The smiling faces say it all: it’s great to be together again! In late June, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority welcomed 18 executive meeting planners from across the country to the destination, marking the first assembly of a new customer advisory board (CAB) focused on meetings, conventions and trade shows.

“The purpose of the customer advisory board is to engage industry experts and receive feedback on what’s working and areas we can elevate Reno Tahoe as a meetings and events destination,” says RSCVA President and CEO Charles Harris. “This is one of the first CABs, if not the first anywhere in the U.S., to meet in-person post-pandemic, and that speaks to the initiative we have as a destination management organization. It also shows the passion of these meetings industry professionals who are eager to get back to traditional business.”

This diverse group of planners represents various segments of the meetings industry, including corporate, association, third-party and trade shows. Discussions were based around the perception of Northern Nevada and the destination, marketing, advertising, sponsorships, industry partnerships, facilities, competitive markets, and the importance community support plays in the success of any destination.

“It is our commitment to continue improving the guest experience in Reno Tahoe, and it is such a tremendous honor and opportunity to be able to glean from over 200 years of industry experience and expertise represented by the CAB members,” says Harris.

At the closing of last week’s meeting, CAB members cited networking, prospecting, professional development, and the opportunity to give back to the meetings industry as some personal benefits of this week’s proceedings. Some said they felt reenergized after the pandemic-related pause from in-person meetings, and noted that their introduction, and re-introduction, to Reno Tahoe is a crucial factor in enhancing perceptions of the destination. The Reno Tahoe Customer Advisory Board has plans to meet again early in 2022. visitrenotahoe.com.

The annual education luncheon and trade show of the Sacramento Sierra Nevada chapter of Meeting Professionals International brought out many fancy hats and the smaller accessories known as “fascinators,” a nod to the “Derby Days” theme. Held in the Clubhouse at the Cal Expo racetrack, the event’s bar served up mint juleps, another merry bow to the theme.

 

On Jan. 3, the Moscone Center celebrated its long-awaited opening with a gala. You can read our story about the renovated and expanded convention center here. –Photos courtesy of San Francisco Travel

 

On June 21, the MPI Southern California Chapter marked its 40th anniversary as members gathered for their annual installation gala at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. After a welcome reception in the Wetherly Garden, where cocktails were hosted by Mulholland Distilling and sparkling wine by South Coast Winery, guests moved into the ballroom for the awards program and dinner and the swearing in of the 2018-19 Board of Directors. The evening concluded with a lavish dessert reception in the Orchid Room.