The Marketing & Communications Department is interested to know how you like the new format of this newsletter. Somebody told us that nobody reads the copy; they just look at the pictures. That was discouraging, but we’re here to accommodate. While you’re voicing opinions, please check out the new design on the CVB website, too, that now includes bold areas on the home page to better accommodate social media. Do you like it? Please let us hear from you by sending your thoughts to And remember, bad thoughts are better than no thoughts at all….

The Convention Sales Department is packed and ready for the road this month. Travel begins in Chicago with the Event Service Professionals Association meeting. This seminar provides training for new servicing staff on convention operations and meeting the needs of planners. Then it’s back to Chicago to the Professional Convention Management Association Annual Conference. PCMA is one of the leading organizations to connect suppliers to meeting professionals. The conference is a prime opportunity for sales staff to promote Birmingham as a destination for meetings, tradeshows and special events.

In mid-January, convention sales staff will host the HelmsBriscoe Southeast Regional Meeting and FAM right here in the city. This third party booking company will send about 30 Southeast associates with a full agenda of learning about Birmingham for booking purposes. On the schedule are events at The Westin Birmingham, Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, and Barber Motorsports Park and Museum. This month Birmingham also will welcome the annual meeting of the Religious Conference Management Association. RCMA is a professional, multi-faith organization consisting of members who plan and/or manage meetings, conferences and conventions for their religious organizations. Faith-based meetings are one of Birmingham’s most productive and prosperous markets.

The Tourism Department begins the month with a trip to St. Louis for the American Bus Association meeting, where Birmingham will host an Operators Reception for more than 300 customers and potential customers. Then it’s off to the National Tour Association Travel Exchange in New Orleans and to the Tennessee Motorcoach Association in Franklin, TN. Plans are taking shape now for the 2015 WOW Ambassador Program conducted by the CVB Tourism Department. WOW classes are designed to assist front line personnel in the local hospitality industry in being the city’s best ambassadors. For more information on registering for the WOW Ambassador Program and for other information about CVB goings-on, call 205-458-8000.