Discover Puerto Rico announces island will host Connect Marketplace ’22
Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), announced that Puerto Rico will be the host of Connect Marketplace 2022, an event that will bring some 2,000 tourism and hospitality professionals.
This event will take place May 22-23, 2022, at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, using several hotel properties and the Distrito T-Mobile, with an estimated economic impact of $3 million, the entity confirmed.
The announcement was made at the Connect Marketplace 2021 Convention in Tampa, Florida.
“As the meetings industry experiences a great deal of change and transformation, Puerto Rico is positioned to play a key role in the recovery of this important segment. This event positions Puerto Rico well to accelerate the recovery of our island by hosting key buyers and enlightening them on all that Puerto Rico has to offer,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.
Connect Meetings is an organization that provides planners and suppliers with education and professional development to advance their careers while conducting business through one-on-one marketplace appointments.
This event will generate more than 35,000 one-on-one business appointments between meeting and hospitality professionals, attracting people from the United States and beyond, representing the following markets: Corporate, financial, tech, and insurance; associations; sports diversity; women in sports; luxury/incentive; and citywide.
“Connect is very excited to go to Puerto Rico next year. It’s always been a great destination to bring events, but the addition of DISTRITO T-Mobile takes it to a whole new level. We look forward to working together with Discover Puerto Rico to activate a great conference for 2,000 members of the best event professionals in the industry,” said Chris Collinson, president of Connect Meetings.
Connect qualifies planners through a 15-person in-house planner development sales team, by identifying the top decision maker within an organization, and providing two to three references from past destinations and/or hotels that were sourced. This team is focused on having their suppliers meet with those planners who are pre-qualified and are actively sourcing business, Discover Puerto Rico explained.
“By hosting hundreds of meeting planners, we have a unique opportunity to showcase our island as a premier meetings destination. Historically, the largest FAM trips have been 50-60 meeting planners at a time in Puerto Rico,” said Dean.
“But in this case, between the pre and post opportunities, plus the meeting itself, this will be the largest gathering of meeting planners in the history of our island. The future meetings booked because of this event will generate a substantial future economic impact for our island,” Dean added.
Through this event, Discover Puerto Rico will showcase several locations and additional municipalities and partners outside of San Juan through pre and post “fam” trips.
The DMO and Connect will work together to promote this event to maximize attendance and the return on investment, Dean said.