Several months ago, several Southern California DMOs decided the best way to weather the pandemic slump and win when business returned was by teaming up—and marketing jointly. Now, a twist on this approach has been launched on the East Coast, in Rhode Island. Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB) and Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC) have joined forces not only for joint sales but also in their service effort.

One Team Initiative, the new venture by PWCVB and RICC, has been created to link both organizations for a more defined and well-oiled operation as business comes back to the region. “The team has clearly defined new workflow patterns which simplify some processes, make us easier to do business with and foster a new level of collaboration with regard to sales strategy and customer service,” says Thomas Riel, vice president of sales and services of PWCVB. “By acting as one team we are merging our strengths and areas of efficiency to create a more effective overall customer experience.”

The PWCVB team now provides clients with a single point of contact while coordinating with RICC sales staff. Both teams also share access to CRM systems and booking diaries, fostering collaboration that’s beneficial for all.

“[Meeting professionals] have expressed appreciation with regard to our speed to market, i.e. RFP response time,” Riel says. “The newly designed executive summary, which outlines the nuts and bolts of the proposal, is upfront and allows the customer to more easily and quickly understand the financial commitment associated with the offer. Returning customers are finding that the single point of contact reduces redundancy as well.”

During a time of business uncertainty, hesitant attendees and job loss en masse, similar consolidation may be the wave of the future. “Both supplier and buyer teams are smaller and leaner; consolidation of talent, processes and redundancy is welcomed more than ever. Being easy to do business with during complicated times is the key to success right now,” Riel says.