TMS: Meetings mean business
If you have been in the travel industry as a journalist or vendor for more than 2 minutes it is likely that you have met Joanne Vero (or at least have heard about her).
If you have been in the travel industry as a journalist or vendor for more than 2 minutes it is likely that you have met Joanne Vero (or at least have heard about her). She is noted as being the major domo for a number of important industry events that are well-organized, interesting and a networking necessity if you want to see and be seen.
New Take on “Lap Top”
A successful entrepreneur, she learned her c-suite executives skills “on the laps of both my parents,” Vero explains. “They owned a jewelry store located on Canal Street in NYC.” While other kids may have been playing kick-the-can or marking sidewalks for street games, Vero was at the store. After high school graduation she joined the family business on a full-time basis and managed sales and handpicked diamonds. “I spent so many years around diamonds, semi-precious stones and gold it brought me to now – never wearing a stitch of jewelry…” Vero explains.
Why is she so well-organized and how does she get her team to be so responsive? Vero determined that, “My Dad believed in unlimited customer service and my Mom kept him from giving away the store! So between both of them I learned the balance of how to run a successful business…”
Vero started her event planning career in 1994 with an organization that produced trade shows and conferences for two major New Jersey Chambers of Commerce. She was hired for a sales position but within a few years (2002) – she acquired the company, TMS. Today the enterprise produces travel and tourism conferences, business expos and trade shows. Since 2000 TMS has produced Travel Media Showcase – a premiere travel and tourism conference; starting in 2012 she expanded her TMS brand to include TMS Family Travel and TMS Mamas and Papas.
Vero also publishes newspapers for The Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce (25,000 circulation) and Morris County Chamber of Commerce (25,000). These publications are inserted into the Star Ledger Newspaper, creating a new revenue stream for the Chambers while raising the awareness of the Chambers’ contributions to the local and national business communities.
The Showcase promotes destinations and attractions that are likely to come under the radar screen as prime-time destinations but offer the visitor major-league opportunities to explore history, culture, food, wine, artisanal beers and spirits that are unique to the locale. Working with domestic and international journalists Vero and her team not only organize one-to-one meetings with industry vendors, they also design and produce regional press tours that include visits to historical buildings, museums, and other destinations with a cultural focus, and introduce wining/dining/dancing venues to domestic and international markets.
Google News, Bing News, Yahoo News, 200+ publications
Vero’s TMS Family Travel conferences focus on family travel trends and technology. This travel segment is, according to Vero, a “multi-billion dollar market.” Destinations who market themselves as being family-friendly meet with journalists to develop a synergy between the vendor / destination and the multi-faceted media (from social media to television).
The Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau recently hosted a TMS Showcase and thanks to the Vero team, journalists were introduced to the region where they were able to:
Drink (Upland Brewery, Cardinal Spirits, Butler Winery); Get Smarter (University of Indiana) ; Sleep (Hyatt Place, Marriott Courtyard); Dine (Upland Brewery, Farm, Lennie’s); Explore Museums (Lily Library; Indiana University Art Museum); Shop (A. Z. Vintage, Bloomington Antique Mall), and Get Physical (Climb Fire Tower at Hoosier National Forest, Pontoon Boat on Lake Monroe).
The “winning” destination is always a CVB that has partnered with a hotel property and has the ability to share the destination story. Vero events increase the profile of a locale. When the family-friendly Carlsbad, California CVB hosted a Vero – led event, the conference “propelled the destination to trend on Twitter for the first time ever with an estimated 89 million impressions,” according to Vero. With a TQM mantra, and chronicled success, it is no wonder that Vero’s programs win industry awards.
For destinations looking to enhance their visibility and recognize the need for a professional approach coupled with strong support from domestic and international media journalist, a conversation with Vero should be at the top of the to-do list.
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