Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau Redoubles Marketing Efforts


June 28, 2012 -

The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), in partnership with the Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau, has announced the formation of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), an entity dedicated to increasing the state's convention, meeting and sports events business. The CTCSB is a public-private partnership funded by dues from member organizations and a $1.3 million investment through DECD.

"The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau marks a real change in how Connecticut is streamlining efforts to pursue leads and cultivate major events for the state," said Randy Fiveash, Director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism/DECD. "This is an organization that, in conjunction with state agencies and economic development initiatives, will focus on bringing in additional revenue and creating entertainment and hospitality jobs for Connecticut."

"In a small state like Connecticut, it makes great sense to maximize our resources and represent the hotels, meetings and sports venues, attractions and restaurants throughout the region," said Michael Van Parys, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, who headed the former Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Developing qualified leads or serious interest from a variety of group markets, our marketing and public relations strategy includes targeted direct sales, interactive on-line marketing, and an expanded presence at industry trade shows across the nation."

With an eye on bringing new revenue into the state, the CTCSB will intensify outreach and marketing efforts to meeting planners and sports promoters for international, national and regional associations. It will continue to manage convention support and housing services for the Connecticut Convention Center and will head up convention support services, membership staff, the Connecticut Convention Advisory Board and the Sports Convention Advisory Board.

Representatives from the CTCSB and the state's convention, hospitality and sports industries were at news conferences on June 27 at Hartford's XL Center and the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.

For more information about the new Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, call (860) 882-1102 or visit

PICTURED at the Bridgeport News Conference at the Webster Bank Arena (left to right):
• Randy Fiveash, Director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism/Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD);
• Michael Van Parys, President of the new Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB);
• Robert F. Flynn, Chairman of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB);
• Jillian Alps, a Past President of Connecticut Lodging Association and General Manager of the Residence Inn in Shelton;
• Joe Kelly, General Manager of the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa;
• Wayne Dean, Senior Associate Director of Athletics at Yale University in New Haven;
• Charlie Dowd, Vice President of Operations for Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment; and
• Christopher "Kip" Bergstrom, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD).