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:
- In April, Visit Fairfax joined with Virginia Tourism Corporation and seven of our fellow Virginia DMOs for three days of sales calls on corporate and association accounts in Raleigh, Durham, and Greensboro, NC. (see photo)
- This month, we’ll attend the Smart Meetings magazine event at the MGM National Harbor hotel in National Harbor, MD, to meet with corporate and association planners.
- Also this month, Visit Fairfax will host 50 military reunion planners and their spouses for three days at the Educational Summit of The Military Reunion Network (TMRN). The event will take place at the Sheraton Reston. During the summit, we’ll host a full day of sightseeing, showing everyone George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, and The Winery at Bull Run. On Monday evening, General Creighton Abrams, Jr. (US Army – Ret.) will provide a briefing on the new National Museum of the United States Army, scheduled to open here in Fairfax County in early 2020.
- Along with representatives from the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport and the DoubleTree by Hilton McLean / Tysons, we made two full days of calls on Virginia association accounts in the Richmond metropolitan area in April. (see photo)
- July will see us travel to New York City for another Smart Meetings magazine event; once again, we’ll meet one-on-one with association and corporate meeting planners.
- In August, we will attend Connect Marketplace, a three-day hosted buyer trade show in Salt Lake City, UT. Dean Miller and Eric Kulczycky will represent Visit Fairfax to association meeting planners and sports tournament organizers, respectively. In conjunction with Virginia Tourism Corporation and our fellow Virginia DMOs, we’ll host a special “invitation only” planner luncheon.
- For the ninth consecutive year, Visit Fairfax attended the annual conference of the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE). This year’s conference was held in Norfolk, VA, and Visit Fairfax was a Silver sponsor of the event. (see photo)
- Visit Fairfax recently hosted a "Bidding on Government Meetings" boot camp to educate Fairfax County hoteliers about various practices to assess and bid on federal and state government meeting opportunities. Topics covered 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. Speakers included Anna Urman, Director of the Virginia Procurement Technical Assistance Program (VA PTAP); Chris Ley, Business Services Manager of the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; and Garland Preddy, Director of Education and Training of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. The boot camp was moderated by Eric Kulczycky, National Sales Manager at Visit Fairfax.
- This week, Visit Fairfax will be attending the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) National Education Conference & Expo (NEC) in Norfolk, VA. The SGMP NEC is the largest annual event in the government meetings industry. Along with the Virginia Tourism Corporation and other DMOs in the state, Visit Fairfax will be co-sponsoring a reception for members of SGMP’s National Capital chapter at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel. For more information, visit www.sgmpnec.org.
- Visit Fairfax recently attended the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) Sports Symposium in Minneapolis, MN - one of the sports travel industry’s largest tradeshows. Appointments were conducted with 30+ planners responsible for selecting destinations for state, regional, national, and international events. Highlight: As a result of attending this show, a 2,000-room-night lead was generated for hotels in the Tysons/Falls Church/Springfield areas of the county for the 2018 U.S. Junior National Basketball Championships to be held at the Gaylord National Harbor (July 22-25).
- Visit Fairfax has arranged several tours and client site inspections of The St. James, a privately funded, 450,000-square-foot mega sportsplex expected to be completed by September 2018. Located in Springfield on the site of the former Washington Gas facility near Backlick Road, the Capital Beltway, and I-395, The St. James will feature 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 two-level restaurant; batting cages; golf simulators; an indoor water park with 6,000 square feet of slides, dumping buckets, and sprayers; and 20,000 square feet of obstacle courses, zip lines, climbing structures and walls, trampoline zones, an e-sports area, and party rooms will ensure that guests are nourished and entertained before and after competitions.
- Visit Fairfax continues to play a leading role in furthering efforts of Fairfax County government’s Sports Tourism Task Force, which was established to evaluate and improve sports tourism infrastructure and opportunities in the county. With membership consisting of representatives from county and state government, public schools (county, NOVA, GMU), local and regional parks, the athletic council, the hospitality community, and Visit Fairfax, the Task Force has met monthly since September 2017 to discuss a variety of topics: the county’s current sports facilities; state, regional, and national athletic facilities of note; potential new and renovated facilities; administrative and fiscal models; issues affecting tournament directors; and event and business opportunities that could generate significant visitor spending in the county. At the end of May, the Task Force reviewed a final draft report for submission to the Board of Supervisors.
- In June and July, Visit Fairfax will attend two Fairfax County Athletic Council Meetings. 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:
- Visit Fairfax welcomed a new national and international sales manager for the tour/travel market this past April. Please meet Linda Horowitz - learn more about her here. (see photo)
- In early April, Visit Fairfax joined Capital Region USA on their annual China Sales Mission. This year’s mission went to Beijing, Shenzen, and Hong Kong where former sales manager Melissa McClure promoted the non-stop Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Washington Dulles International Airport, which will begin flights in September 2018. (see photo)
- Visit Fairfax’s Linda Horowitz attended IPW in Denver, CO in late May. Visit Fairfax had its own booth within the Capital Region USA aisle. One of the largest travel tradeshows in the US, IPW enabled us to have pre-scheduled appointments with some of our top international clients, as well as introduce Fairfax County to many new international tour operators.
- Visit Fairfax recently hosted a familiarization (FAM) tour this month for 22 German tour operators from DERTOUR and Meiers Weltreisen. Both brands fall under the DER Touristik Group and are Germany's biggest tour operators for North America. This FAM was an ideal opportunity to showcase Fairfax County's product, given the companies’ large customer base in the fly/drive market. Stops included George Washington's Mount Vernon, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Wolf Trap, and The Winery at Bull Run. Additional partners included Isabella Eatery, Box’d Meals Nationwide and the DoubleTree by Hilton McLean/Tysons at Tysons. Thank you so much to these fantastic partners for all their support on this FAM.
- Visit Fairfax will be attending the Student and Youth Travel Association’s Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD this year from August 24 – 28. This appointment based tradeshow allows us to connect with student tour operators who are a critical contributor of group tours to Fairfax County.
- There is always something new to experience in Fairfax and the participants in the Visit Fairfax Spring Ambassador Tour had a first-hand look at some fun new places to tell their clients about. Spots on the tour included the new 4-D Revolutionary Theater at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and a preview of the new summer event space and sculpture garden at the Workhouse Art Center. Then, what better way to end the day than with a taste of hand-crafted beer at Lorton's Forge Brew Works!?
During the months of April and May, visitors to the new Virginia Gateway Welcome Center were greeted with incentives to visit Fairfax County during the Visit Fairfax marketing “blitz”. The Center is located on Interstate 95 about an hour and a half from Fairfax, presenting a strategic new opportunity to entice travelers to make the county their base camp as they travel north to see the area’s tourist sites. On May 10, during a special National Travel & Tourism Week event, Virginia’s First Lady, Pamela Northam, paid a visit to the Center and chatted with Visit Fairfax staff about the rich history and tourism assets in Fairfax. (see photo)
Marketing, Media, & Communications:
- Visit Fairfax was honored to receive the Niche Tourism: Eco/Adventure VIRGO Award at the 2018 Virginia DMO (VADMO) Tourism Symposium. Read more about that here.
- Visit Fairfax recently partnered up with Virginia Tourism Corporation on a campaign with United Airlines and GoPro Japan to showcase Northern Virginia through the eyes of the GoPro lens. The video will be used throughout the overall campaign as a way to highlight the region and inspire travel to Virginia from Japan, a top 10 market for Virginia. Thank you to our wonderful partners, including the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center, Tysons Corner Center, George Washington's Mount Vernon, Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Workhouse Arts Center, Barrel & Bushel, and Green Lizard Cycling & Coffee Shop in the Town of Herndon, for opening their doors to these creative filmmakers.
- In May, members of the VIsit Fairfax marketing and executive teams attended the Simpleview Summit in Scottsdale, AZ - the annual convention of Visit Fairfax's web agency.
- In late May, Visit Fairfax hosted a journalist from the Scottish Sun on a familiarization tour of the area in partnership with Capital Region USA and Virginia Tourism Corporation. The visit was in coordination with the new direct flight from Edinburgh to Washington Dulles International Airport. Thank you to our partners for assisting with this FAM, including Pohick Bay Regional Park, the Hyatt House Falls Church, Mount Vernon, The Winery at Bull Run, Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Great Falls Park, and Caboose Brewing Co.!
- Visit Fairfax joined Visit Loudoun to represent the Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium (NVVC) at the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to meet with approximately 30 Canadian journalists and members of the press. The meetings allowed NVVC to pitch and cultivate storylines about Northern Virginia within the lucrative Canadian market. There are several leads in progress as a result of this tradeshow.
- This month, Visit Fairfax is pleased to be working with Fox 5 WTTG on a Zip Trip live taping in Reston. The episode will air live on June 22, 2018 and is the first time Fox 5 has filmed a Zip Trip in Reston.
- 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 and register to join here.
- 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.
- 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.