Grand Rapids, Michigan, was named one of the Midwest’s best convention cities for 2022 and one of America’s top 25 convention cities by MeetingSource — so it’s no surprise that Experience Grand Rapids puts a high value on making sure event planners have a personalized experience that meets their needs and objectives.

The destination marketing organization (DMO) recently went through a several-month process shepherded by Terri Roberts, program manager at 2Synergize, a Simpleview consulting company, to reimagine its site visit process. We interviewed Mary Manier and Kelsey Helstowski at Experience Grand Rapids to hear their take on the process. Manier is the vice president of sales & services. Helstowski is the associate director of sales.

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“My purpose is to help destinations move from a linear site inspection to a dynamic, unique site experience tailored to fit the group based on their specific criteria,” said Roberts. 

The effort by Roberts and the DMO team included:

  • A review of current site inspection process
  • The creation of new metrics to measure the conversion of sites in the destination to booked programs in order to measure the success of the implementation of the new process
  • A revision of standard operating procedures for sales/services for the new site experience workflow process
  • A destination-wide training for the new site experience program