The Fargo-Moorhead CVB has been a Meetingmax-enabled destination since 2010. However, for the first five years the bureau had minimal room night pickup due to low awareness around the benefits of room block management. Organizations that were aware, were using third-party housing bureaus to manage their event reservations.
Hotel partners were dissatisfied with the high fees charged by these third-party housing bureaus. A local association who operated a series of hockey events approached the CVB to explore alternative accommodation management solutions.
After much discussion, it was apparent that there was a gap in service from the third-party housing bureau that had left both the association and local hoteliers dissatisfied. The Fargo-Moorhead CVB exists to serve its partners and wanted to support the association and local hoteliers. A need for a new solution was apparent and the CVB had the ability to fulfill that need by managing the accommodations in-house through Meetingmax.
As Fargo-Moorhead transitioned to take on the first event, they made some instrumental internal changes. They:
- Dedicated a position to Housing Management: To properly service the events, the bureau hired a full-time housing support person to manage the event room blocks.
- Shared their new solution with qualified sports events: After hearing concerns from the association, the bureau wanted to ensure that local organizations were satisfied with their events in Fargo-Moorhead. The sales team spoke with those currently using third party housing bureaus to inform them of their alternative housing service. The bureau focused on organizations that would enforce a stay-to-play policy which guarantees room night pickup, further benefiting hotel partners.
- Added Meetingmax’s Unconvention into their annual budget: The bureau saw value in attending the annual user conference to allow staff to gain a deeper understanding of system functionality and build relationships with other users.
The first year managing the events in house was a resounding success; In 2015 the bureau managed over 10,000 room nights. Local organizations and sports clubs that handed housing over to the CVB became cheerleaders for the service which led to further business:
- In 2016 the bureau managed 19,554 room nights
- In 2017 the bureau managed 20,544 room nights over 21 events
- For 2018 they currently have 21 events contracted with plans to add at least 13 more
The bureau is not slowing down anytime soon. They’ve transformed the organization from one that produced less than 1000 annual room nights to one producing over 20,000 annual room nights. The bureau is proud to not only have increased pick up for its events, but to have increased accountability to its stakeholders and the board.
ABOUT THE FARGO-MOORHEAD CVB
The Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau (FMCVB) is responsible for marketing Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo as a consumer vacation destination and ideal region to host meetings, special events, group tours and sports tournaments. The Fargo-Moorhead Athletic Commission is a sub-division of the FMCVB and is dedicated to attracting major athletic events to the area. The FMCVB goes the extra mile to provide a handcrafted experience. With over 30,000 college students and a median age of 27, there is an energy that runs through the city thanks to a young, vibrant and educated population. Its young yet rich history of hosting elite sporting events inspire the athletes who live and work there, as well as those who visit. The 20+ sport facilities are not only state of the art, but also offer the Midwest friendliness and professionalism that has come to define the region. For all its idiosyncrasies, Fargo offers a surprising array and diversity of cultural influences, attractions and activities far beyond what is characteristic for a city its size. Get here already and experience north of normal!