@MPIGNY - Spring 2014 - (Page 27)

#destination Asheville CVB Injects Unique Destination Flare into Meetings T WWW.EXPLOREASHVILLE.COM he sounds of drums echo through the air as meeting attendees fill into an Asheville, N.C., venue. What may seem like just an early morning wake-up attempt is actually the first Asheville sensory injection into the conference. The local artists from Skinny Beats Drum Shop are bringing a 15-year tradition to this corporate group; the drum circle from Asheville's Pritchard Park pulls locals and visitors in with its infectious beat every Friday night. It is well known that sales and service teams at destination marketing organizations can be a valuable resource for meeting planners looking for a comprehensive understanding of a locale, local expertise and extensive in-market relationships. They can provide a smooth connection to potential meeting sites and activities as well as assist with connections to a variety of local resources and vendors. But, as meeting planners strive to make events more compelling and memorable, a vibrant location with diverse local elements presents an opportunity for a collaborative and creative meeting planning process that can make a big impression through invigorating cultural experiences. Setting yourself apart in the meetings and conventions field is no longer just about free Wi-Fi, nearby restaurants and the closest airport. While the essentials do THE CITY HAS RECENTLY BEEN NAMED ONE OF THE "TASTIEST TOWNS IN THE SOUTH" BY SOUTHERN LIVING AND AMONG AMERICA'S BEST RIVER TOWNS BY OUTSIDE MAGAZINE. IN 2014, CONVENTIONSOUTH READERS GAVE ASHEVILLE THE HONOR OF NAMING IT ONE OF THE "BEST MEETING SITES IN THE SOUTH." stay the same, a new approach is creeping into the wants and needs of attendees. Convention and visitors bureaus should be leveraged as knowledgeable insiders to inspire and deliver the authenticity of a destination with experiences that attendees won't soon forget. In addition to selling its 7,000-plus rooms, unique venues and easy air access, the sales and service team at the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau offers meeting planners ideas and options to infuse an immersive Asheville experience into meetings. They collaborate with planners from the start on elements that integrate local food and crafts, the area's endless outdoor experiences, artists and other Asheville personalities and the city's commitment to green practices. Continued on page 28 info@mpigny.org 27 http://WWW.EXPLOREASHVILLE.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of @MPIGNY - Spring 2014

Ask the Board
President’s Message
Speaking the Language of Sustainability
11 Delivering the ‘green’ at AIBTM 2014
IMEX America’s Sustainability Efforts: Greenhouses, Gardens and Growing Commitments
A CSR Preview of MPI’S WEC 2014
Greening Trends: Meeting Planners ‘go Local’ to Drive Down Costs
Sustainability at Caneel Bay Resort
Let’s Get Physical: Team Building for the Active Attendee
Delta Force
Mpigny’s Engaging Evening
Legal Review
Member Spotlight
Fitness Focus
Notes From the Field
Asheville CVB Injects Unique Destination Flare Into Meetings
History Comes Alive in Boston
New Members
Advertiser’s Index

@MPIGNY - Spring 2014