You’ve likely heard some variation of the idiom, “You’re only as good as the company you keep,” at some point in your life. Though the phrase is most often used when giving or receiving advice on building personal relationships, it is just as applicable in business terms. In fact, for our team at the Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), it’s an idea that guides how we measure our success – not solely by how much new business we are able to attract, but also by how much business we retain.
Fortunately for the CVB, we have been blessed with industry partners and community leaders who go above and beyond the call of duty to positively impact Fort Smith’s growing tourism and hospitality industry. They’re the businesses and individuals who make our city special and exceed the expectations of some of our most significant convention and meeting groups each year. For that reason, we are excited to honor one of these individuals, Prissy Buchanan, as our newest 2016 Hometown Hospitality Hero!
A Fort Smith local, Prissy is the Administrative Advisor of the Arkansas Bandmasters Association and has played a major role in helping Fort Smith become one of the two locations where the organization’s annual convention is held. More than that, she has been instrumental in ensuring that Fort Smith remains one of the event’s only two locations – the other being Little Rock. This has allowed the CVB to establish great working relationships with Prissy and other leaders within the organization, as well as develop a heightened expectation of what needs can be better met in the future.
The annual convention brings more than 600 attendees and roughly 100 exhibitors to Fort Smith over a period of four days. The organization plans a very detailed seminar schedule, which is why it is so impressive that they take the initiative to offer services like on-site childcare and spouse activities that are not common with other large conventions. But it doesn’t end there.
With everything that goes into planning such a detailed convention, who would even think of organizing a special event that allows the local community to participate alongside attendees? That’s exactly what the Arkansas Bandmasters Association does. This year, the public was invited to see a special performance by The Dallas Wind Symphony (Dallas Winds), which is the United States leading professional civilian wind band that combines the tradition of the British brass band with the musical heritage of the American town band and the pioneering spirit of the 20th century wind ensemble.
Fort Smith is always happy to welcome the convention group back to the city. It’s a tradition we hope to keep for many years to come. And, if you’re only as good as the company you keep, then we at the Fort Smith CVB are honored to have a friend in people like Prissy Buchanan and organizations like the Arkansas Bandmasters Association.