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International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Generates $10 Million in Direct Visitor Spending and $5 Million in Media Value

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Figures reported by Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Raleigh, NC - The 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) World of Bluegrass, September 24-28, 2013, generated an estimated $10 million in direct visitor spending for Raleigh and Wake County, according to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB).

It is important to note that the $10 million is a conservative estimate that does not include local spending, nor does it include a multiplier of indirect or induced impacts. It represents direct visitor spending only, which is new money coming into the local economy.

The World of Bluegrass Week included: the four-day IBMA Business Conference, the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, Bluegrass Ramble and the two-day Wide Open Bluegrass Street Fest which partnered with the N.C. Whole Hog Barbecue State Championships. Combined, these events brought approximately 84,000 visitors from outside of Wake County to the area, generating approximately 20,000 hotel room-nights. It is also important to note that, when compared to the same time period in 2012, Wake County hotel occupancy increased nearly 10% during the full World of Bluegrass week (Sept. 24-28) and by 22% when just looking at Friday and Saturday nights during the Wide Open Bluegrass Street Fest. Total attendance figures, including both local and out-of-town attendees, for the entire week's festivities was estimated to be 140,000.

"To say that Raleigh 'rolled out the red carpet for us' is a bit of an understatement. It's probably more accurate to say that they rolled out the carpet, bought new furniture, and built a new home for us. The work of the GRCVB, the Raleigh Convention Center staff, all the host hotels, city and regional government, the United Arts Council and a hard-working local organizing committee was evident in a number of ways great and small," said Nancy Cardwell, executive director of IBMA.

In addition to the visitor spending, IBMA's World of Bluegrass also produced $5 million in media value for Greater Raleigh. This figure was researched and calculated by VOCUS, Inc., a leading marketing cloud provider, which used the keyword terms International Bluegrass Music Association in conjunction with the word Raleigh during the past 12 months. Vocus, Inc., provided the media value based on approximately 2,000 domestic and international media impressions throughout a variety of mediums.

"The attendance and direct visitor spending estimates for IBMA's World of Bluegrass are tremendous, and the amount of positive media coverage is equally impressive," said Denny Edwards, president and CEO of the GRCVB. "Throughout the week the entire community heard incredibly positive comments from visitors to our area about our hospitality, venues, restaurants and attractions, and that kind of buzz, from both word of mouth and media, is a great way to tell the story that Greater Raleigh is clearly capable, and highly successful, at hosting community-wide events of this magnitude."


The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, as the official destination marketing organization of
Raleigh and Wake County, accelerates sustainable economic growth and development by increasing
visitor and convention business.

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