One of the truisms of the business world is that first impressions…last. That is why when Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. (popularly known as Nashville Music City) arranged for 150 medical physicist attendees at a Proton Therapy Partners event at Hilton Downtown Nashville to be welcomed with their event name in lights at Nashville International Airport (BNA), it had an oversize effect.

“A big city can be a bit overwhelming for a small meeting, but they made a huge impact. Attendees were amazed,” said Nanci Gage, advisor planner with Proton Therapy Partners.

In a recent survey Smart Meetings conducted in partnership with Destinations International, Gage rhapsodized about how exceptional the Tennessee destination team was to work with from start to finish.

They provided city passes for the site visit, set up “thorough and thoughtful meetings that truly showed our value to the city even as a smaller piece of business,” she recalled fondly. But she kept going back to the grand initial gesture. “The Welcome to Nashville message to our meeting group was quite the chatter and definitely made a small fish in a big pond feel special!” she said.

Gage’s story was the rule, rather than the exception. The study of the biggest challenges meeting professionals are facing and the ways destination partners are stepping up to help them touched on examples from coast to coast and beyond.

We even heard about the world’s first “Dermathon,” a non-stop dermatology conference that was accessible at any time from a virtual stage in Melbourne, Australia. The convention bureau there helped The Australasian College of Dermatologists shift its XIII International Congress of Dermatology 2021 into a continuous four-day program that included showcasing the destination with fun facts and clever branding. Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) Chief Executive Julia Swanson explained that the virtual lunge was a practical solution that maximized the reach and grew the audience.

The destination helps conference organizers promote upcoming events with a Delegate Destination Site filled with resources to boost engagement.

“This is a challenging time for our clients as their organizations grapple with their own financial challenges, travel restrictions, changing consumer sentiment and a new level of health and safety responsibilities,” said Swanson. That is why she and other CVB executives are focused on helping to solve problems on the ground and in the cloud.

Click here to find out the pandemic-era challenges and unique solutions meeting professionals are sharing when they make the phone call to their neighborhood experts.

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