The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) has announced a new marketing effort to raise awareness among event planners nationwide of the appeal of Montgomery County for conference and meeting travelers. The effort’s tagline — Room for Meetings, Room for More — encapsulates the destination’s suitability for conducting business and also enjoying numerous other assets that include dining (1,800-plus restaurants within the borders) and outdoor recreation (golf, hiking).
Meet Montco Showcase
The marketing campaign was rolled out at the Meet Montco Showcase, a Sept. 15 event and tradeshow that gathered more than 100 event professionals at the Flourtown Country Club. There, they had ample time to learn, connect, explore, and network.
The day’s events included a panel discussion and vendor expo, exclusively designed to ease the decision-making process of choosing Montgomery County for an upcoming meeting.
In addition, the VFTCB encouraged planners to use its expertise in crafting successful events, using free meeting support that encompasses details from coordinating site tours to recommending team-building activities.
A Marketing First
The Room for Meetings, Room for More effort is the VFTCB’s first meetings-specific marketing campaign aimed at attracting corporate meetings and association conference involving weekday overnight accommodations. It includes a newly refreshed website.
The VFTCB partnered with Aloysius Butler & Clark to invest $325,000 in the digital-and-print initiative, which has been targeting meeting planners for local corporations within 300 miles of Montgomery County.
The campaign includes the company’s strongest rewards program ever offered: New groups receive $10 off per contracted room nights, regardless of which hotel from the county’s 80-plus property portfolio is chosen. Groups can use the funds to enhance or offset program costs. Meeting attendees can also get access to area discounts with the VFTCB’s “Show Your Badge” program.
Impact on Web Traffic
So far, the VFTCB’s meetings-focused investment has impacted web traffic. Since January, valleyforge.org/meetings has seen almost 10,000 pageviews. That’s an increase of more than 1,000 percent over the same period last year and a 95 percent increase compared with prepandemic traffic in 2019.
Users are coming from Pa., Kansas, Texas, and Virginia and are spending more time on the page, now one of the top 10 VFTCB pages receiving traffic, another first for the organization.
Refreshed and New Experiences
Once meeting attendees arrive here, they will find a host of area hotels that have been refreshed for their accommodation and comfort.
The Scott Higgins, VFTCB Director of Sales, estimates that 36 percent of Montgomery County hotels have invested more than $100 million in capital improvements. The refreshed properties include:
- Alloy King of Prussia
- Sheraton Valley Forge
- Holiday Inn Lansdale
- Marriott Philadelphia West
These join two — soon to be three — new area hotels:
- Element Valley Forge
- Residence Inn Bala Cynwyd
- West & Main, a Tapestry by Hilton (coming this fall)
And Montgomery’s County’s eclectic dining scene has also expanded, with the recent entry of Bala Cynwyd’s Lark by Top Chef winner Nicholas Elmi.
The top-notch accommodations and restaurants augment the county’s other assets, which include:
- 50 golf courses
- The best shopping in the country, with retail assets such as the King of Prussia Mall and various towns’ Main Street boutiques
- 60 miles of trails
- Historically significant sites
- Lively nightlife and entertainment
To keep these amenities from overwhelming first-time visitors, the VFTCB continually updates its Visit Valley Forge mobile app, guiding guests to dozens of engaging adventures onsite.
And as a visual assist to out-of-market meeting planners, it continues to make extensive use of its Montco360 virtual tours.