Destination Experience:

During February, the Destination Experience Team provided support to 24 reunions, meetings and events, as well as 13 convention groups convening in San Antonio. Those groups represented more than 57,400 attendees and more than 60,200 total room nights. The Destination Experience Managers coordinated and led nine planning site visits during the month for groups that will meet in San Antonio between 2020 and 2021.

30-60 Day Plan for Destination Experience:

The Destination Experience team will be taking a three-pronged approach during the next 30 to 60 days as we put in place a comprehensive plan to support, engage, and communicate with both internal and external stakeholders.

SUPPORT: Building a Better Internal Department Foundation

Our efforts to support our department in the immediate 30 days will focus internally on the foundation of our goals as a team. We will take advantage of this time to perform some “spring cleaning” and maintenance to clean up the database, shared electronic folders and accounts for the year. Each team member will focus on updating standard operating procedures to ensure we are effectively working together as a department with a shared focus. We will focus our tasks to fine tune our day to day operational procedures.

ENGAGE: Connect with Local Community and Industry partners

We will engage with our local community and industry partners to best understand the impact of COVID-19 locally on the service provider sector. Careful consideration will be given to our social responsibility efforts and new plans will be drafted regarding opportunities available for groups that will launch once we have meetings able to convene in the city. The team will brush up on technical skills and take advantage of remote learning opportunities to ensure we are up to date on the latest trends and marketing strategies to support clients.

COMMUNICATE: Offer Proactive Messaging to Groups

Client communication, relationship management and contact will be paramount over the coming days as we navigate this industry crisis together. We are in touch weekly with our clients who have been immediately impacted through July to provide support based on each of their individualized needs. Additionally, we are maintaining contact with all future citywide groups to let them know San Antonio is here for them. We will be auditing our current e-tools and marketing toolkit to roll out the most comprehensive resources for our meeting planners in the months and years to come to help rebound their show attendance to maximize economic impact for our partners.

Commodity Classic is a one-of-a-kind, family-friendly convention and trade show that is farmer-focused and farmer-led. Thousands of talented farmers of all ages were eager to attend this show in San Antonio to learn about the latest trends technology, equipment and advancements and, of course, explore our city. As stated on the Commodity Classic website: the 2020 Commodity Classic was a record-breaker with 4,678 farmers registered — the most in the show’s history. The 9,350 total registrants made this the second-largest attended show in its history.

This year, we were invited to take part in an exciting opportunity when the request was made for our presence to activate a 10x10 booth on the show floor from Feb. 27-29. What would typically be referred to as a Prior Year Promo turned into a partner opportunity for our Visit San Antonio members to showcase their businesses in front of nearly 9,000 attendees, since the group is scheduled to return in 2021.

We collectively came up with the idea to recruit at least six partners willing to participate and showcase their attractions. A service-lead request was distributed to more than 90 members with specific details and expectations for the event. Below are the following members that participated in the booth along with their contribution and some fun pictures.

  • Whataburger – raffle basket, 1,500 Whataburger BOGO coupons and appearance by Whataguy (mascot)
  • Topgolf – coupons, koozies, USBs, wet/dry neck towels and pens
  • HardRock Café – Selena impersonator, phone sleeves and pop sockets
  • Bubba Gump – Coupons promoting free appetizer or dessert and stickers
  • Andretti Indoor Karting & Games – The BOT (mascot)
  • Sea World San Antonio – Whale costume character and 400 glass sea turtle ornaments. They also contributed two admission tickets to the park which were part of an “Experience San Antonio” gift basket that was raffled at the beginning of the conference.
  • San Antonio Zoo – Stickers, tattoos and mini coloring books.

Each partner actively participated in the booth by talking to attendees about their attraction and the many other things to do and see in our city. Through their participation, they got a better understanding of what Visit San Antonio is doing when we visit other cities to promote our destination. They were excited to be part of the expo.

The Commodity Classic Board really enjoyed the extra touch of activation and fun experience it provided in the expo hall.

Destination Sales:

Citywide Cancellations/Postponements:

  • Citywide Postponements:
    • National Society of Black Engineers, moved to Aug. 17-23, 2020
    • Informa Business Media, moved to Aug. 22-27, 2020
    • Hospitality Financial Technology Professionals, moved to Oct. 26-29, 2020
  • Citywide Cancellations:
  • 12 groups, representing more than 78,000 total room nights and 57,000 attendees. Economic impact of more than $38.4 million.
  • Citywide Groups Still Investigating:
    • 7 groups (May-3, June-3, July-1)

Cost Savings Initiatives:

Travel and client engagement opportunities have been reduced including Chicago and Washington, D.C., sales missions, sales calls to all markets, FAM’s and multiple industry conventions and tradeshows.

Sales Team 30 & 60 Day Plans:

30 Day Plan: Working with clients to rebook or postpone meetings vs. canceling them. Focusing on projects including SimpleView transition, citywide sales strategy, account cleanup, prospecting research, etc. Putting together best practices and SOP for virtual site visits.

60 Day Plan: Once the business climate shifts and clients are ready to discuss new business, we will look to pursue opportunities based on the plans and projects being completed during our 30-day plan (prospecting research, account cleanup, citywide strategy, etc.).

The Sales Team has seen the following lead volume​:

  • 89 leads sourced for March thus far​
  • 11 leads entered for the week of March 16 for dates from 2020-2023​
  • All leads are worth 23,783 room nights
  • 42 percent of March leads were sourced within the first week of March.​
  • Average monthly lead volume for Fiscal Year 2020 is 184.​

For historical reference, March of 2019 had 184 leads sourced and March of 2018 had 140

The team is continuously working their existing sales funnels to confirm meetings for future months