Technology Helps Meetings Survive Budget Bumps

by Cara Gieringer  on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 12:00 am  

It’s been a few years since the declining state of the national economy was the “go-to” reason for why businesses were struggling, but like many dedicated organizations from all over the United States, the hospitality industry in Arkansas endured the storm, did its homework and came out rejuvenated on the other side.

The majority of the state’s tourism, dining and entertainment businesses have become proponents of the hyperactive social world in which we now live, employing innovative marketing strategies that not only make information dissemination convenient for customers and industry partners alike — they also make it fun.

The Value in Value

According to results from an April 2011 survey conducted by USA Today and Gallup, more than half of Americans said the U.S. economy was still in a recession or a depression despite official data that showed a moderate recovery.

Because of the unpredictable nature of today’s economic conditions, consumers have adopted a heightened awareness of how they spend money and are more vigilant than ever about getting what they pay for.

The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) responded to this trend by investing in strategies and partnerships that help people find greater value in the local marketplace.

Little Rock Restaurant Month is a relatively new event established by the LRCVB celebrating the city’s diverse restaurant community with special deals and saving initiatives. Participating restaurants in this month-long promotion in August, also known as “Savor the City,” offered a variety of discounts and specials which were then conveniently broadcast through multiple social mediums, including weekly updates posted at and daily updates via the LRCVB’s Twitter page.

The bureau also recently underwent a website redesign as part of an effort to “continue to research the latest in developing technology to target and attract visitors to Little Rock,” said LRCVB President Gretchen Hall in the Summer 2012 edition of Hospitality Magazine.

The new website provides landing pages for niche audiences like meeting and event planners, advanced event calendar capabilities, a coupon and special promotion database, a deals and packages database and tools for creating surveys and special campaign correspondence.

Plug in to Partnering

Focusing on ways to make relationships more advantageous for industry partners, the CVB added a private section of the redesigned website and a user-friendly content management system. These updates should enhance internal communications between partnering businesses and the LRCVB and offer the luxury for individual companies to maintain their own business information on an ongoing basis.

A mobile website and app are also in place so event attendees and meeting planners have seamless access to helpful information on lodging, dining, event and attraction options directly from their favorite mobile device.



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