferences and meetings:
April 17, 2019: Fairfax County Athletic Council Meeting (Fairfax, VA). 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 monthly from 7:30-9 p.m. at the Pennino Building across from the Fairfax County Government Center.
May 6-9, 2019: National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) Sports Symposium in Knoxville, TN. 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.
- Visit Fairfax will attend the following conferences and meetings:
- June 25-27, 2019: Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) National Education Conference & Expo (NEC) in Detroit, MI. The SGMP NEC is the largest annual event in the government meetings industry. Visit sgmp.org/conference for more information.
Tour & Travel:
Visit Fairfax’s Linda Horowitz attended the International Inbound Travel Association (IITA) Summit from February 3-6, 2019 in Savannah, Georgia. The summit provided a one-on-one appointment marketplace for inbound tour operators and US Suppliers to plan travel for international visitors.
Northern Virginia recently took Florida by storm! Members of the Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership tour and travel committee participated in a sales mission in Florida between March 4-8, 2019. Over the five days, the team conducted sales calls with receptive tour operators in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Orlando. (see photo)
Visit Fairfax attended Active American China from March 26-28,2019 in Anchorage, Alaska. Unlike other marketplaces, this is the only show in North America that is dedicated to growing inbound Chinese tourism. Attending buyers are from key Chinese tour companies that are collectively responsible for over 40% of all tourism to North America. The show will feature three days of pre-set appointments, education sessions and discussion panels.
Visit Fairfax will join Capital Region USA on their annual China Sales Mission from April 14 - 20, 2019. This year’s mission spans Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, where we will promote the non-stop Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Washington Dulles International Airport, that began in September 2018.
Visit Fairfax will attend IPW in Anaheim, California from June 2-6, 2019. This leading international inbound travel trade show is one of the largest in the US, with buyers from 70+ countries present. We will have pre-scheduled appointments with our top international clients, as well as introduce Fairfax County to many new international tour operators. Visit Fairfax will also have a media presence at this show.
Hot off the heels of IPW, Visit Fairfax will be in Cheyenne, Wyoming on June 9-13, 2019 for Travel Alliance Partner’s TAP Dance. This show allows Visit Fairfax to have appointments with tour operator partners to gain insight on the current national tour trends and learn how Visit Fairfax can be of assistance in future tour development.
During the National Cherry Blossom Festival, visitors didn’t need to travel farther than Fairfax County to enjoy beautiful trees and many exciting events. Visit Fairfax sponsored activities at several area attractions, including the Workhouse Art Center, Green Spring Gardens, Frying Pan Farm Park, the Children’s Science Center Lab and Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. The Fairfax County Visitor Center hosted a “culture fair” with souvenirs and demonstrations of origami and calligraphy, and also served as a central information point for visitors seeking things to do during the Festival.
Media & Communications:
- Fairfax County and several of our great meeting hotels were featured prominently in both the February issue of Smart Meetings and the March issue of Meetings Today magazines.
- Visit Fairfax has a brand new blog! If you are interested in writing guest blog content or using some of this content on your own website, please contact Ali Morris (email@example.com).
- At the end of March, Visit Fairfax hosted six members of the media from various regions in China on a collaborative familiarization tour of the region. The group will be focusing on the continued promotion of the new Cathay Pacific flight into Washington Dulles Airport.
- This month, members of the Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership will travel to New York, NY, and Toronto, Ontario (Canada) to meet with journalists and other members of the media to pitch storylines related to Northern Virginia.
- In April, Visit Fairfax hosted a writer from upstate New York on a family-focused, weekend getaway familiarization tour of Fairfax. This connection came about due to Visit Fairfax's involvement in the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA).
- In May, Visit Fairfax will travel back to Toronto with Virginia Tourism Corporation to meet with operators, agents, and journalists to pitch Fairfax County as a destination to the Ontario market.
- Tourism week will return the first week of May and Visit Fairfax is excited to launch the Summer of LOVE tour of Fairfax County's first permanent LOVEworks sign. Stay tuned for more information.
- In June, Visit Fairfax will attend IPW in Anaheim, CA. IPW is one of the largest travel tradeshows in the world and Visit Fairfax will be sharing information about the county to more than 20 members of the media. We will also have a major sales presence at this show.
- Visit Fairfax is pleased to share some new clips that have recently been published as a result of previous familiarization tours of the county or direct efforts of our team. Please contact Ali Morris for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.