Earlier this month, Indiana Lions Clubs District 25-A held their annual convention at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza. In addition to business sessions and seminars, over 100 members from seven Northwest Indiana counties participated in dinner events and activities throughout the weekend.
Along with his duties as chair of the district convention for 53 clubs with 1,500 members, De Las Casas also worked on the state convention last year for 400 clubs with 12,000 members at the Radisson.
“The state convention rotates around so you have to put in bids for where you want to have it,” he said. “We’ve been doing pretty much the same thing since I got involved in 1983, so I wanted to shake things up a bit last year and try something a bit different. The South Shore CVA did a great job helping us out and cutting down our costs. Since we never had offsite excursions before, they helped us coordinate things and get the word out. They also linked the schedule of events with online hotel reservations right from the state site.”
Approximately 350 people who attended meetings and toured club displays at the Radisson last April also had the opportunity to participate in a golf outing at Indian Ridge Country Club, pork chop dinner at Christ Presbyterian Church in Crown Point as well as local tours of Albanese Candy Factory or Crown Brewing plus Crown Point Courthouse shopping
Like De Las Casas, members of associations and organizations are invited to join the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, in partnership with the Radisson, to learn about creating a positive economic impact in our community by bringing meetings, conventions and events home to the South Shore.
The annual Bring It Home Hero Ambassador Reception is this Thursday at the Radisson. The South Shore CVA looks forward to hosting representatives from a variety of groups and demonstrating the many different ways they can provide support when it comes to planning and bringing their next meeting, convention or event home.
“Events hosted in the South Shore create more jobs and increase visitor spending in our area,” Speros Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore CVA, said. “The idea is simple. We encourage people who belong to a specific association for leisure purposes or are members of a professional organization to become ambassadors and bring their events, meetings and conventions to northwest Indiana. The locations for most events, meetings and conventions are usually decided by someone’s mere suggestion, and the host destination ultimately reaps the benefits.”
Last year, the Bring It Home reception assisted ambassadors with conference bookings in the South Shore through 2015. A total of eight meetings/conventions were booked through the program in 2012 with 2,340 attendees, 1,882 room nights and an estimated economic impact of $470,500. All total, the wide range of meetings and events in the South Shore for 2012 contributed an estimated economic impact of $2.6 million.
So far, an anticipated seven meetings/conventions are anticipated in 2013 with 1,930 projected attendees, 1,401 room nights and an economic impact of $350,000.
When it comes to booking and organizing a meeting here in Northwest Indiana, the SSCVA provides a wealth of resources and tools to assist you every step of the way. When you bring an event, meeting or convention home to our area, you not only positively impact the local economy by having people stay in our hotels, dine at our restaurants and support our retailers and services, it gives you the opportunity to showcase our fabulous local facilities, staff and communities to others in your organization.