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‘Bring Your Meeting Home’ wins plaudits

John Seelmeyer

The Reno-Sparks area got the equivalent

of a full month of extra hotel bookings

when local residents started making the

pitch for convention business.

The “Bring Your Meeting Home”

effort of the Reno-Sparks Convention and

Visitors Authority so far has brought five

meetings and 22,910 room-nights

that’s one visitor staying one night to

the Reno-Sparks area.

Meetings representing another 13,576

room nights are “pretty close to definite,”

said Bob Brown, vice president for sales at

the convention and visitors authority.

The 22,910 worth of room-nights generated

by the program is roughly equivalent

to the number of rooms occupied in

the area during a typical month.

The program has been so successful,

Brown said, that its run has been extended

indefinitely. Originally, the authority

planned to wrap up the campaign at the

end of this year.

Here’s how it works:

When it’s time for a group to select the

site for its next meeting, local residents

who are members of a national or regional

organization make a pitch for the Reno

area, using materials including a video

starring television personality Sam Shad

provided by the RSCVA sales staff.

Essentially, the RSCVA crew acts as the

staff while the local resident acts as the

point person who has good connections.

“We knew that in our back yard there

are people who are involved in organizations

professional or otherwise who

would like to see their meetings come to

Reno,” Brown said. “These are leads that

community members have brought to us.”

As the visitors authority staff has made

its pitch around town, he said, about 180

people have stepped forward to make the

contract with their groups.

The five meetings booked as a result of

the campaign include meetings of:

* The National Association of Counties.

* A group of behavioral economists.

* H2O Resources.

* The American Planning Association

* The National Parks and Recreation

Association.

Those meetings are scheduled from

now through 2005, Brown said.

The campaign has been budgeted at

$47,000, he said.