Prevue January/February 2015 - (Page 12)

bureau buzz Raleigh: A Knowledge-Sharing Hub in the Making Planners around the globe gain immediate and unexpected connections connections, which we can tap into for event speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and things of that nature." As companies continue to scrutinize the costs of travel to meetings and conventions, and with so many emerging destinations with new infrastructure, the industry is more competitive than ever, says Gold. It's paramount that CVBs consistently find ways to create additional return on investment to validate the meeting spend. "Sure, we've got great outdoors, a great topography, a great downtown with old hardwood oak trees, and a LEED-certified convention center, but a lot of people can say that. I think what's crucial right now is the ability to deliver valuable educational content in a variety of ways." INTRODUCING THE DATA 4 DECISIONS CONFERENCE Duke Energy Center, Raleigh T he Raleigh-Durham Research Triangle Park in North Carolina is anchored by Duke University, North Carolina State, University of North Carolina and 140 high-tech companies in many different industries, including the U.S. headquarters for Lenovo. The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau is leveraging all that knowledge to produce better meetings and conventions by introducing local thought leaders and visiting delegates. This is a growing trend with CVBs worldwide. The most innovative bureaus are attempting to inject added value into their local events by bringing an array of stakeholders from both the private and public sectors into the planning process. In doing so, they're also differentiating themselves by promoting their destination attributes above and beyond the local tourism product and meetings infrastructure. "You're starting to see cities asking: 'What can we do in our backyard to showcase to meeting planners the business community?'" says Loren Gold, executive VP of the Raleigh CVB. "Basically, we're trying to offer the meeting planner our local The Raleigh CVB has had success in luring major events such as the World Wide Web Conference, previously held in Helsinki, Johannesburg and Barcelona. Now, it is producing its own events. The first annual Data 4 Decisions conference kicks off in March 2015, with a focus on big data collection and analysis. Unlike other conferences that solely focus on the technical aspects of big data or its merits, Data 4 Decisions will assemble business and technical leaders to uncover the strategies that best harness its benefits, while taking a forward look at how to prepare for the future, including a key focus on workforce development. Big data is, of course, one of the mega trends in travel and tourism today, and there's a vast deficiency of data analysts available to parse all of the information around digital/mobile travel trends. The Raleigh CVB is working with its local community to help fill that void. Gold hopes the conference will position the CVB as a thought leader in IT for visiting groups, and sees it as a great promotional vehicle to show meeting planners just how well the city works with its academic and business leaders. "Data 4 Decisions is just one more example of how Raleigh is a world-class destination in the knowledge economy." -Greg Oates "You're starting to see cities asking: 'What can we do in our own backyard to showcase to meeting planners the business community?'" 12 | prevue magazine 12-13_BBuzz.indd 12 1/8/15 3:08 PM Celebrat

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue January/February 2015

Planner’s Pick: New Orleans
Fresh Meets: Hilton
Bureau Buzz: Raleigh
Good Business: Monaco
Sea Shores: Royal Caribbean International
The Era of Personalization
On Location: Barcelo Bavaro
On Location: Caesars Entertainment
On Location: Grand Geneva
On Location: Guadalajara

Prevue January/February 2015