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Reaching Out to the Meetings & Events Market

For the 3rd year in a row, the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau (TCVB) along with partners, Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite and Black Oak Casino Hotel and Resort, participated in the IMEX (International Meetings Exchange) America show in Las Vegas.

Since it’s inception 4  years ago, this has become the largest trade show in North America focused on the meetings and events market attracting close to 4,000 buyers this year from around the globe. Because it is a global show and the vast majority of attendees are not familiar with our area, other than having heard of Yosemite, we go under the name, Yosemite Gold Country.

During the show we had the opportunity to meet with media people from industry trade publications, Inbound travel companies from the Bay Area who often have the opportunity to sell “Yosemite Gold Country” to groups visiting San Francisco from around the country and the world and of course, organizations who plan and sell meetings and events. This included buyers for corporations, associations, wedding planners, school groups, etc.

I personally met with domestic buyers from Florida,Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Oregon, Nevada, Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania and southern California, as well as international buyers from Curacao, China, Vietnam, Dubai, Great Britain and Germany. Both hotel partners also had a number of meetings separately.

Because this is a market that typically makes buying decisions at least a year in advance, its difficult to track the results of our efforts, however the enthusiasm of buyers this year for our area was better than ever with many asking for specific ideas and activities while taking detailed notes.

Industry trade shows are an extremely important component of tourism marketing as it brings us face to face with buyers who control a lot of business giving us the opportunity to educate them on what we have to offer on a personal basis to match their requirements.