The impact of COVID-19 has been felt by all business segments, and the meetings industry has certainly been one of the hardest hit. Our Insights Hub, which includes our clients’ group business data, shows that there are 18.3 million fewer room nights on the books compared to this time last year. As meeting professionals are looking to postpone or create virtual experiences and because planners book their events many years in advance, it is important for DMOs to keep the communication going and continue to serve as the local resource. 

In our Layover Live interview with Jeff Robinson, director of marketing at Visit Indy, we learned about how their DMO is continuing to communicate and support meeting planners. Jeff shared how they sell, market and execute group business, how they’ve changed their marketing throughout the pandemic and what marketing and communication channels have been most effective for them. Jeff also shares what resources and support DMOs should be providing to meeting planners.

"People buy from people, not from organizations. So it is very important through all of this that we keep the connection alive." -Jeff Robinson, Visit Indy

Visit Indy has been relying heavily on its owned channels during this time. Video and email are two channels that have allowed them to keep the connection going with meeting and event professionals. They’ve hosted a few groups recently and then captured video of that experience so that prospective clients can see, firsthand, what a meeting during 2020 can look like. Jeff also talks about the importance of email marketing in keeping customers informed and engaged. 

Read results from a recent survey by Destination Analysts on what meeting planner could use from DMOs during COVID on the Destination International blog. To learn more about creating resources for meeting professionals, please reach out to your account manager.