The smiling faces say it all: it’s great to be together again! In late June, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority welcomed 18 executive meeting planners from across the country to the destination, marking the first assembly of a new customer advisory board (CAB) focused on meetings, conventions and trade shows.

“The purpose of the customer advisory board is to engage industry experts and receive feedback on what’s working and areas we can elevate Reno Tahoe as a meetings and events destination,” says RSCVA President and CEO Charles Harris. “This is one of the first CABs, if not the first anywhere in the U.S., to meet in-person post-pandemic, and that speaks to the initiative we have as a destination management organization. It also shows the passion of these meetings industry professionals who are eager to get back to traditional business.”

This diverse group of planners represents various segments of the meetings industry, including corporate, association, third-party and trade shows. Discussions were based around the perception of Northern Nevada and the destination, marketing, advertising, sponsorships, industry partnerships, facilities, competitive markets, and the importance community support plays in the success of any destination.

“It is our commitment to continue improving the guest experience in Reno Tahoe, and it is such a tremendous honor and opportunity to be able to glean from over 200 years of industry experience and expertise represented by the CAB members,” says Harris.

At the closing of last week’s meeting, CAB members cited networking, prospecting, professional development, and the opportunity to give back to the meetings industry as some personal benefits of this week’s proceedings. Some said they felt reenergized after the pandemic-related pause from in-person meetings, and noted that their introduction, and re-introduction, to Reno Tahoe is a crucial factor in enhancing perceptions of the destination. The Reno Tahoe Customer Advisory Board has plans to meet again early in 2022. visitrenotahoe.com.

The Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) hosted its first inperson event since the pandemic began at The Medalist Golf Club in Marshall. MSAE’s goal was to host a fun networking opportunity that followed COVID guidelines, and helped members gain confidence attending in-person events again.

 

Consumer behavior expert and author Shawna Suckow, CMP, shared her industry insights during the Meeting Planners International (MPI) Michigan Chapter’s annual Mid-Winter Symposium and Silent Auction in February.

 

The Greater Detroit Chapter of the National Association for Catering & Events (NACE) celebrated its annual holiday party at The Whiskey Factory in Detroit with a strolling dinner, music, gift card balloon pop and membership awards. More than 125 members enjoyed the event sponsored by AVL Creative, Chair Covers & Linens, Creative Specialties, The Display Group, Rock Out Entertainment, ShutterBooth, Viviano Flower Shop, BTW Photography and The Whiskey Factory.