Value Q+A 2013: Indian River County Chamber of Commerce

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Prevue asked Allison McNeal, Director of Tourism,  Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, her thoughts on Value.


Allison McNeal

Q: How are you delivering increased ROE?

A: In Indian River County we are fortunate to be located on the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon.  The array of eco-tourism activities are endless. For instance, planning a meeting at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort might include a sea turtle nesting outing or a trip to the Sebastian Inlet. Meetings at Capt Hiram’s Resort, located on the Indian River Lagoon, may include a scenic boat tour, paddle boarding and kayaking tours or a chartered fishing excursion. If you catch a fish during your trip you can bring it back to the resort and have your catch cooked to order. Dolphin and manatees are almost always spotted during your meeting in the Tiffany Room overlooking the lagoon. Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, located on the Atlantic Ocean, offer the Cardboard Pirate Ship Regatta. A teambuilding exercise on the beach in which teams compete to build the best life-size cardboard ship.  Leave your keys in the room, you won’t need them here. Walk out of VBH&S and you’re on Ocean Drive where you will find an array of restaurants, shops and local pubs.

Q: How can planners use technology in innovative ways to increase value?

A: Many planners are now working with much shorter lead-times which in most cases tends to increase  meeting costs because of the rush for materials.  Mobile App companies have identified these trends and offer low cost app platforms customizable to the event needs.  Apps can offer real-time information, onsite networking and additional sponsorship revenue while reducing the cost of printed materials.

Q: Are there any parts of a program you’re seeing where groups are willing to spend a little extra?

A: Groups that are focused on enhancing the experience of attendees are always willing to spend a little extra. Attendees enjoy having some free time during meetings to take-in the local surroundings.  Shuttle services can transport attendees to the nationally accredited Vero Beach Museum of Art, a production at Riverside Theatre or a shopping excursion at the Vero Beach Outlets.