100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Protecting the Budget with Event Impacts by Columbia Metro CVB

Author: Joy Lin
Posted: December 04, 2014
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Just because a destination may be small doesn't mean that the DMO can't still work with the efficiency and effectiveness that larger and better-funded organizations likewise strive for.

I recall hearing one such DMO being described as "having a $300,000 budget but operating like it has $300 million," because despite limited inventory, accessibility and marketing capabilities, the organization and its staff believed in setting a strategy, applying sound, economical business practices, and ultimately delivering results. This is a mindset that we can all strive for.

One example is the Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau in South Carolina. With about 11,000 hotel rooms to fill, the organization pursues all business willing to consider its city. With a small-market DMO, Jason Outman, Director of Sales & Services, takes advantage of the ability to estimate room night demand, taxes generated, jobs supported, delegate spending and return on investment at present values for a diversity of event types through DMAI's Event Impact Calculator.

The industry standard calculator released in 2011 informs the DMO’s decisions to award incentives to meeting planners that book Outman's destination. However, the primary benefit to using the calculator has been to help underscore the importance of destination promotion as an economic driver to the city, of which meetings and conventions are only a part.

“Unlike most traditional CVBs, we do not have set funding, and have to apply for funding on an annual basis. The results of these fields help show the relevance of the Columbia CVB and the importance we have on the success of this community,” said Outman.

Learn more about how this organization has used the Event Impact Calculator for this purpose in the following case study.