2014 Bowl-A-Thon

Linda Eisan, CHSP, CGMP and I had the pleasure of traveling to downtown Chicago to join the Greater Midwest Chapter (GMC) for Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) in their 2014 Bowl-A-Thon, which this year benefitted the charity Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly. With 500 attendees, it ended up being the group’s most successful event yet, and we were so proud to be a part of it.

To learn more about the Virginia Beach sales team and the events we attend, contact me (Lisa MacArthur).

Tips and Best Practices for Smooth Ceremonies

Last week, I traveled up to Washington, D.C. to participate in the monthly meeting for the National Capital Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP NATCAP) to prepare for their upcoming Expo in November. By attending the educational program “Tips and Best Practices for Smooth Ceremonies” at the meeting, I was able to learn about the panelists’ experience working with and hosting government, elected, military officials and international dignitaries. I found the takeaways on hosting a ceremony to be especially interesting, so I thought I would share some quick, fun facts from the session:

  • Take into the consideration of the goal, audience or outcome of the ceremony. Basic ceremony types recognize an organization, an individual or a special event
  • A ceremony must include invitations, collateral material, national anthems, positions of honor, introductions, flag displays and Color Guard
  • The host country flag should also be placed to the right of the speaker (from the speaker’s position, not the audience’s view)
  • Within the U.S., it is appropriate for civilians to place their hand over their heart during the National Anthem, during the passing of the U.S. Flag, the Pledge of Allegiance and the movement of a casket
  • The most important consideration of a ceremony is the memory and the feelings that the attendees walk away with

Also pertaining to government groups are the changes to the military travel policy that went into effect with the new per diem rates the first of this month. Troops on longer trips will be required to take advantage of weekly or monthly rates and those traveling on temporary duty lasting more than 30 days will not get the full per diem rate. These are factors hotels should keep in mind when bidding on or accepting reservations for long-term stays.

For more information on planning government or military events in Virginia Beach, or details on changes in government and military travel, contact me, Linda Eisan.

Inaugural Beach Championships, May 2015

Recently, two-thirds of the Virginia Beach Sports Marketing team, including Dani Timm and myself, got to travel to Frisco, TX for the USA Ultimate National Championship. We wanted to attend this event in advance of Virginia Beach hosting the inaugural Beach Championships in May 2015. While in Frisco, we got an idea of the event schedule, along with witnessing first-hand the spectacular athletic skill in attendance at this premier, professionally run competition, which is rival to none.

I am excited about our team securing this inaugural event and look forward to our continued excellence for the year 2015! To find out more about hosting sports events in Virginia Beach, drop me, Bill Kelly, a line.

Taste of Tomorrow Today

Taste of Tomorrow TodayLast week, Lisa MacArthur and I traveled up to the Richmond
Convention Center to attend and participate in VSAE’s Annual Educational
Symposium & Expo, the Taste of Tomorrow Today. Accompanied by great food,
music, camaraderie and a generous dose of compassion, Virginia Beach created
the perfect recipe for success, for today and tomorrow, by bringing along seven
hotel partners, including James Caralivanos from the Virginia Beach Convention
Center (VBCC) and Distinctive Gourmet’s Chef Robert Arnold and catering sales
manager Sabrina Rinaldo. The VBCC and Distinctive Gourmet teams assisted us in
serving their famous shrimp and grits, while our hotel partners helped
attendees who came by our booth assemble backpacks filled with toiletries and
school supplies for the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls (VHBG). We were
thrilled by the end of the day to have the CEO of the VHBG come by and accept
the 81 backpacks, while expressing her genuine appreciation of our generosity.

To find out more about our CSR initiatives or learn how you
can participate, contact me (Sally Noona).

Virginia Beach CVB’s

Each year, while participating in the American Society of Association Executive’s Annual Tradeshow, the Virginia Beach CVB makes a commitment to participate in the CSR activity benefitting ASAE’s designated recipient. This year, through the generous donations of attendees and staff members of the City of Virginia Beach, the Virginia Beach M&C team generated more than 200 meals for the Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, while exhibiting at the ASAE annual tradeshow in Nashville.


SportsEvents’ Readers Name Virginia Beach, VA, A Favorite Spot to Combine A Sports Event With A Vacation

sports destination

SportsEvents Media Group, publisher of SportsEvents magazine, recently named Virginia Beach, Va., as a SportsEvents’ readers top choice for combining sports events and vacations.

With a total of 126 votes made on the SportsEvents Facebook page, Virginia Beach was the top vote earner of more than 19 sports-friendly vacation destinations throughout the United States.

“We are proud to share that SportsEvents readers named Virginia Beach, Va., as a favorite destination to combine a sports event with a vacation,” said Associate Publisher Kristen McIntosh. “Virginia Beach is a beautiful area with top-notch sports venues and a wealth of activities for participants and spectators to enjoy during their free time.”

This poll represents the first in a series of Readers’ Choice polls launched by SportsEvents asking readers to identify their favorite sports events venues and destination.

Congratulations Team!

Nancy Helman

A Commitment to Our Community

The Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) continues to focus on giving back to the local community and takes every opportunity to do so. Here is an update of our recent initiatives and ones to come.

Last month the CVB hosted its annual M&C FAM event. On the list of planned activities was a Give Back Marketplace, an event where attendees and local stakeholders work together for the good of an organization. Every year the CVB finds a cause indigenous to our area to support. This year two non-profits were selected:   Surfer’s Healing Virginia Beach, an organization that provides the unique therapy of surfing to children with autism and their families, and the FoodBank of Southeastern Virginia & the Eastern Shore.

The Give Back Marketplace incorporated members from more than a dozen local industry partners and city departments who assisted our attendees in creating essential kits for surf campers. Each partner hosted a table with 100 items, including products such as sunblock and water bottles, which they donated, including the CVB who sponsored the purchase of 100  backpacks, branded with our One Beach – One World logo. Similar to speed dating, the Marketplace is kept moving with an indicator for when the attendee needs to move on to the next table where a lively exchange took place while he/she collected additional items for the kit.  By the end of the 45 minute period 100 bags had been assembled.

In addition to the Marketplace endeavor, a food drive challenge was also conducted among partners to benefit the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. Collectively, participants and attendees donated 495 pounds of food to Foodbank with The Founders Inn being the winning partner by donating 140 pounds of food.

Following the Give Back Marketplace, guests were led on a LEED Gold progressive lunch tour of the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The tour incorporated all of the efforts that are in place to earn such distinction including a trip to the on-site garden where the chef cut fresh herbs and demonstrated the making of his signature salad dressing, which was served during lunch.

Sports Facility Highlight: Virginia Beach Field House

Offering an endless amount of surf, sand and sports it’s no wonder why Virginia Beach is top-of-mind for sports planners nationwide. With miles of beaches, moderate temperatures year-round and sports facilities that appeal to both national and international sporting associations, our coastal city is the ideal place for every athlete to compete like a champion.

The local is popular with sports enthusiasts of all types, showcasing venues such as the Virginia Beach Field House that rivals most metropolitan areas. At 175,000 square feet, the Virginia Beach Field House is one of the largest indoor sports facilities in the world!

On the ground floor there are four indoor synthetic turf fields, eight regulation volleyball courts, and four regulation basketball courts. The second floor houses two additional turf fields along with party rooms, an arcade and a state-of-the-art indoor play area. At the Fun Zone kids can climb through the three stories of awesomeness including obstacles, slides, narrow bridges and much more.

After a great game, athletes and spectators can grab a delicious bite at the Field House Grille, selling concessions to quench any craving. Serving a variety of classic foods including Angus burgers, pizza and hot dogs to healthier options such as salads, fruit and yogurt there is something for every appetite. Right by the Grille is a lounge fully equipped with classic table and chair seating as well as couches and ottomans that that can seat 100 people and four 110” screen projectors keeping the sports entertainment going!

No matter what your sport from field hockey and flag football to softball and lacrosse, sports options are endless at the Field House!

The 21st Annual North American Sand Soccer Championships

(NASSC) Takes Over The Oceanfront!

Once again the Virginia Beach Oceanfront will welcome over 10,000 youth and adult players of all skill levels to the world’s largest beach soccer festival!  From June 6th – 8th the North American Sand Soccer Championships (NASSC) will hit the shores of Virginia Beach attracting nearly 37,000 fans and 50,000 Boardwalk spectators from over 20 states and multiple countries.  The world of soccer on the sand is exciting and this beach craze is the ultimate in beach sport fun in Virginia Beach!

The Championships are staged over 22 full City blocks of prime oceanfront real estate, on over a mile and a half of white sand – against a backdrop of diving gulls, banners waving in stiff ocean breezes, thousands of Boardwalk bedazzled spectators, live music and great food. Meanwhile, surf’s up just a few steps from the soccer action and, when day is done, most participants and fans head out to the area’s unbelievable lineup of entertainment.

Attendees should be prepared for colorful international and national teams including hundreds of youth teams ages 9 thru 19 , men’s and women’s single gender squads, college teams, and even “corporate-coed” competitors from businesses and military organizations battling on the beaches for cash prizes at stake. The games, played on 25-35 or 30-40 yard grids, are 5v5 and fast-paced, with limited dribblin’ and laser shots on goal. There are over 80 brackets seeded to support all levels of play – from the beginner to the most professional and much like beach volleyball, sand soccer‘s rules are easy to pick up while uniforms for this beach bash are “anything-goes”.

Hosting this event since 1994, The Hampton Roads Soccer Council (HRSC) plans year-round to ensure a guaranteed sand-blast. The McDonald’s Corporation and numerous national and regional sponsors bring the NASSC sand soccer action like nowhere else. A guaranteed sand-blast, once soccer in the sand is experienced you are hooked! Many of the players and families return year after year to make the North American Sand Soccer Championships their “Kickoff to Summer”. For more information visit the Sporting Events section of the website or visit www.SandSoccer.com.

Top 5 Reasons to Bring it to the Beach!

A meeting planner’s job is quite daunting and selecting the perfect meeting locale is the ultimate challenge. Luckily, Virginia Beach offers planners a wide variety of incentives and accommodations to guarantee a successful experience. From unforgettable events at the convention center to the daily reunion of sand and surf, Virginia Beach takes the guess work out of selecting a destination.

Here are the top 5 reasons to host your next meeting or event in our unmatched city:

# 5: Location –Location –Location –Virginia Beach Is Easy To Reach!

Centrally located on the east coast, our city is an easy drive, flight or rail away from strategic population masses. A mere 3 hour drive from DC, 6.5 hours from NYC and 3 to 5 hours from some states south. Our city is serviced by almost every major US Carrier with direct and non-stop flights at Norfolk International Airport and Amtrak now services the Greater Virginia Beach region as well.

#4: No Matter Your Vibe – Virginia Beach Accommodates!

Our city is unique in that we offer diverse and appealing locations to host meetings and events. Whether delegates seek a resort off the sandy shores of the Atlantic Ocean, a downtown setting with shopping, arts and entertainment or a retreat off the rustic shores of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach has your venue.

#3: One of a Kind Experience? – We Have Your Venue!

Virginia Beach revels in unique meeting experiences. From a live event on the stage of the Oceanfront Park or a meeting surrounded by sea turtles at the Virginia Aquarium to a gala at the Virginia Beach Military Aviation Museum, our coastal destination soars to new heights when it comes to off-site venues!

#2: Sustainability is our SpecialtyLEED® Gold Convention Center!

The Virginia Beach Convention Center, the first LEED® Gold Convention Center in the country for existing buildings, is one of the most beautiful and sustainable buildings along the east coast for mid-sized meetings. This nationally acclaimed building embodies Virginia Beach intrinsically through its architecture and offers delegates a living, breathing building that inspires learning and networking at the highest levels!

#1: There’s Not an APP for What Our Team Will Do for You – Service is Our Passion!