South Shore CVA Teams with Meetingmax

CVA signs agreement to streamline housing reservations for visiting sports teams

Hammond, IN and Vancouver, BC; August 25, 2010 – As part of its ongoing investment in technology, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority (CVA) has engaged Meetingmax Systems to handle its online housing reservation needs. Through the agreement, South Shore CVA will use Meetingmax’s system to manage housing bookings for conference and event attendees, including teams traveling to the region’s numerous sports tournaments.

“While convention traffic is important to us, our region’s core strength lies in our ability to host major sports tournaments,” says Speros Batistatos, President and CEO of the South Shore CVA. “But this type of business requires that we book teams and their families into numerous hotels across the region. Meetingmax’s system helps us streamline that process for our customers and hoteliers.”

By using Meetingmax’s system, instead of having to call different hotels and reserve rooms with their own credit card, a coach or event planner can make one call to the CVA to secure room blocks. Each tournament attendee is then directed to log onto the system to book and pay for their own room.

“Instead of spending our budget on visitors’ guides, we are investing in technology and improving the efficiency of our marketing efforts,” continues Batistatos. “By having people reserve their housing through us, we can break down the demographics, learn more about our customers, and build a targeted email database.”

Meetingmax’s system ties directly into the CVA’s award-winning email marketing program. Once guests have booked in, the CVA sends them their room confirmation along with information about what to do when they arrive and coupons for partner restaurants and attractions. After checkout, the CVA emails visitors a survey to gauge their satisfaction with the hotel, local restaurants, and sports facilities. South Shore then provides this feedback to the other organizations.

“Our system helps South Shore build relationships and alleviate their clients’ stress by not having to run around and contract with different hotels,” says Jeff Duncan, COO, Meetingmax Systems. “We can provide their event planners with quantitative data that they can use to plan next year’s event. For example, by tracking bookings, we know that their teams want to book at hotels with a pool, that offer continental breakfast, or are close to certain facilities.”

As part of its selection process, South Shore looked at several other housing systems but ultimately selected Meetingmax for its user-friendly interface, customizable features, and affordable per-reservation fee.

In addition to deploying online housing, South Shore has also embraced other technology to improve service and efficiency. Recently, the organization launched a mobi site for mobile phones and has deployed advanced database marketing tools to help drive tourist traffic.

About South Shore CVA: The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority is the sales and marketing organization leading the hospitality industry and supporting its partners in the development and promotion of tourist attractions along Indiana's south shore of Lake Michigan.