Friday, October 17, 2008

CC marketing team continues to struggle to add events

Only one additional opening-year event was added during the month of September, Director of Marketing for the Lancaster County Convention Center said Thursday.

Two 2009 events were booked last month but a third meeting planner canceled an event resulting in a net gain of only one.

The number of booked events for 2009 stands at 17. The number of events they targeted to book for 2009 is 58, resulting in a balance of 41 events needed to book.

Of the 17 booked events, three are trade shows, eight are consumer shows, and six are other events.

The goal for 2009 is seven trade shows, seven consumer shows, and 44 other events. So the "other events" is the category that has been very slow.

Nowak says that most of the smaller events are booked within a twelve-month time frame since they generally require less complex planning.

"We're just starting to get into that booking window for other events," he said, Thursday.

The marketing team is currently at 41.3% of their targeted revenue for 2009 - the target revenue being $506,077.

At one point in the meeting, board member R.B. Campbell asked "who is our main competition?"

Chris Barrett, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Vistors Bureau, who works on marketing efforts, said that Hershey and Valley Forge are very dominant in the same markets, and that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are also big draws, especially for national events.

Kevin Molloy, Executive Director of the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority said following Thursday's meeting of the Public Relations, Marketing, & Hospitality Committee meeting that he remains optimistic that the prospects for the "other events" still needed to book will start converting to "definites" as time goes forward.

The clock is ticking.