ASU conference shines spotlight on convention and visitors bureaus

More than 40 revenue managers from 25 Valley hotels and resorts gathered on April 16 for the 2013 Meet the Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) Conference, hosted by the Phoenix Area Revenue Managers (PARM) at the Courtyard Scottsdale North.

The conference was hosted by Arizona State University’s School of Community Resources and Development to provide a venue for discussion regarding recent market successes and prospects for future in the local tourism industry from the perspective of local CVBs.

Coordinated by Timothy Tyrrell, a professor of community resources and development with the College of Public Programs, the PARM group was established in 2010 to promote the development of revenue management professionalism in the Valley.

“Every time we meet, I find myself walking away with new insight on how the Phoenix market is performing,” said Isaac Rodriguez, vice president of revenue management with Twenty-Four Seven Hotels.

Throughout the conference, senior leaders from local convention and visitors bureaus led discussions on a range of topics including:

• Lorain Pino, manager with Glendale Convention and Visitors Bureau, who presented information regarding the University of Phoenix Stadium, Arena, and future events coming soon to the west Valley such as Lego KidFest and Wrestlemania XXVI.

• Rachel Pearson, vice president of community & government affairs with Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, who shared results from some of this year’s biggest events, such as the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Barrett-Jackson car auction, presented as part of Auto Week.

• Linda Ruby, director of sales with the Tempe Tourism Office, who discussed the size and growth of major East Valley sporting events including the USA Triathlon (Collegiate) and Pat’s Run, which annually attracts nearly 35,000 participants and spectators.

• Mike Mooney, executive vice president and chief operating officer with the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau, who provided the latest statistics on Phoenix market activities at the Phoenix Convention Center and the Valley-wide Events Master Calendar.

The PARM group charges no dues or fees and relies entirely on the growing enthusiasm of area professionals.

Tyrrell, an economist by training joined ASU in 2005 and has studied and taught tourism economics for more than 30 years.

“While I’m retiring from the university in June, I plan to continue my involvement with the PARM organization,” Tyrrell said.

He’s already busy organizing the next bi-monthly meeting.