CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Local connections are the best way to lure conventions to Charleston, said Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau.The CVB boosted business in the past year and already met its yearly goal in less than six months, Bailey said Monday."The main thing that makes us successful -- almost always someone local was involved," she said.Bailey, the CVB board of directors and Mayor Danny Jones launched a new campaign Monday called Capitalize Charleston during a reception at the Recovery Sports Grill. The idea, she said, is to get more Charlestonians involved in trying to drum up convention business.
"We just want to ramp that up," she said. "It's very competitive out there. "If someone is a member or an officer of an organization, that gives us a leg up."We are asking you to help us by using your professional, fraternal, social, religious, civic and competitive sports affiliations to capitalize Charleston."Jones and Bailey honored a number of people who helped land events in the last few years, including Trey Frame and Myron Boggess (SportsFest), Paul Gilmer (AAU national qualifier track meet), and Medal of Honor winner Woody Williams and other Marines (2014 Marine Corps League)."Every person in this room is a salesman for the city, every single person," Jones said. "Find out from your organization what it takes to bring statewide, regional or national meetings here, and contact the CVB, who will work with you every step of the way."Reach Jim Balow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5102.