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 August, Visit Fairfax sales managers Dean Miller and Eric Kulczycky traveled to Salt Lake City, UT to attend Connect Marketplace. Dean met one-on-one with over 30 association meeting planners, while Eric conferred with sports tournament organizers. A highlight of the event was a special luncheon hosted for 35 association planners in conjunction with Virginia Tourism and our fellow DMOs from around Virginia. (see photo)
- In September, Visit Fairfax attended Destination Southeast, a new trade show on our schedule this year, in Florida. We were able to meet individually with meeting planners for more than two dozen association groups. (see photo)
- Visit Fairfax traveled to Richmond on September 11th with representatives from the new National Museum of the United States Army, which will open here in Fairfax County early in 2020. In Richmond, we met with the marketing team at Virginia Tourism to discuss strategies for promoting the museum when it opens, and for driving additional visitors here to Fairfax County.
- On September 20th, we hosted a meeting at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, attended by many of our Fairfax County meeting hotels and representatives from HelmsBriscoe, one of the country’s largest third-party meeting planning firms. Topics discussed included new developments here in Fairfax County and ways that hotels can best position themselves to attract additional HelmsBriscoe-sourced programs. (see photo)
- In early October, we attended the Virginia Society of Association Executives Fall Conference in Richmond for the 13th consecutive year. Eleven of our great Fairfax County meeting hotels joined us in our booth on the trade show floor. We demonstrated our commitment to providing planners and their groups with “old-fashioned service” by constructing a 1950s-era “service station” complete with gas pump, oil cans, tires, and a classic 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.
- This month also sees us traveling to Virginia Beach, VA for two days of appointments with military reunion groups at the Your Military Reunion Connection (YMRC) event.
- In November, we’ll return to Richmond for a day of individual appointments with the planners for eight Virginia state associations.
- In December, we’ll return to Richmond once again to attend the VSAE Holiday Luncheon meeting.
- We will wrap up our tradeshow schedule for the calendar year on December 5th by attending Destination DC, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, for more one-on-one meetings with locally-based association and corporate meeting planners.
- In mid-September, Visit Fairfax was on hand at the grand opening of the newest sportsplex in the county, The St. James. The privately funded, 450,000-square-foot, indoor facility opened its doors on Sept. 15, 2018 to the delight of Fairfax County and DC-area residents. Located in Springfield near the intersection of I-95, I-495, and I-395, the region’s largest sports and entertainment center 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 NBA-regulation basketball courts (nine volleyball courts); a 50-meter, 10-lane Olympic pool; and eight international-regulation squash courts. Athletes and spectators can also enjoy batting cages, golf simulators, an indoor water park, and an active entertainment center with obstacle courses, zip lines, climbing walls, trampoline zones, and an e-sports theatre. A full-service restaurant, Vim & Victor, is scheduled to open sometime in November. Visit thestjames.co for more information.
- This month, Visit Fairfax will attend the Fairfax County Athletic Council Meeting here in 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.
- Some of the past conferences and meetings that Visit Fairfax has attended since last August include:
- TEAMS Conference & Expo in Louisville, KY: As a member of the Sports Virginia coalition of CVBs and sports commissions, Visit Fairfax attended TEAMS, one of the sports travel industry’s largest tradeshows. Lead information for multiple competitions was generated through appointments with more than 70 rights-holders.
- S.P.O.R.T.S. Relationship Conference in Winston-Salem, NC: S.P.O.R.T.S. is an exclusive show offering pre-qualified, one-on-one appointments that are twice as long as those at similar industry events. Visit Fairfax had appointments with 17 events rights-holders.
- CONNECT Sports Marketplace in Salt Lake City, UT: 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. This show generated leads from 35 appointments.
- Sports Virginia Meeting in Richmond, VA: Visit Fairfax met with representatives of the Virginia Tourism Corporation and other CVBs in the state to discuss ways to maximize the coalition’s presence at sports tourism shows and to generate additional sports event opportunities for destinations in the Commonwealth. (see photo)
Tour & Travel:
- Visit Fairfax attended the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD from which focuses on student and youth travel. This premier event is the only conference and showcase dedicated to the student and youth market in North America. We had pre-scheduled appointments with 26 vetted tour operators to highlight tour product and provide updates on new developments in the county. Additionally, we attended business sessions to hear about the latest in student market trends and learn effective business practices. Visit Fairfax also connected with clients and peers during networking events. (see photo)
- Visit Fairfax will attended the inaugural Active America China: Receptive Edition in San Gabriel, CA from September 18-19, 2018. This invitation-only tradeshow allows us to promote Fairfax County to some of the top qualified Chinese tour operators and receptive operators via one-on-one appointments and office visits. The Chinese market continued its reign as the Capital Region’s number one international inbound market with a record 349,000 visitors in 2016.
- Visit Fairfax joined Brand USA on their seventh annual India Sales Mission from September 23-28. This year’s mission stopped in Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi, where Visit Fairfax had the opportunity to interact directly with tour operators, airline representatives, and travel agents through one-on-one appointments and networking events. This travel mission comes on the heels of the U.S. and Indian governments jointly declaring the year 2017 as a “U.S. and India Travel and Tourism Partnership Year” to promote bilateral tourism. India is the fourth largest international inbound market for the Capital Region with 133,000 visitors in 2016.
- The second annual Spotlight on the Mid-Atlantic will be hosted by Mid-Atlantic Receptive Services in Dover, DE this month. This tourism conference combines educational seminars, networking functions and a tradeshow over three days of interaction. Visit Fairfax will have the opportunity to meet with various domestic tour operators ranging from small operators to large receptive companies who are developing product for the Mid-Atlantic.
- Visit Fairfax will attend the annual Capital Region USA (CRUSA) Global Marketing Update on October 18 in Rockville, MD. During the meeting, we will get the latest news and research on international arrivals & air service developments, tips and trends for international marketers, hoteliers, attractions and DMOs, and the CRUSA 2019 international marketing plan.
- Visit Fairfax will participate in the National Tour Association (NTA) Travel Exchange in Milwaukee, WI on November 4-8. This annual tradeshow is hosted by the NTA, North America’s leading business association for the travel industry. Over five days, Visit Fairfax will have pre-set appointments with quality tour operators from the USA and Canada, as well as attend cutting-edge professional development seminars and networking events.
- Through our partnership in the Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership (formerly Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium), Visit Fairfax will attend the Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) marketplace. This Canada-based tradeshow focuses on North American packaged travel. We will have appointments with key motorcoach operators from Canada, which is a top feeder market for the Capital Region.
- Visit Fairfax, along with Visit Loudoun, will represent Northern Virginia at the Travel South International Showcase in Nashville, Tennessee from November 26-29. This premier marketplace event in the South features 100+ qualified International tour operators from 20+ countries meeting with southern travel suppliers over 3 days of intensive appointments and networking forums.
- The Visitor Services department just completed additions to the official Fairfax County Visitors Center, located in Tysons Corner Center. New technology and exciting visual experiences now await visitors to the Center. Stop by to try out virtual reality headsets offering 360-degree views of Fairfax County's major attractions, watch the new destination video on the "big screen" and get tailored visitor "itineraries" based on interest segment from our knowledgeable counselors. Read more about the updates to the Center here.
- Visit Fairfax is now accepting requests in the new fiscal year from hotel partners to hold an Ambassador Class for their staffs. We have trained over 1,500 Ambassadors, and the knowledge about the county learned in the class is invaluable for selling the destination. A recent “graduate” of the class says it best: “I never knew there were so many tools available to let my guests know about all the great things here in Fairfax County!”
Marketing, Media, & Communications:
- Visit Fairfax recently hosted Canadian writer Beth Pollock on a regional tour of Northern Virginia in partnership with the Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership (formerly Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium). We met Beth in Toronto during the April 2018 media mission to Ontario. Beth spent her time in Fairfax County visiting George Washington's Mount Vernon and the Workhouse Arts Center, seeing Alanis Morissette in concert at Wolf Trap, dining out at Mike's American Grill and OVATIONS by Jose Andres at Wolf Trap, and staying at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel. Thanks to our partners for their assistance with this FAM tour. (see photo)
- Visit Fairfax attended the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance annual Marketplace in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania in September, where we were able to meet with nearly 60 journalists and writers from the Mid-Atlantic. Several of these writers are looking at future trips/tours to Fairfax County. (see photo)
- This month, Visit Fairfax will host seven media from Hong Kong who will be exploring the region after arriving on the new direct flight to Washington Dulles International on Cathay Pacific. The group will spend time in Loudoun and Fairfax counties before heading on to Washington, DC. The new flight on Cathay Pacific opens up this region to many localities within Southeast Asia.
- In late October, members of NVTP will host travel writer Jane Canapini from Toronto after meeting her on a media mission to Ontario last April and again in Victoria at the Travel Media Association of Canada marketplace. Jane will be highlighting the ease of getting to Northern Virginia from the Ontario market.
- Back in May/June, Visit Fairfax partnered with Virginia Tourism Corporation and Visit Loudoun on a campaign with United Airlines and GoPro Japan to showcase Northern Virginia through the eyes of the GoPro lens. The videos will be used within a large marketing campaign for Virginia on United.com as a way to highlight the region and inspire travel to Virginia from Japan. You can see the landing page here.
- Visit Fairfax recently attended the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce "In a Word" Lunch Series event that highlighted the liquid assets of the region: breweries, wineries, and distilleries and how these places support the local economy. Visit Fairfax was also on hand to display its new Fairfax County Brewery Field Guide. (see photo)
- Visit Fairfax, in partnership with Mustang Sally Brewing Co. and the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, had a presence at the Fairfax County Brewfest in September. Visitors were able to bring their Fairfax County Brewery Field Guide - stamped with at least four visits to our local breweries - and receive an upgrade to VIP status at the Brewfest.
- Visit Fairfax was pleased to offer marketing and public relations support to the Lord Fairfax Charity Ride, which was held September 22-25. The charity motorcycle ride was led by Nicholas Fairfax, the 14th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, and circumnavigated the original land grant associated with the Fairfax family since the 1600s. Learn more about the ride 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 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.
- 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.