Industry Trade Shows are one of the many working components within the Visitors Bureau services. Each year the Bureau, along with hotel partners, travel to industry trade shows that target various types of travelers. One of the primary focuses of the bureau is the meeting planner, which drives much of the mid-week business to our local hotels. Mid-week business is always a challenge and staying present and relevant in this industry is key to our success.
Visitors Bureau representatives traveled to Sacramento on December 13 – 15, 2017 to attend the California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE) Seasonal Spectacular at the Sacramento Convention Center. Taking advantage of our Industry Partner membership and utilizing pre-show mailing lists, we were able to expand our presence among one of the largest association of executive planner events in the nation. With cooperative opportunities, the bureau brought along a sales team compiled of staff from the Bureau and the Radisson Hotel Santa Maria. Having the opportunity to speak with many of the attendees first-hand, creates a relationship that provides open-door discussions that otherwise would have been missed.
This year we increased our booth presence by offering “A Taste of the Santa Maria Valley” swag bag consisting of a 2-night bed and breakfast at the Radisson Hotel, VIP Wine tasting experience, a local bottle of wine and Santa Maria swag. This allowed us to increase our leads and interest in the Santa Maria Valley as a meeting destination.
A Look Ahead…
With CalSAE in the rearview mirror, we are now looking ahead to the San Diego Travel Show on January 12 – 15 at the San Diego Convention Center and the Los Angeles Travel Show on February 23 – 25 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Both shows focus on the leisure traveler with a group tour operator networking opportunity at the start of each day. Both shows attract thousands in attendance and we are always excited to be on-hand to share all the great things the Santa Maria Valley has to offer as a vacation destination. We come prepared to share samples of the Santa Maria Style Pinquito Beans, Susie Q seasoning and other swag items to much of the delight of the attendees. The Santa Maria Valley is unique and so are our giveaways and attendees are always anxious to hear all about our area.
Restaurant Week January 14 – 20, 2018
California Restaurant Month propels food & drink to next level status. In the month of January, visitors will indulge and enjoy with participating restaurants in cities and regions across the state, who offer deals, special menus and more throughout the month.
The Santa Maria Valley is starting 2018 with #SantaMariaStyle, chock-full of participation from local and loved restaurants, wineries and breweries. Each participating outlet will be offering a special for $20.18, everything from wine pairings to tastings and special menu items.
Participating restaurants, breweries and wineries include: Cambria Winery , Century Room at the Historic Santa Maria Inn, Cielito Lindo Mexican Grill, Cnagy Wine Tasting Room, Core Wine Tasting Room, Grevino Café & Wine Bar, Far Western Tavern, Foxen Vineyard, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Moxie Café , Rooney’s Irish Pub, Straw Hat Pizza, and Vintners Bar & Grill at the Radisson.
Participating cities and regions from all over California have their own restaurant week, lasting anywhere from a week to 10 days during the month of January. During each weeklong celebration, various restaurants offer special deals, such as affordable prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner, or sizably discounted meals.
National Plan for Vacation Day – January 30
California takes center stage in this year’s National Plan for Vacation Day campaign, set to take place on January 30, 2018. National Plan for Vacation Day is a way to encourage Americans to take their time off — and ideally, to spend that time as a tourist (or local) in the Golden State. Individuals who plan are more likely to use all of their time off, take more vacation days at once, and report greater levels of happiness. This campaign is a part of the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off coalition.
According to Visit California and Project: Time Off, the Golden State is home to some of the most beautiful destinations and attractions in the world, yet the state has some of the worst vacation patterns in America. 61 percent of Californians surrender a total of more than 90 million unused vacation days annually. This stockpile of unused vacation time dampens workers’ productivity, creativity and energy, and for destinations and businesses, tapping into that latent potential has tremendous implications for California’s travel and tourism industry. Why not use some of that vacation time for a staycation, right here in our own backyard!
The Santa Maria Valley blends its ranching traditions with an ever-growing reputation as one of California’s top wine regions. Step back into the past at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park. Play golf among the oaks at the acclaimed La Purisima Golf Course. Shop for treasures at the Deja Vu Antiques Mall. Dig into Santa Maria Valley’s famous barbecued tri-tip at Far Western Tavern and wash it down with a tasting at Presqu’ile Winery.
We encourage you to join Visit California and Project: Time Off in promoting National Plan for Vacation Day, and inspire travelers to declare their vacation days and explore beyond the cubicle. As part of that planning, there are many reasons to consider the Santa Maria Valley as a perfect stop on your California 101 adventure. It is the ideal home base to the Central California Coast, where you can eat, drink and do more for less, and with a whole lot of #SantaMariaStyle. Plus, it’s conveniently a place many of us are lucky enough to call home!
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