A Meeting Planners Best Friend – Benefits of Working with Your Local Iowa CVB

Perks! Who doesn’t love them? But if you’re not taking advantage of all the complimentary services and benefits of working with Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) you are literally passing up on hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars’ worth of perks! The next time you are planning a meeting or event, consider enlisting one of these local Iowa CVB destination experts who can not only help you work within the confines of your “streamlined” budget but also help you pilot the site selection process, arrange group transportation and more.

Ames CVB

Take a scenic tour of historic Ames, a unique and charming town ranked one of the country’s top ten college towns to live in. Each year more than 708,000 overnight visitors come to Ames for a variety of events, including professional conferences, amateur and college sporting events, plus a wide range of state, regional, and international competitions. Could it be because Ames has a wide range of options when it comes to lodging, shopping, arts and culture, activities, and attractions? It is highly likely.

Benefits: The Ames CVB team is happy to assist with developing proposals, presentations and arranging site visits, identifying facilities, negotiating hotel rates and room blocks, managing contracts, arranging tours and events, developing a customized budget, and setting registration fees, while overseeing financial transactions, all at no charge to you.

Vacation Okoboji

Known as “Iowa’s #1 Vacation Destination,” Okoboji is renowned for its beautiful chain of glacier-carved lakes that extend from the southwest Minnesota border and cover approximately 15,000 acres. Explore the area’s many attractions including parks, beaches, gardens, golf clubs, museums, nature centers and marinas. Stay in one of 65 hotels, resorts, or B+Bs, while experiencing culinary choices that range from casual to fine dining.

Benefits: Vacation Okoboji offers an extensive list of valuable cost-free services for your event such as referrals to local vendors, recommendations for venues, site visits, lodging, transportation options, and recommendations on local attractions.

Catch Des Moines

The vibrant capital city offers visitors perennial favorites like a touring Broadway show, the downtown Farmers’ Market, locally owned restaurants and live music venues, boutiques in the Historic East Village, Valley Junction, and West Glen Town Center, public art, endless trails, and family-friendly attractions.  With 12,500+ hotel rooms, four-mile, climate controlled downtown skywalk system open 24/7 that connects hotels, restaurants, shopping, and meeting facilities, Des Moines is clearly the place to catch for your meeting or event.

Benefits: The expert staff at Catch Des Moines provide complimentary planning services, such as activity, dining, and off-site event facility recommendations, suggest itineraries for attendees, spouses, or family, make hotel recommendations, offer supplier referrals, list team building opportunities, and recommend transportation options, to name just a few.

Travel Dubuque CVB

Each year, thousands travel to Dubuque, where Iowa started. Nestled along the Mississippi River shoreline, visitors can explore the city aboard an authentic paddle wheeler, experience local arts and culture, get lucky at two state-of-the-art casinos, enjoy year-round activities outdoors including ziplining, skiing, snowshoeing, sailing, and hiking. Hotels and cozy B&Bs welcome you while an abundance of bakeries, bars, bistros, cafes, and restaurants tempt you with culinary delights.

Benefits: The team at the Travel Dubuque CVB are happy to recommend event facilities, venues, lodging and vendors such as caterers, entertainers, or photographers. They’ll also help with suggestions on itinerary planning and assist you with site visits, welcome materials, promotional information, planning assistance, group transportation, registration, media contacts, and more.

Quad Cities CVB

Enjoy the big city amenities of the four charming communities that make up the Quad Cities, Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Rock Island and Moline, Illinois. Perfect for large gatherings, Quad cities offers a variety of unique, spacious, state-of-the-art convention and expo centers including the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center, Vibrant Arena, QCCA Expo Center, and The RiverCenter/Adler Theater.

Benefits: The experienced staff at Quad Cities CVB are ready to roll up their sleeves and pitch in with planner guides and timelines, site tours, pre-convention brochures, referrals to local vendors, visitor information bags, companion tour planning, and facilitate a pre-event email campaign to potential attendees.

Iowa City | Coralville Area CVB

A collection of communities tucked into the shoreline of the meandering Iowa River, it is the only City of Literature in North America. But it is not all quiet libraries and reading rooms there. In addition, there are boutiques and major retailers, hiking, biking, and kayaking; football and wrestling at UI; museums, craft breweries, farm-to-table restaurants, concerts, festivals and more. Here, you can find brand name hotels, locally owned lodging, quaint bed and breakfasts, along with many camping options.

Benefits: Iowa City | Coralville Area CVB’s capable and accommodating tourism team can help with event planning consultation, off-site venue referrals, access to group activity packages, calendar entries for public events, facilitation of local vendor service requests, customized welcome bags, and UBER discount codes for attendees.

Council Bluffs CVB

From scenic byways to recreational trails, historic buildings to modern arenas, railroad heritage to action-packed casinos, Council Bluffs is home to many exceptional attractions to explore. Comfortable lodging options range from B&Bs to hotels to campgrounds. Local food is fast or elegant, gourmet or home cooked, and there are abundant wineries, orchards, and gardens around town.

Benefits: Council Bluffs CVB offers a host of complimentary services, including recommendations for lodging and venues, RFP submission, site visit coordination, and assistance in setting up pre- and post-event activities.

Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau

The folks in Waterloo want you to dig a little deeper. Explore the vibrant downtown district featuring award-winning museums, locally owned restaurants, and an impressive riverside amphitheater. Tour the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum, visit the Isle Casino, and enjoy the Cedar Valley Trails via bicycle or kayak. Catch exciting sports teams and immerse yourself in arts and culture. Do not forget to find your way to Lost Island Water Park - it's Iowa's largest!

Benefits: From transportation and registration to tours and off-site event planning assistance, housing reservations and hotel room blocks, and a grant assistance program to help offset the cost of room rentals, entertainment, honorariums, and event marketing, the knowledgeable staff can help find the right solutions for your group’s needs.

For a complete list of Iowa Convention & Visitors Bureaus, view our directory here to start planning your next meeting or event today!

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Casey Romano, Publisher | meetingpages | casey@meetingpages.com

Creator of digital platform meetingpages complete event planning directory and resource delivering leads and national, regional and local exposure for event venues, suppliers and destinations in MN, WI, IA & CO markets. In her free time, this 19 year industry veteran enjoys dance, group fitness, and training her young golden retriever dog in competition obedience and confirmation.

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