Visit Sarasota County: Sales Info

Enjoy the lates news from our Visit Sarasota County Sales Team

Meetings

VSC Partners with Northern Neighbor and Others for Meeting Professionals “Super FAM”

Lineup of participants - SRQ and IAD Airports, and United Airlines to host a meeting professional “Super FAM.”
Our inaugural meeting “Super FAM”
was a success!

Visit Sarasota County teamed up with the Bradenton Area Conventions & Visitors Bureau, SRQ and IAD Airports, and United Airlines to host a meeting professional “Super FAM.” On Sunday, October 27, the inaugural United Airlines flight from Dulles International Airport to Sarasota-Bradenton International brought 10 meeting professionals from the Washington, D.C. area.

VSC helped host a festive welcome party at the gate, followed by a kick-off lunch at Muse at the Ringling’s private dining room. From there, we took turns showing off the area with other activities from arrival to departure on November 30. This flight is one of the many non-stops that SRQ has recently added and opens convenient air access that is so important to meeting and incentive groups.

VSC Senior Meeting Sales Manager Ellen Thomas reconnected with one of these guests at another event soon after: Destination Southeast. This sales opportunity was for meetings held specifically in the Southeast region of the country, and it’s a lot more fun promoting our destination to professionals that have experienced it!

Thank you BACVB and our local tourism partners for helping form the perfect team!

International

World Travel Market in London

Podium, speaker; VSC was well represented alongside Visit Florida at World Travel Market in London, England. (Photo: Gosh PR)
VSC was well represented alongside
Visit Florida at World Travel Market
in London, England. (Photo: Gosh PR)

VSC attended World Travel Market (WTM) in November. WTM is a leading travel industry trade show, with over 40,000 travel industry professionals attending, and over 5000 destinations exhibiting at the show.

Over three days, VSC conducted 22 half-hour meetings, mostly with product and marketing staff who are key business decision makers with regards to which hotels and attractions are featured in their programs. Meetings were held with leading tour operators such as Virgin Holidays and British Airways Holidays, and also with small and medium sized tour operators, including some that are new to selling Florida. For established tour operators selling Sarasota County, most reported increased room nights by 20-30 percent based on year-over-year comparison! 

Visit Sarasota County will be following up with each and every meeting, providing content, information and news!

Partnership

Partner Coffee Changes

woman with microphone; assembled Partner Coffee attendees socializing; Thank you EVEN Hotel  Sarasota-Lakewood Ranch for  hosting our November partner coffee!
Thank you EVEN Hotel
Sarasota-Lakewood Ranch for
hosting our November partner coffee!

 Every third Thursday of the month, VSC organizes a partner coffee at different partner location. These have become a valuable opportunity to network with VSC staff and other local attractions, not to mention the chance to win some amazing raffle prizes from our tourism colleagues!

Now, VSC is expanding the program to include one partner coffee at a South County location each quarter. If you’d like to see a recap of our first South County meetup at the Atlanta Braves’ CoolToday Park, click here.

If you have a business in southern part of the destination and are interested in hosting one of these special partner coffee events, contact Erin Hurter at [email protected]. Watch for our emails, e-newsletters and the partner Facebook group to see when and where our next South County partner coffee will be!

Welcome New Partners

Thank you for being a CHAMPION OF TOURISM and benefiting the #1 economic impact in Sarasota County!

Leisure Group

VSC earned a mention in a meetings  magazine article about creative  “swag” gifts like these custom shoes.
VSC earned a mention in a meetings 
magazine article about creative 
“swag” gifts like these custom shoes.

Is Smaller Getting Bigger in the Leisure Market?

There appears to be an emerging trend in the leisure market that may mean good things for smaller properties or those trying to fill gaps. More than half of the professionals polled by Small Market Meetings magazine at a conference earlier this year found said they plan meetings for less than 50 people.

VSC was mentioned in the same issue on page 9 as a destination coming up with unique, memorable gifts for meeting attendees. Earlier this year, we partnered with Landmarks Shoes to offer custom sneakers from its Beach Collection (bonus – a portion of each Landmarks sale is donated to a local charity). We’re proud to push the “swag” envelope past the usual pens, mugs and other items with notable gifts that have a personal touch. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!