By Beth Buehler
Established in 1993, Destination Colorado is a statewide nonprofit membership association of approximately 130 Colorado-based businesses and destination marketing organizations that provide meeting, event planners and incentive buyers with a platform brimming with services and facilities. Membership is open to hotels, venues, conference centers and applicable meeting service entities that are based in Colorado.
In a nutshell, Destination Colorado educates and updates planners on meeting venues, activities and resources in Colorado and provides several networking events in key meeting markets. On the flip side, members receive increased awareness, group bookings, opportunities to connect with potential and existing clients, and the chance to partner with other suppliers in the state. Sound good? Here is more detail.
Qualified Leads and RFPs– Destination Colorado members have access to valuable leads generated from all trade shows attended or produced by Destination Colorado. In 2018, more than 250 qualified RFPs and 1200 new leads were generated. Also, RFPs submitted by meeting planners are sent out from Destination Colorado’s website and CVENT to members on a regular basis.
Networking, Educational and Thank You Events– Members of Destination Colorado have an opportunity to meet and network with other industry professionals at bimonthly membership meeting lunches featuring educational speakers. Each fall, Destination Colorado also hosts a Customer Appreciation Event, providing members the opportunity to host their best clients in a casual and fun atmosphere and to network with other meeting planners in attendance. This gathering always has a fun theme and activities and moves around the state, with recent locations being Vail, Denver and Fort Collins.
Trade Shows– Members have the exclusive opportunity to participate in shows Destination Colorado produces, including the popular Front Range Trade Show each December that attracts hundreds of Front Range meeting planners and takes place in a festive atmosphere.The organization also coordinates Colorado representation at road shows in destinations such as Texas, California, Minnesota, Atlanta and more and national shows like IMEX America, making it more cost-effective versus attending as an individual entity.
Marketing Benefits– Members are provided with a directory listing on Destination Colorado’s website, which includes contact information and a direct website link, as well as details about meeting and event space, services, photos and more. DestinationColorado.com ranks in the top three on Google when searching terms like “Meetings in Colorado” and “Colorado Meeting Facilities.”
Free and Paid Advertising– As a free service, members are highlighted on all Destination Colorado social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Free and paid advertising also is available on Destination Colorado’s website and monthly e-newsletter, which is currently distributed to more than 19,000 meeting planners and industry professionals. Another bonus is that members of Destination Colorado receive a complimentary listing in the Destination Colorado Meeting Planner Guide, which is distributed at trade shows across the country.
Partner Benefits and Discounts– Destination Colorado members receive benefits and discounts through business partners such as Plan Your Meetings, Meeting Professionals International, NorthStar-Successful Meetings/M&C, and Colorado Meetings + Events.
Destination Colorado’s mission is to make the site selection and planning experience convenient and straightforward. By suppliers working together, the organization is the state’s one-stop resource for meeting and event planners and incentive buyers and an effective forum for connecting planners and meeting sales professionals.
Apply for membership online or find out more by calling 970.331.6063.
Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.