Tom Noonan, left,
and David DuBois
One is landlocked, the
other is a major seaport. It might seem like an unlikely combo, but
the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Baltimore
Area Convention and Visitors Association have formed an innovative
two-city sales partnership, which they believe will enhance the
reputation of each as a top-tier meetings destination.
According to David DuBois, president
and chief executive officer of the Fort Worth CVB, his talks with
Tom Noonan, president and chief executive officer of the BACVA, on
the new selling strategy began back in January, shortly after each
man took up his newly appointed post. The agreement “will allow
both cities to aggressively market themselves to groups that
typically book on a geographic rotation,” said DuBois.
The bureaus will share the expenses of
two sales managers: One will target corporate groups on the East
Coast, the other will focus on corporate and incentive business in
the greater Midwest region.
“The cities primarily are focusing on
corporate business in industries such as pharmaceuticals, financial
services and high-tech,” said DuBois, who added that goals will be
established for the new sales team, which will be contingent on
booking business in both cities. Included in the partnership will
be joint client events and shared marketing.
By joining forces, DuBois said, Fort
Worth and Baltimore now have the ability to be more competitive by
offering meeting planners discounts for booking both cities, a
sales model that mirrors that of hotels offering groups more
attractive rates for multiple contracts.
The two cities have roughly the same
number of hotel rooms near convention centers of similar size, as
well as a similar number of new hotels under construction.
“We would like to add a third partner,”
DuBois noted, and the two bureau chiefs are in talks with several
West Coast CVBs they feel would be a good match.