CVBs are increasingly becoming more creative in their efforts to stir up interest among meeting planners, especially when you get into the mid-tier markets, where there is a lot of competition for regional and national group business.

The Western Massachusetts Sports Commission (WMSC), a division of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB), recently launched a direct mail campaign titled "Fan in a Can," providing veteran planners with all of the necessities to be a fan.

Close to 200 cans are in the process of being mailed out across the nation to senior-level planning executives within sports organizations for all types of events from disc golf, rowing and bowling, to more traditional sports like soccer and basketball. Contents of the can include a "We're #1" foam finger, pom-pom, cowbell, temporary tattoo and a winter beanie.

“We hope that by doing such a fun and interactive direct mail piece potential event planners who would not have considered Western Massachusetts as a location for their next event, will now reach out and have a conversation with us about bringing their event to our area,” said Mary Kay Wydra, president of the GSCVB.

The WMSC will also be making an appearance at the TEAMS Expo in Las Vegas in November, touting its "Fan in a Can" promotion. As long as local CVBs continue to keep the marketing tasteful and fun, this seems like a positive approach to drumming up interest among planners.

Planners interested in learning more about meeting in Springfield, Mass., can visit the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (GSCVB) web site at www.valleyvisitor.com.