Destination Services


Tourism ambassador preparation and onboarding

The Greater Raleigh CVB Destination Services Department continued to plan for growth and resurgence of its Tourism Ambassador program through a collaborative effort with key partners—such as museums and attractions—and relevant stakeholders. The approach not only aims to increase the number of volunteers in the CVB's program by utilizing a shared pool of ambassadors with other hospitality partner organizations but also serves to meet the needs of all organizations involved. Through these efforts, the CVB created a Destination Services Ambassador/Volunteer Training Manual, which serves as a comprehensive guide and resource for individuals looking to become destination services ambassadors or volunteers. The manual equips shared volunteer ambassadors with knowledgeable skills and information necessary to fulfill their roles effectively and provide exceptional service to visitors and our local community. 

Success by the numbers

  • Serviced more than 460 events and sports groups
  • Assisted over 7,500 visitors in the Visitor Information Center (VIC)
  • Fulfilled more than 3,600 visitor information requests
  • Delivered more than 36,000 visitors guides through our delivery service, reaching more than 500 destination partners
  • Destination Services staff executed 26 attendance promotion activations, 30 planning visits and 112 facilitated pre- and post-conference meetings
  • Conducted post-event surveys and received valuable feedback and overall satisfaction from convention and sports event groups; received a lower response rate in the 2022-2023 fiscal year than anticipated based on the number of survey fill-ins requested; however, the value of feedback continued to help create even better destination experiences for the future
    • Total surveys sent: 282
    • Surveys received: 34
    • Response rate: 12.06%
    • Event ratings (on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the highest): 4.64

Successful approach to servicing

The Destination Services Department continued to utilize a successful strategy for group servicing, which entailed the assignment of multiple service managers to collaborate with designated group leads—this approach will be continued in fiscal year 2023-2024. (Prior to fiscal year 2021-2022, each staff member specialized in servicing groups of specific criteria—group size, primarily.) This approach offers staff members more diverse experiences in working with groups and organizations of varying sizes, while ensuring event planners have access to multiple managers for more efficient and effective assistance.

Continued to dedicate a destination services manager to the handling of all sports groups based in the Raleigh Convention Center. This approach continues to ensure a dedicated focus on the specific needs and requirements of sports groups, enhancing the overall servicing experience to achieve greater consistency and to streamline the sports group servicing process.

Notable servicing highlights

  • Sports event services staff successfully planned and executed the first-ever team dine-around experience for the 2022 NCAA Women's College Cup
  • During International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA's) 2022 World of Bluegrass (WOB) week, the CVB and its VIC celebrated the event's 10th year in Raleigh by organizing and hosting daily pop-up appreciation events and a 10-year anniversary party, open to all attendees

IBMA 2022 VIC Activation

Partner engagement

  • Resumed quarterly convention services manager (CSM) meetings with Raleigh Convention Center CSMs, downtown Raleigh convention center campus hotel CSMs and event manager partners to discuss servicing logistics and planning for definite-arrival groups
  • Alongside the Marketing and Communications Department, VIC manager Kessa Stevens, CGSP®, facilitated Tourism U program sessions, helping locals understand why tourism matters to Raleigh and Wake County

Tourism U session at Marbles

  • Hosted Event Service Professional Association (ESPA) webinar viewings for destination CSMs and event managers for continued education and to increase our partners' awareness of CVB offerings
  • Continued to conduct destination familiarization tours with convention services teams at meeting hotels as a way to build and strengthen relationships while discussing the support services and resources we offer both partners and groups
  • Participated in speaking engagements for Moore Square Magnet Middle School's Career Day and North Carolina State University's Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management program
  • Participated in ESPA's National Celebrate Services Week, celebrating the role of the event service professional and advocating for the event services profession
    • Hosted a Celebrate Services Day event, giving hospitality partners an opportunity to celebrate together and network with fellow local services peers

2022 Celebrate Services Day

Leadership positions

  • Co-chairs of IBMA's Volunteer and Community Activation Committees
  • ESPA committee members (leadership, planning, education and DEI)
  • MPI-CC Education Committee
  • Sports and event service manager served on NCAA Championship Local Organizing Committee

Certifications and trainings

  • Destination services managers and destination services coordinator earned their Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) designations from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
  • Destination services managers and destination services coordinator received sighted guide training in preparation for IBMA
  • Staff received American Red Cross Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Training
  • Destination services managers and sports and event service manager attended first-ever Servicing Sports Events program during the 2023 ESPA Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa.