If you want to get some attention, sometimes you have to give some. The Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau is showering attention on some people who can return the favor, with its Adopt a Meeting Planner program.
“It’s an effort to make us top-of-mind with meeting planners,” says Lorah Steiner, director of the visitor bureau that promotes the picturesque spot in Southwest Florida. Adopt a Meeting Planner operates on the theory that “it takes a village to raise a meeting,” she quips.
Her agency chose 20 meeting planners and recruited six Charlotte Harbor businesses to adopt them. Every two months, one business will send a suitcase-style box to each of the 20 planners. The box will contain a gift from the adoptive business and a letter from the Visitor & Convention Bureau highlighting the area’s amenities and other relevant information.
Golf, eco-tourism and beaches are the big calling cards in Charlotte Harbor, which is halfway between Tampa and Naples on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Its only incorporated city is Punta Gorda, where venues include the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center and two hotels next to it: Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside, which has 106 rooms and about 1,000 sf of meeting space; and the Wyvern, a 64-room boutique hotel with a rooftop tiki bar, a lounge and a swimming pool along with a small meeting room on the ground floor.
Charlotte State Bank & Trust was the first area business to participate. The bank created a photo book extolling Punta Gorda’s beauty and charm and listing its attractions and meeting facilities and events. Five other mailings are scheduled for 2014, with planners adopted by the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center, Fishermen’s Village, Harbor Style magazine, Palm Island Resort and the Visitor & Convention Bureau.