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:
- In June, we traveled to Nashville, TN for The Military Reunion Network (TMRN) Educational Summit, where we met with the planners for 25 military reunion groups over three days, promoting Fairfax County as a great reunion destination, and talking up the new National Museum of the United States Army, which will open here in mid-2020. Visit Fairfax had hosted this event in 2018.
- Also in June, we attended the Smart Meetings one-day trade show event in Washington, DC, where we met one-on-one with 16 locally-based corporate and association meeting planners. (see photo)
- In July, Visit Fairfax journeyed to Warwick, RI for a two-day trade show sponsored by Your Military Reunion Connection (YMRC). The Hilton Washington Dulles Airport will join us for 20+ one-on-one appointments with the planners for reunion groups from all four branches of the Armed Services.
- In early August, we’ll be at the Hyatt Regency Dulles, where we will be a co-sponsor of the Reston-Herndon Meeting Planners (RHMP) “Summer Camp” event. This is a full-day seminar and trade show event that attracts more than 225 locally-based corporate, association, and government meeting planners. Visit Fairfax was instrumental in having this event return to Fairfax County for the first time since 2016.
- Also in early August, we’ll be in Richmond, VA for the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE) monthly breakfast meeting.
- Later in August, we’ll travel to New Orleans, LA for the every-third-year Homecoming event hosted by The Overseas Brats. We’ll be working with the group’s Board of Directors, demonstrating to them the advantages of holding this event here in Fairfax County in 2022.
- At the end of August, Dean Miller and Eric Kulczycky will travel to Louisville, KY for Connect Marketplace, a major national trade show for meeting and event planners. Dean will meet one-on-one with 30+ association planners, while Eric will confer with an equal number of sports tournament organizers. This will mark the 11th consecutive year that Visit Fairfax will have been represented at the show.
- And we’ll close out August by taking some locally-based association planners as our guests to dinner and a show (“Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”) at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap.
- The Fairfax County Sports Tourism Task Force hired Conventions, Sports, and Leisure (CSL) to evaluate the county’s facilities infrastructure and assess the feasibility of a sportsplex. In June, Eric Kulczycky joined CSL consultants on several site inspections of select public and private sports facilities in the area and briefed the consultants on the state of sports tourism in the county. Over the next few months, CSL will conduct focus groups and interviews with a variety of facility, tournament, and other key stakeholders. CSL’s final report is expected to be completed in Fall 2019.
- Visit Fairfax will be represented at the following upcoming conferences and meetings:
- August 26-28, 2019: CONNECT Sports Marketplace (Louisville, KY). 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.
- September 18, 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.
- October 8-10, 2019: National Association of Sports Commissions 4S Summit (Providence, RI). The NASC 4S Summit will feature educational presentations by sports travel industry experts as well as provide networking opportunities with tournament planners.
- November 11-15, 2019: TEAMS Conference & Expo (Anaheim, CA). Visit Fairfax will have the opportunity to network with prospective and current clients and have access to lead information generated through 70+ appointments at one of the sports travel industry’s largest tradeshows.
- In late June, Visit Fairfax attended the Society of Government Meeting Professionals National Education Conference & Expo, the largest annual event in the government meetings industry, which provided opportunities to learn best sales/marketing practices along with networking opportunities with meeting and conference planners. At SGMP NEC, Visit Fairfax’s Eric Kulczycky attended a special Government Supplier Bootcamp lead by Cheryl Gordon (CGMP), Senior National Director of Government Sales for B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, who reviewed best practices to maximize government market opportunities. (see photo)
- In June, Visit Fairfax hosted a government meeting bootcamp - "Bidding on Government Meetings Bootcamp" - to help educate Fairfax County hoteliers about various practices to assess and bid on federal and state government meeting opportunities. Topics included: working with (or as) a small business set-aside/priority, lead solicitation sources, responding to RFPs/RFQs, and ethical issues specific to the government market. If you are interested in receiving materials from this boot camp, please send us an email.
Tour & Travel:
- Visit Fairfax attended IPW in Anaheim, CA from June 2-6. This leading international inbound travel trade show is one of the largest in the US, with buyers from 70+ countries present. In addition to re-connecting with existing clients, we introduced Fairfax County to many new international tour operators. This year, the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner joined Visit Fairfax as a booth partner and had the opportunity to participate in 28 pre-scheduled appointments with our top international clients.
- Visit Fairfax was in Cheyenne, WY on June 9-13 for Travel Alliance Partner’s TAP Dance. This exclusive members-only show enabled Visit Fairfax to have appointments with 28 tour operator partners for one-on-one itinerary building and to gain insight on the current national tour trends.
- In July, Visit Fairfax, in partnership with Capital Region USA and United Airlines hosted a FAM from Japanese tour operators. The FAM consisted of six top tour operators from some of the leading tour companies in Japan. FAM participants were able to visit George Washington’s Mount Vernon, shop at Tysons Corner Center and enjoy dinner at Earls Kitchen + Bar and enjoy a two-night stay at the Westin Tysons Corner. (see photo)
- In conjunction with United Airlines and Virginia Tourism Corporation, Visit Fairfax hosted a second international FAM in July. The FAM comprised of four receptive tour operators specializing in the Indian market and a Brand USA representative from India. The FAM attendees will get to tour and dine at George Washington’s Mount Vernon before departing for more sightseeing in Virginia on their short 2-day trip.
- In August, Visit Fairfax will attend the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) Annual Conference in Birmingham, AL. This premier event is the only conference and showcase dedicated to the student and youth market in North America. We will have pre-scheduled appointments with vetted tour operators to highlight tour product and provide updates on new developments in the county.
- Frying Pan Farm Park was the first stop on this spring's Visit Fairfax Ambassador tour. Other venues visited were the Lake Anne Brew House, Reston Museum, Greater Reston Arts Center, and Roer's Zoofari -- all excellent places to take visitors and guests in the county. A yummy lunch was provided by the Lake Anne Coffee House for this semi-annual free learning experience. Watch for information on the fall tour coming in late October or November. (see photo)
- The Visitor Center in Tysons Corner Center will be hiring a Visitor Counselor at the end of August. This is a part-time job on the weekends and would be perfect for someone who is retired or attending a local college. Hours are 10am - 6pm Monday to Saturday and 11am - 6pm on Sunday. Anyone who is interested should call Sue Porter at 703-752-9512 or email her at email@example.com.
Media & Communications:
- In June, Visit Fairfax attended IPW in Anaheim, CA. In addition to the sales side, handled by Linda Horowitz, Visit Fairfax also participated in the Media Marketplace. Marketing Manager Ali Morris met with 20+ journalists, editors, and influencers to share upcoming story ideas, news, and introduce Fairfax County to the international attendees.
- Also in June, Visit Fairfax attended the Public Relations Society of America Travel & Tourism Annual Conference in Philadelphia to learn valuable tips and tools of connecting with today's media in our ever-changing landscape. The conference also allowed networking time with high-profile publications, including National Geographic, The New York Times, and AFAR Magazine.
- In early August, Visit Fairfax will assist with a FAM tour for new Capital Region USA PR firm The Brighter Group. The lead on this account for CRUSA will be visiting the region to learn about the places she will be promoting on our behalf.
- Visit Fairfax attended the quarterly meeting for the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) in Hagerstown, MD. A representative from Destinations International was on-hand to share new tourism trends and research.
- In September, Visit Fairfax will participate in the MATPRA Media Marketplace, taking place in the Greater Richmond area. This marketplace allows us to meet with approximately 60 journalists and writers from the Mid-Atlantic.
- The Fairfax County Summer of LOVE Tour is coming to a close this August after being launched during National Travel and Tourism Week in May. Visit Fairfax has invested in the iconic Virginia "LOVEwork" sign through a grant with the state tourism office. The sign has been traveling around Fairfax County to various sites and attractions since early May. Final stops include Frying Pan Farm Park and its final destination - the Workhouse Arts Center. See the full schedule and a fun photo gallery of the tour stops so far at www.FXVA.com/love. Be sure to share your photos with the famous LOVE letters when you see them around town!
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- 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 email@example.com.
- 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.