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 and Reunion Market:
- Visit Fairfax attended the Connect Marketplace trade show in New Orleans in August. In conjunction with Virginia Tourism Corporation and our fellow DMOs from around the Commonwealth, we hosted more than 225 association planners at our “Taste of Virginia” reception during the event. (see photo)
- In September, Visit Fairfax attended the VSAE monthly luncheon meeting in Richmond.
- September also saw us send out the first of what will be an ongoing series of newsletter updates to Army reunion groups, in anticipation of the opening of the National Museum of the U.S. Army here in Fairfax County in late 2019.
- Visit Fairfax attended the September Overseas Brats “Gathering” event in Huntsville, AL, where National Sales Manager Dean Miller gave a formal presentation on the Army museum to the group.
- In October, Visit Fairfax exhibited for the 12th consecutive year at the VSAE Fall Educational Symposium Expo. Eleven of our great Fairfax County meeting hotels joined us in our booth. Our theme this year was “Fairfaxopoly,” and Virginia association planners visiting with us got to play our own special version of the classic game on a gigantic game board measuring 15 feet x 15 feet. (see photo)
- In November, Visit Fairfax will attend the military reunion planner events hosted by Your Military Reunion Connection (Savannah, GA) and The Military Reunion Network (Nashville, TN) in search of additional military reunion bookings.
- December will see us return to Richmond, VA for the VSAE Holiday Luncheon.
- Also in December, we’ll attend the “Connect DC” trade show at the Washington Convention Center, to meet with locally-based association and corporate meeting planners.
In partnership with Visit Fairfax, the Fairfax County Police Department submitted a bid to host the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) conference in July 2020. Fairfax County, Virginia was selected as a finalist for the right to host the event and will give a final presentation in Jacksonville, FL in mid-October 2017.
- Visit Fairfax will attend the TEAMS Conference & Expo (Travel, Events, And Management in Sports) in Orlando, FL from October 30 - November 2, 2017. TEAMS is one of the sports travel industry’s largest tradeshows that brings together sports tourism stakeholders for four days of general sessions, workshops, and pre-set appointments. Through its partnership with Sports Virginia, Visit Fairfax expects to generate 70+ lead opportunities through appointments, client events, and networking.
- With assistance from Visit Fairfax, Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon secured the right to host the American National Riding Commission (ANRC) College & High School Championships in 2018 and 2019. Over these two years, this equestrian event is expected to generate 800+ room nights.
- Formed in June 2017 by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Sports Tourism Task Force held its first meeting on September 14, 2017. Future meetings will focus on facilities infrastructure, event opportunities, funding options, and the potential formation of a sports commission. See Fairfax County Clerk’s Board Summary (pg. 21) for more information about the formation of this Task Force.
Tour & Travel:
- Visit Fairfax's own Melissa McClure was presented with the designation of Certified Student Travel Professional (CSTP) by the Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) at the Annual Conference. This was earned after her successful completion of three online courses with IUPUI, community service hours through serving on SYTA’s Hospitality and Volunteer Committee, and attending eight online educational seminars. Read more here. (see photo)
- The Student and Youth Travel Association’s Annual Conference took place this year in Albuquerque, NM. This tradeshow provided Visit Fairfax with 22 direct appointments with student tour operators and lots of networking opportunities with others coming to the Northern Virginia region. Next year this tradeshow will be coming to the Mid-Atlantic - in Baltimore, Maryland. Please email email@example.com if you are interested in receiving the notes from this tradeshow.
- Visit Fairfax participated in Brand USA’s India Sales Mission the week of September 10 - 15, 2017. This sales mission afforded Visit Fairfax to meet over 200 qualified tour operators and travel agencies in the cities of Mumbai, Chennai, and New Delhi. In Mumbai, Visit Fairfax also participated in the optional press event. This was the 6th annual Brand USA India Sales Mission and was the largest to date with 51 U.S. delegates in attendance. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see notes from this show or if you would like to learn more about opportunities in the India market. Read more about the mission here.
- In partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Visit Fairfax assisted in organizing a Tour of the Woodlawn Historic District and Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail in Fairfax County, Virginia. This was a familiarity tour for local media and community members in coordination with Supervisor Dan Storck’s office. The tour visited many of Visit Fairfax’s wonderful stakeholders including Woodlawn & Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House, Arcadia Center, and George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill. Thanks to our partners! (see photo)
- On behalf of Visit Fairfax, Melissa McClure attended National Tour Association’s first annual DMO Network meeting in Chicago, IL in September. This meeting provided an opportunity for DMOs throughout the country to brainstorm and share ideas for better stakeholder services, business practices, and partnerships.
- Visit Fairfax will be in attendance at the first annual Spotlight on the Mid-Atlantic being hosted in Baltimore, MD by Mid Atlantic Receptive Services (MARS) at the end of October. This showcase will allow Visit Fairfax to be in front of MARS’ top tour directors for future itinerary inclusion and education on all of Fairfax County’s product.
- In partnership with Capital Region USA and Brand USA, Visit Fairfax hosted eight of the top India Tour Operators on a familiarization tour of Fairfax County from October 6 - 8, 2017. Thank you to all of our partners who participated. (see photo)
What’s fun for your guests in the fall in Fairfax? Find out by taking the Ambassador Tour on October 26th. For last minute sign-ups and availability, contact Sue Porter (email@example.com).
Media & Communications:
- Members of the Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium, which includes the five destinations in Northern Virginia, met with Brazilian journalist Marianna Buchalla Pacca in Arlington as a follow-up from IPW 2017. Marianna is now living in Washington, DC and is more interested in covering Northern Virginia on her Brazilian travel website, Segredos de Viagem.
- Visit Fairfax hosted travel writer Malerie Yolen-Cohen on a familiarization tour of the county in September. Malerie visited with us at last year's Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA)'s annual Marketplace and expressed interest in writing about the county. After an ambitious two-day tour, Malerie has already published two clips from her experience. Read her GetawayMavens.com round-up here and her Huffington Post article here. Thank you so much to all of our partners who participated in this tour!
- Prior to the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) Annual Marketplace in mid-September, Fairfax County participated in a joint familiarization tour with Loudoun County and Prince William County. The tour was themed "Divine Wine and a Trip Through Time" and highlighted wineries, historic sites, shopping, and culinary offerings of the area for three visiting journalists who cover the Mid-Atlantic region. Thank you to our partners at The Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield, The Winery at Bull Run, Mount Vernon, Earls Kitchen + Bar, and Tysons Corner Center for your support during this FAM tour. (see photo)
- Also in September, Visit Fairfax partnered with the Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium and Virginia Tourism Corporation to bring a journalist from Montreal, Quebec to the region, as Canada is the area's top international market. This writer, with CAA Magazine, is working on a spread of the region's culinary and historical offerings. Thank you to our partners at George Washington's Distillery & Gristmill, Arcadia Farm, Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House, Fair Winds Brewing Company, B Side at Mosaic District, and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center for being a part of this tour.
- At the end of September, Visit Fairfax welcomed the Los Angeles Times travel editor to Fairfax County to visit the Workhouse Arts Center and to learn about its history as a former prison as well as its connection to the Women's Suffragist movement, its current life as a thriving arts center, its variety of events like the Madhaunter's Madhouse and Workhouse Brewfest, and to meet with some of the artists in residence. This writer was also able to learn about the progress being made for the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. This tour was a result of a meeting at IPW 2017.
- Visit Fairfax participated in the MATPRA Annual Media Marketplace in September in Winchester, VA, where we met with nearly 60 journalists who cover the Mid-Atlantic region. We continue to follow-up to bring more of these writers in for familiarization tours of the area, which hopefully then leads to positive press coverage for the county. (see photo)
- Visit Fairfax will also be hosting a travel writer from Switzerland on another tour of the Northern Virginia region, this time focusing on what makes the region such a grand culinary destination. Thank you to all partners working with us on this tour.
- 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? Be sure to sign-up for the upcoming 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.