Destination Colorado Connects the Meetings and Events Industry
By Beth Buehler
The meetings and events industry in Colorado does a great job playing in the same sandbox. While there naturally is some healthy competition, everyone thankfully realizes that we’re all better together when promoting and representing the state, making an organization like Destination Colorado possible. It’s a feat that other states haven’t been able to replicate based on what I’ve heard or seen in my 17 years in the industry. Destination Colorado successfully connects the meetings and events industry.
Destination Colorado, founded in 1993, links meeting planners with destinations, lodging properties, venues and a wide range of meeting service providers that best fit the purpose, needs and expectations for their gatherings. This longtime nonprofit has more than 130 members that are well-versed in this marketplace and can provide solutions for nearly every requirement and planning challenge. The end goal? Making the site selection and planning experience convenient and straightforward for groups.
One of the best tools is Destination Colorado’s website, where planners can review options by destination, venue or service type; submit one RFP that is distributed to members who fit the parameters; find details about the State of Colorado’s meeting and events incentive program; see deals being offered by members; read blogs on a variety of Colorado-related topics; and much more. It’s the single site for planners to get a statewide view of entities that specialize in serving groups.
Bringing People Together
By combining member resources and expertise, Destination Colorado also is able to host an annual Colorado Meetings Showcase every December, sponsors a booth at the annual IMEX America in Las Vegas for scheduling appointments with attendees, and presents a Customer Appreciation Event so members can invite planner clients for two days of networking and enjoying Colorado destinations and activities. Members also have a chance to tap into educational opportunities offered at meetings throughout the year.
Other helpful benefits of teaming up include statewide map and planning guide, offering cooperative advertising programs and lead referrals, keeping Colorado at the forefront on social media channels, and facilitating strategic partnerships with other key entities like the Colorado Tourism Office. With almost 30 years in the marketplace, Destination Colorado has built a database of 15,000 engaged planners that receive newsletters, invitations to participate, and the opportunity to reach out for more information.
Exposure on Destination Colorado’s website alone and the corresponding SEO value essentially pays for a membership, notes Destination Colorado Executive Director Kelly Layton. “With significant website traffic from national marketing campaigns, targeted SEO efforts and a top-ranking in relevant search terms, the website attracts planners and members alike.”
Whether you are a planner or supplier, Destination Colorado makes your job easier and may I dare say more fun? I’ve never been to a Destination Colorado gathering where I didn’t come away smiling and feeling like it was time well spent! Destination Colorado connects the meetings and events industry.
Top Photo: Customer Appreciation Event at the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver, photo by Wonderworks Studios
Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 17 years and helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine in 2013. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.