A few months ago, Saratoga Springs resident and Saratoga Hospital staff member Brad Sexauer came by the bureau offices. Brad is a member of the Leaders Board for Strategic Issues and Market Affairs and was interested in bringing this national group’s 2009 Fall Meeting home to Saratoga. Brad met with Bureau convention sales manager Heather McElhiney, discussed the details and specs of the meeting, and then made the initial introduction between the Bureau and this group’s meeting planner, William Bodnar, located in Boise, ID.
After some initial conversations, we learned that there were about 12 destinations being considered, all recommended by members of the group. A few weeks prior to the 2008 Fall Meeting, the entire group was asked to pick their top three cities – Saratoga and Denver tied for first, with Chicago running a very close third. The final decision was to be made via popular vote at the 08 meeting. The Bureau sent meeting planner guides, brochures, videos, fact sheets, airport information and area guides to promote Saratoga to the group, and Brad continued to lobby on our behalf.
A few days after the October 08 meeting, we got the word that we were still tied with Denver! The Bureau then reached out to our hotel community, asking them to do what they do best and show this group why Saratoga is really the only choice for them. The hotels came through with flying colors, responding quickly and with enthusiasm to Bill’s request for proposals. Just one week later, Saratoga was awarded this national meeting, contracts are signed and we can all feel fantastic that not only did we beat out Denver and Chicago, but nine other national destinations for this prestigious piece of business.
Our thanks go out again to Brad Sexauer, as this was all made possible through his initiative and desire to bring some business home. Brad knows that this group is going to love Saratoga and it was his desire to show off his hometown to his colleagues that made this effort such a success. We are looking forward to honoring Brad next year through our Hometown Hero program.
This year’s roster of 16 Hometown Heroes will be honored by the Bureau on Wednesday, November 19 at the 24th annual Thanksgiving Reception and Hometown Hero reception at Saratoga National Golf Club. You can sign up online at https://members.discoversaratoga.org or call Kathy Price at 584-1531 to confirm by phone.
What: The Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau’s 24th Annual Thanksgiving Reception with special recognition to our Hometown Heroes!
Where: Saratoga National Golf Club
When: Wednesday, November 19th
Time: 5:30 PM –7:30 PM
Cost: $25.00 per person
We hope you can join us as we kick off the holiday season with fine food and spirits and honor our local Hometown Heroes who were instrumental in bringing their convention home!
Sign up online at our members-only site, https://members.discoversaratoga.org/
Click here for the list of Hometown Hero honorees!
For more information, please call the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau at 518-584-1531 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year's 4th annual Restaurant Week will be bigger and better than ever -- the Bureau listened as last year's participating restaurants expressed some preferences for change -- including moving the dates back a week to December 5-11. Also new this year is a $9.09 lunch option, in addition to the traditional $18.19 dinner price for a 3-course meal -- one of the best deals around. Advertising for this year's event is broader and more frequent and sponsorship and participation opportunities have expanded beyond restaurants to retail stores and wholesale suppliers.
To sign up, you have to be a Bureau member in good standing with a strong sense of community (after all, we're all in this together) -- this promotion brings visitors to Saratoga as a thank-you for their support during the year -- it's also designed to build shopper traffic during the holidays. The new Bureau website is the information focal point for the promotion www.discoversaratoga.org/restaurantweek/ where you'll find lists of sponsors, participating restaurants, menus, "good to know" tidbits and more.
You can sign up online at our members-only site, https://members.discoversaratoga.org, fax in your sign up sheet or call Connie Crudo at 584-1531. For sponsorship opportunities including retail stores and other businesses, please call or e-mail Connie at email@example.com.
Check our website often for an updated list of participating restaurants. www.discoversaratoga.org/restaurantweek/
During the month of October, we sent out an e-mail blast asking invitees to save the date for the Victorian Familiarization (FAM) Tour on December 4th and 5th. We also sent out all printed invitations through the mail and invitees are already responding.
The Victorian FAM is a chance for meeting planners to experience Saratoga during the winter season and learn more about what we have to offer as a meeting and event destination . This FAM tour is similar to the Summer FAM because attendees stay overnight and most are not in close proximity to our city.
The tour consists of an extensive city tour that combines a bus and walking tour, time to enjoy the downtown and city on their own, including the Victorian Streetwalk on the 4th, as well as several organized events at member hotels and attractions.
We will keep you updated on this event in the next newsletter! Stay tuned!
The New York State Superintendents of Public Works were in town from October 20-23rd at the Holiday Inn. Connie Crudo helped out attendees by offering to make reservations for them at their chosen restaurant. We call it a "Dine Around" and it is one of the many convention services the bureau offers to groups. The Bureau gives organized assistance to meetings and conferences and this kind of Saratoga hospitality is what makes their experience more memorable.
Attendee browses Ultimate Saratoga Map (a member benefit!)
Connie Crudo makes reservations for attendees at the Holiday Inn
Senior Sales Manager Marie Moynihan and Convention Services Director Kathy Denkenberger hosted three meeting planners from University of Michigan and Harvard for a site visit earlier this month. Their group of nearly 100 delegates is coming to Saratoga Springs for six days in July of 2009 to participate in the World Mental Health Survey Consortium Annual Meeting. The attendees will come from 22 countries and will consist of professors, doctors and researchers in the mental health field. Ashanti Harris, Nancy Bylica and Alison Hoffnagle visited off-site dinner venues and area attractions in order to familiarize themselves with social activities and dining options that Saratoga can offer their diverse group. From health to history to horses, the visit was a big success as they were able to gather information and plan a good portion of their conference events. The ladies raved about Saratoga’s charm and complimented the bureau’s team effort in hosting them for the tour. We look forward to welcoming them in July of 2009 and will work hard to keep them coming back for future conferences!
(Sitting, left to right): Alison Hoffnagle, Kathy Denkenberger from the Bureau, Nancy Bylica (standing, left to right): Marie Moynihan from the Bureau, Ashanti Harris, and David Zunker, president of the Bureau
In the beginning of October, the Bureau achieved a membership milestone - hitting the coveted 400 mark, the first time its 24-year history the Bureau has had as many members!
Kristine Bellino's Saratoga Environmental Expo became the Bureau's 400th member - 53 members are new to the Bureau this year while retention remained at 84%, an excellent number by industry standards, especially in the midst of an overall challenging economy.
"We've been calling this a Ted Williams moment" said Bureau president David Zunker. "No offense to the Yankees or the Mets, but Williams was the last to hit 400 - and now we've done it as a Bureau."
"Connie Crudo, our membership coordinator, has done a great job, spreading the word about our good work building business for Saratoga," he said. "She's a true believer in what we do for the Saratoga region, which makes her even more effective at her job of selling partnership opportunities. It's thrilling for all of us to finally reach this mark."
Eight more new members have been added to the Bureau since the beginning of October!
For more information about the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau and a listing of all Bureau members, visit www.discoversaratoga.org
(Seated, left to right): Marie Moynihan, Bureau senior sales manager; Connie Crudo, membership and services coordinator; Heather McElhiney, convention sales manager; Eric DiMiceli, volunteer services coordinator; (standing, left to right): Angela LaTerra, sales and communications coordinator; Kathy Denkenberger, convention services director; Tony Canzone, CFO, Saratoga Environmental Expo; Kristine Bellino, Founder and CEO, Saratoga Environmental Expo; David Zunker, Bureau president; Kathy Price, executive assistant and office manager
Just Plain Good
Karavalli Regional Cuisine of India
Saratoga's Community Federal Credit Union
Saratoga Environmental Expo
SentOutCards Independent Distributor
ValPak of Northeast New York
60 Railroad Place
Saratoga Springs, NY
Or click here to go to our Refer A Friend page
October 22-25---Union College---600ppl
October 25-26---Saratoga Rowing Association-Head of Fish Regatta---Public Invited
October 27-29---Order of Eastern Star---1500ppl
November 1-4---School Administrators Association of NYS---250ppl
November 3-9---New York Library Associations---1800ppl
November 6-8---NYS Society of Professional Engineers, Inc.---150ppl
November 8-10---NYS Teachers' Retirement System---1000ppl
November 9---NYS Department of Transportation---400ppl
November 12-13---Albany Guardian Society---300ppl
November 13-15---NYS School Counselors Association---200ppl
November 17-19---NYS Health Facilities Association, Inc.---175ppl
November 18-21---NYS Corrections and Youth Services Association---450ppl
November 21---Roohan Realty---800ppl
November 23-24---NYS Council on Leadership & Student Activities---800ppl
MUSEUM WINTER HOURS
The National Museum of Dance located in Saratoga at 99 South Broadway will start there winter hours starting October 27th through December 14, 2008. The museum will be open on weekends only 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
Business office hours remain the same Tuesday- Sunday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
For additional information on the museum visit www.dancemuseum.org.
The Pride of
The Springwater Bistro and owner David Britton were featured in November's issue of Country Homes magazine. The article explained that David is a Pride of New York member and works with local growers and other Pride members such as Pat and Albert Sheldon of Sheldon Farms. Buying Pride of New York foods helps support the local farm families committed to freshness and fresh thinking! Visit www.prideofny.com and www.springwaterbistro.com.
(Left to right) Albert Sheldon, Pat Sheldon,
Please send us any of your events or important dates to remember and to post on our website and newsletters! E-mail Angela LaTerra with your news at firstname.lastname@example.org
**To read past newsletters or sign up online for Bureau events, visit the members-only website at https://members.discoversaratoga.org.
Membership and Services Coordinator Connie Crudo attended a DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International) Shirtsleeves conference in San Francisco, Ca. from October 14-17. The name "Shirtsleeves" means rolling up your sleeves and brainstorming new ideas for increasing membership! The event was an opportunity for 86 membership professionals from all over the country to get together and exchange materials and ideas on membership retention, events, and recruiting new members.
Connie said, “It was great to learn how other Bureaus approach membership. There were some very creative ideas and many techniques I plan on implementing.”
Kathy D., Connie and Angela attended the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase on October 2nd. We networked with many people on the floor and at our booth and met many more along the way! Overall, the showcase proved to be a successful place to pursue new bureau members and learn more about the businesses around the Capital Region.
(Left to right): Angela LaTerra, Kathy Denkenberger, and Connie Crudo