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New Conference ‘Rendezvous South’ Coming to Shreveport-Bossier In Early December

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Amanda Currier

The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau, along with its partners the SMG/Shreveport Convention Center and Hilton Shreveport, are pleased to announce a new conference that will take place, December 2nd through 4th, 2013, at the Shreveport Convention Center and host hotel Hilton Shreveport. ConventionSouth magazine is the presenting sponsor of the event.

“Rendezvous South was the brainchild of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau, Shreveport Convention Center and Hilton Hotel Shreveport,” says Tourist Bureau President Stacy Brown. “We wanted to create our own tradeshow tailored especially to meeting planners looking for a one-stop-shop booking experience with similar convention destinations. It also provides a unique opportunity for planners to exchange ideas with their peers in a Town Hall format.”

Some 35 meeting planners, who are currently considering — or would consider in the future — holding an event at a minimum of two participating destinations, will attend the conference. Additional qualifications for the planners include that their event must utilize a minimum of 200 hotel room nights and utilize a minimum of 45,000 square feet of event space. Participating destinations include: Shreveport-Bossier, Baton Rouge and Kenner, Louisiana; Irving, Texas; Savannah, Georgia; and Jackson, Mississippi.

“Rendezvous South will be a one-of-a-kind, Town Hall-format and educational tradeshow for meeting planners who book destinations in the South,” says ConventionSouth Magazine publisher Talty O’Connor, one of the event sponsors. “Our organization is honored to team up with Rendezvous South, because we know that the Town Hall format enables planners to be in the driver’s seat and suggest topics, ask questions and hear suggestions from their peers.”

This conference, unlike other convention tradeshows, will put all the decision-makers (e.g. venue managers, convention and visitors bureau sales managers, and the host hotel sales managers) face-to-face with the meeting planner during 15 minute appointments.

“It takes creativity and a good working relationship between a destination’s bureau, venue and host hotel to create and execute a successful initiative such as this. There are many challenges in the meetings industry at present. Rendezvous South was created to assist meeting planners with matching events with southeastern destinations, SMG managed venues and host hotels in a one-stop shop,” says SMG/Shreveport Convention Center Regional General Manager Sam Voisin.

Rendezvous South has launched a new website, which features information and resources for meeting planners, including details about each of the participating cities’ destination, meeting venue and host hotel. The site also includes a host-buyer qualification form, tradeshow information, and hot deals that meeting planners can take advantage of.

Hilton Shreveport General Manager Mike Green says, “Rendezvous South provides the partner cities with the uniqueness of the smaller, intimate, one stop shop opportunity to speak to meeting planners with one united and common message about the destinations.”

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