San Diego Business Journal

ConVis Taking on Portion of Convention Center Marketing

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The San Diego City Council has approved a measure clearing the way for the local Convention & Visitors Bureau, also known as ConVis, to take over certain sales, marketing and promotion obligations for the San Diego Convention Center.

The council voted March 20 on a move to assign the duties to a third party for events that are booked more than 14 months in advance at the center. ConVis was the only entity being considered by the city at the time of the vote, and financial terms have not been finalized.

A city staff report said the city will continue to provide an annual $3.4 million contribution to the San Diego Convention Center Corp., the entity that operates the facility, allocated from the city’s share of transient occupancy taxes.

Officials said the move is expected to reduce duplication of marketing and sales activities for long-term convention-related events.

The staff report cited nationwide industry data indicating that more than 80 percent of municipal convention centers in the U.S. have arrangements where long-term bookings are handled by a convention visitor bureau or destination marketing organization.

Convention center staff will continue to market the facility for events booked 14 months or less in advance.

— Lou Hirsh