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 December, Visit Fairfax traveled to Richmond, VA to attend the VSAE holiday luncheon meeting. For the silent auction held in conjunction with the event, we donated a getaway summer weekend in Fairfax County, including accommodations at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, dinner at Fogo de Chao at Tysons Corner, and tickets to see the hit Broadway musical Beautiful at Wolf Trap.
- December also saw us attending the Connect DC trade show event in downtown Washington, DC, where we met one-on-one with 16 corporate, government, and association meeting planners.
- In January, we traveled to St. Pete Beach, FL, to attend the Independent Planner Education Conference (IPEC), where we met individually with 20 independent third-party meeting planners who plan and execute meetings for a wide variety of association and corporate groups.
- This month, we’ll hold our annual Family Reunion Workshop for the 12th consecutive year on Saturday, February 15. Twenty of our great Fairfax County hotels, attractions, and service providers will join us at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park hotel for what is always a well-received event. We expect between 85 and 100 family reunion planners to attend for a morning of insightful programming on organizing a terrific family reunion here in Fairfax County. (see photo)
- February will also see us in Chesapeake, VA, for the Your Military Reunion Connection (YMRC) trade show event. We’ll meet one-on-one with the planners for 20 military reunion groups.
- We’ll wrap up February in Oak Brook, IL, for the Connect Chicago trade show event. We’ll meet individually with 25 corporate and association meeting planners.
- March will have us traveling to Winston-Salem, NC for the Rendezvous South trade show event. Once again, we’ll chat individually with 25 or more corporate and association planners about bringing their groups to Fairfax County.
- On Thursday, March 19, we’ll be hosting over 50 locally-based association, government, and corporate planners for a special luncheon at the Embassy Suites Springfield, followed by a private “hard hat” tour of the soon-to-open National Museum of the United States Army. Ten of our great Fairfax County hotels will join us for what is sure to be a well-received event. (see photo)
- Visit Fairfax fundraised for and attended the 2019 SGMP NATCAP Holiday Party and Silent Auction in Arlington, VA hosted by the Society of Government Meeting Professionals National Capital Chapter. Proceeds will fund scholarships to attend SGMP’s National Education Conference & Expo in St. Louis, MO on May 19-21, 2020. Fairfax County hoteliers interested in attending the 2020 NEC can contact Eric Kulczycky at email@example.com. For more information, visit https://sgmpnec.org/.
- Important information for all stakeholders pursuing opportunities in the government market: FBO.gov has moved and SAM.gov is now home to federal contract prospects. Read the Quick Start Guide and get familiar with beta.SAM.gov's features.
- In the sports market, Visit Fairfax will participate in the following upcoming sports conferences and/or meetings:
- Fairfax County Athletic Council Meeting (February 19; 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.
- 2020 Sports ETA Symposium (April 20-23, 2019; Kansas City, MO). One of the sports travel industry’s largest tradeshows, the Sports Events and Tourism Association (Sports ETA) 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 and other stakeholders in Fairfax County continue to work with Conventions, Leisure, and Sports (CSL), the consulting firm selected by the Sports Tourism Task Force, to evaluate the county’s sports tourism infrastructure. CSL is currently focusing on the viability of potential sites in the county for new indoor and outdoor sportsplexes.
- Visit Fairfax provided services and other support to hockey and basketball clients hosting tournaments at The St. James, a privately funded, 450,000-square-foot indoor sportsplex located in Springfield. The facility features a FIFA-regulation turf field with 65-foot height clearance (and special modular flooring to accommodate multiple sports); two NHL-regulation sheets of ice; four basketball/nine volleyball courts; a 50-meter, 10-lane Olympic pool; and eight international-regulation squash courts. A full-service restaurant and market cafe; water park; batting cages; golf simulators; eSports area, and 20,000 square feet of obstacle courses, zip lines, climbing structures, and trampoline zones ensure that guests are nourished and entertained before and after competitions.
Tour & Travel:
- Visit Fairfax attended the National Tour Association (NTA) Travel Exchange in Fort Worth, Texas on December 8-12, 2019. This annual tradeshow is hosted by the NTA, North America’s leading business association for the travel industry. Over four days, Visit Fairfax had pre-set appointments with quality tour operators from the USA and Canada, as well as attended professional development seminars and networking events. In partnership with Virginia destination partners, Visit Fairfax treated tour operators to a thrilling, interactive mini-sales mission at the tradeshow featuring a game crafted around an itinerary of the state and fun prizes. This attention-getting game made the front page of the tradeshow daily publication. (see photo)
- In January, Visit Fairfax attended American Bus Association's (ABA) Annual Marketplace in Omaha, Nebraska. The marketplace is the premier conference for motorcoach group travel and tourism in the US and Canada. In addition to pre-scheduled appointments with new companies as well as current clients, the show also offered educational workshops over three days.
- Visit Fairfax’s Linda Horowitz attended the International Inbound Travel Association (IITA) Summit from February 2-5, 2020 in St. Pete/Clearwater, FL. The summit provided a one-on-one appointment marketplace for inbound tour operators and U.S. Suppliers to plan travel for international visitors.
- From March 29 - April 4, 2020, Visit Fairfax will participate in a CRUSA-led sales mission to Germany and Switzerland for the first time. Over one week, Visit Fairfax and other destination partners in the Capital Region will meet with tour operators and travel agents in Zurich, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, and Frankfurt. Western Europe, and primarily Germany, continues to be an important source market for the Capital Region with 148,000 arrivals from Germany spending $137 million in 2017. See these statistics and more research from CRUSA here.
- Members of the Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership tour and travel committee will participate in an annual domestic sales mission, this time to New York City and New Jersey, from April 6-10, 2020. Over five days, the team will conduct sales calls with tour operators in both locations.
- Visit Fairfax will, for the first time, participate in Receptive Tour Operators East Summit in New York City from March 14-17, 2020. This annual tradeshow is the only event in New York that brings together operators with suppliers and destinations under one roof in an intimate environment where they can have between 15-20 appointments in one day.
- Welcome to America – and Fairfax! That’s what counselors in the Fairfax County Visitor Center in Tysons Corner Center were saying often over the holidays. They welcomed visitors from 25 countries around the world, providing them with information and itineraries to keep them busy while in the area. Here is just a partial list of the countries represented: China, Brazil, South Korea, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Peru, Ukraine, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, and the nation of the United Kingdom.
Marketing & Communications:
- In February, Visit Fairfax was pleased to be in attendance at the ribbon-cutting of Virginia's newest LOVEwork sign, now permanently displayed and "bedazzled" at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton. This sign previously went on an 11-stop tour of Fairfax County during the summer of 2019. Learn more and see pictures from the tour here.
- Visit Fairfax will be hosting Canadian writer Sharon Mendalaoui during a trip to Virginia focusing on health and wellness this March.
- Visit Fairfax, in partnership with the other Northern Virginia localities, will also host domestic travel blogger Carl Hedinger and his family in late March.
- Visit Fairfax is also assisting Virginia Tourism Corporation on a number of international media visits to several sites in Fairfax County this winter.
- Visit Fairfax will be launching a new campaign this year celebrating women’s history, surrounding the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment ratification. We want to feature the strong women associated with YOUR venue. Here’s how to join us: Please take a moment to answer these 5 short questions.
- Don't forget to upload your photos to Visit Fairfax's new image portal so that we can use them to help promote your venue. Add photo or video assets throughout the year at this link: https://upload.crowdriff.com/visit-fairfax-0047170f.
- 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.