Prevue asked Mindy Abel, Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s Senior VP of Convention Sales, her thoughts on the evolution of value.
Q: What trends are you seeing with regard to the evolving definition of value?
A: For meeting and event planners, value is now seen as offering more than the basic features and services found at most event destinations. A destination’s staff must be “customer-centric,” meaning first-class customer support from start to finish. In addition, the event location must be “tech-centric,” with the venue keeping pace with today’s technologies and trends.
Q: Are you seeing a “new normal” in the industry? What does that mean to you?
A: Yes, the “new normal” is the need for increased efficiency due to the time crunch caused by meeting planners’ ever-increasing workloads. Booking windows are shorter than in years past and planners demand faster and more efficient support to accomplish more tasks in shorter periods of time.Q: When are the best values during the year?
A: We have an abundance of value-friendly experiences year-round, but the spring and fall seasons are particularly advantageous. We are also fast becoming short-term booking specialists, particularly in the corporate market. Our team has all been realigned and trained to meet the expectations of this particular market.
Q: Are there any cool “local experiences” applicable for groups where they can save on their budget?
A: Thanks in part to our sunny climate it is easy for groups to enjoy affordable year-round outdoor experiences. Imagine taking a group to one of our many beaches for a day of team-building exercises followed by an old-fashioned bonfire party. For sports-minded groups, enjoy a budget-friendly day at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim or watch the Anaheim Ducks tear up the ice at the Honda Center, located just a few minutes from the Anaheim Convention Center.
Buyouts of local theme parks, such as Disneyland® Resort, or Knott’s Berry Farm® can also provide great group experiences with a variety of budgetary options.
Q: What are a few high-impact group experiences that provide excellent ROI?
A: The Anaheim Convention Center’s outdoor event space, fountain area and Palm Court have proved to be an excellent location for a wide variety of outdoor group events, from exciting concerts to themed cocktail receptions and game pavilions.
Q: How can planners add extra value to a program at Anaheim/Orange County?
A: Our ‘Show Your Badge and Save’ program is an easy way for attendees to get more for less by just showing their meeting badge for discounts at more than 100 area retail, entertainment and dining establishments.
Our newest value-add is made available by the Anaheim Convention Center, which will be providing FREE Wi-Fi throughout the entire Center beginning January 2012.