Spring has sprung and reunion season is around the corner! Use these five tips to win group business for your CVB in 2015!

1. Realize that Every Reunion Type Has Different Needs

Different than conventional meetings and events, you cannot throw all reunions into the same sand pail.

Reunion types have different needs.

A family reunion planner is looking for the best deal possible, not necessarily the best overall value, so most likely will book a limited service hotel. Their needs are fairly simple. There are usually enough vehicles among family that transportation isn’t necessary and they may not even need a banquet room as everyone will be on their own until their one planned picnic in the park or other main event.

Military reunions are looking for banquet space and a full service hotel. In both groups there may be individuals who need properties with adequate facilities to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Be aware of the needs for reunion types including class reunions and fraternal reunions.

2. Be Patient with the Planner

Most of the time the person planning a reunion is not a professional at meetings and events and needs you to be patient.

Be the subject matter expert and earn the planner’s trust.

Guide the relationship so that tele conferences and meetings are meaningful and accomplish the goals. The planner is most likely selected because they will do the job. What you can often expect is a planner who knows what he or she wants and is forthright about asking for it. Volunteer planners, as many reunion planners are, are also good at sticking to a budget.

3.  Give the Gift of Service

Planners, particularly of reunions, are not always aware of the services of a CVB.

Share that you research and recommend hotels, make tour and attraction reservations, do itinerary building, distribute arrival bags, create idea themes and send welcome letters from local officials. The Reunion Friendly Network provides “Reunion Planning Basic Training” to volunteer planners and is worth a review and sharing.

4. Provide a Destination Welcome Package

Goodie bags full of valuable information and samples of your city are bound to impress reunion planners. Your package may include maps, area attraction brochures, transportation vendor information and a calendar of events. Once the group business is booked, make sure every guest has their own bag of fun!

5. Market to Reunion Planners

Marketing towards business travel is different than marketing for reunion travel.

Reunion travelers are looking for fun and memory making! There is a connection among potential guests. Social media is a perfect platform for marketing for reunion business! Your posts will get reposted time and again and may be the one thing that attracts a planner to your destination. Also market to your past planner guests. How to advertise for venues perfect for reunions includes special all inclusive package rates-a planner’s dream!

Know what is trending for your travel guests. For instance, Family Travel Consulting, in the article Family Travel Trending Up and Adventurous in 2015  finds current events, active wellness, and endangered environments are among top motivators for family vacation planners in 2015.

That exciting time of year for reunions is here! As a CVB or DMO, realize that different reunion types have unique needs to their group. Be patient with the planner as most are volunteers and do not have your expertise.

Share with the planner all the services you provide to make event planning easier. Garner excitement with a welcome package for each guest that is also useful with destination information. Market to reunion planners with fun! Reunions are for making memories and connecting! Connect with these five tips and enjoy the season of group hotel room bookings and reunion revenue for your destination!