Maranda Tippin headshot
A Conversation With Maranda Tippin
Senior Site Experience Manager
San Diego Tourism Authority

With eight years under her belt at the San Diego Tourism Authority, Maranda Tippin has been working with meeting planners for the better part of a decade. In 2017 she was selected as one of Destination International's 30 Under 30 honorees and today she sat down with us to talk about her thoughts on why CVBs are so important to the modern meeting planner.

What are some future trends and challenges when talking about business events?

Today’s technology advances allows individuals to primarily interact behind computer screens and cellphones. Companies still place a high value on the face to face interactions with internal and external personnel because they know most solutions cannot be digitalized. Problem solving, networking and building REAL relationships are some things you simply can't cultivate behind a computer. 

Why is it so important for the modern planner to work with a convention & visitors bureau?

Meeting planners are charged with the responsibility to ensure that every meeting achieves its goals. With the impossible task of knowing every city’s unique assets, planners can turn to the CVB to gain invaluable destination information to find the best fit for their program needs. While it's important to have strong relationships with their branded hotel partners, working with a CVB will open up opportunities to introduce non-branded hotels, resorts, and boutique style properties that could be a better fit for their specific needs.

Specific to San Diego, we are a dynamic and ever-changing city. Our destination is continuously growing and adding additional venues, hotels, and meeting amenities and the only way to keep up is to ask a destination expert. As part of the San Diego Site Experience team, I AM a destination expert to our meeting planners. I ensure the planner understands all the hotel options, help them narrow down a short list, and paint the picture of what their attendees will experience. I can educate them on how San Diego can be unique from any other city. Time is of the essence, and reaching out directly to the CVB will streamline the process for the planners and make their lives easier!

What is one big shift in the industry in the recent past (or near future) that had or will have a big impact on planning events?

A high level of importance is placed on “experiences” and more and more we find the attendees are combining business with leisure: “Bleisure!” Planners are not only considering the size of a ballroom or how many breakouts they need at a hotel but also want to know how the destination will appeal to their attendees. San Diego, being “California’s Beach City,” offers the friendly vibe of a local beach town and an urban downtown with a thriving nightlife, cultural events, and a great dining scene. With San Diego’s Customer Acquisition Program we bring in planners that haven’t been to San Diego in years and they leave knowing that there is an experience for everyone.