Welcome...to the March issue of Pulse, the official newsletter of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. If you have questions, or would like to be included in the April edition of Pulse, please contact Ryan Smith at rsmith@visitRaleigh.com

showcaseMix & Mingle
The GRCVB Spring Marketing Update Meeting will be on March 29, 2012, at 10am at the Raleigh Convention Center. Attraction partners and restaurant special events representatives will have the opportunity to showcase their product/service and information in a tabletop format outside Room 206. Hoteliers (or restaurateurs or attraction partners not interested in showcasing) will have a chance to “work the room” and “make new connections.” For more information or to register, click here.

rembrandtRembrandt Figures Released
Economic impact figures have been released for Rembrandt in America, a major exhibition held at the N.C. Museum of Art, October 2011 – January 2012. The exhibition generated $13 million in direct visitor spending according to GRCVB estimates. In addition, the museum reports $4.2 million in media value from public relations efforts that garnered 200 stories in media outlets. Marketing of Rembrandt in America attracted 150,000+ guests from all 100 North Carolina counties, all 50 states and 42 countries internationally. The GRCVB created the “Greater Raleigh Goes Dutch” campaign to market the exhibition especially to overnight visitors, and the museum data showed 56 percent of exhibition attendees came from outside of Wake County. It is important to note that the above $13 million figure is a conservative estimate that does not include resident spending, nor does it include an economic impact multiplier. The estimated $13 million represents direct visitor spending only, which is new money coming into the local economy.

cookingCulinary News
It has been a huge month for Greater Raleigh restaurant news. It was just announced that the popular North Carolina competition dining series, Fire on the Rock is expanding to the Triangle in an event called Fire in the Triangle. The event is an “Iron Chef”-format pairing of chef against chef using a secret North Carolina ingredient. Diners and celebrity judges crown a winner each night. Stay tuned for more information. Numerous restaurants have opened in the area including: Red Hen in Holly Springs, Lumpy’s Ice Cream in Wake Forest, KoMo KoMo, Unwine’d and Paisans in Cary and Blue Mango in downtown Raleigh, plus the nation’s only two-story Chick-Fil-A opened in Cameron Village.

new worldRaleigh's New World
Have you seen the three-story globe being constructed in downtown Raleigh on Jones Street? Maybe you still don’t know what it is or what purpose it serves… well, the GRCVB has a marketing campaign that not only will educate folks on the Nature Research Center, the new wing of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, but also will reward visitors with a 24-day celebration leading up to the opening of the new wing. A dedicated landing page at www.visitRaleigh.com/newworld/ will provide: insider information about the wing and its 24-hour grand opening event on April 20-21; an opportunity to sign up for great opening celebration prizes; access to daily deals at hotels, restaurants and attractions and the inside track on what else is going on in Raleigh during the opening, including extra events, special offers and more! The landing page will continually be updated with new blogs, information, special offers and giveaways starting March 27.

carolina livingMedia Coverage
The press continues to praise the Raleigh area with a number of feature stories on our area as a premiere leisure and meeting destination. Southern Living featured a ‘Weekend in Raleigh’ in its April edition and mentioned numerous hotel, restaurant and attraction partners. (Note that this article was included in the Carolina Living section, which is sent to a targeted demographic of magazine subscribers.) Both Association News and Smart Meetings magazines highlighted the state of North Carolina and featured the Raleigh area highlighting meeting and convention sites. Small Market Meetings also published a multi-destination piece on ‘Capital Ventures,’ highlighting the meeting and convention industries in state capitals around the country. Christina Fields, a freelance travel journalist who was a part of a Bureau-sponsored media tour in October, wrote about ‘4 Free Things to Do in Raleigh, North Carolina,’ for her online blog Connecting Coordinates.

military familyMilitary Matters
Nolan Garner, GRCVB tourism marketing manager, has been working with military bases throughout North Carolina to promote visitation to the Raleigh area, including his participation in the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base’s 8th Annual 2012 Travel, Leisure & Entertainment Expo in February. In conjunction with reaching out to the military market personally, a new military-themed microsite has been created at www.visitRaleigh.com/hero/. Several area partners submitted special offers for military visitors in recent weeks, and these deals are featured alongside other trip planning info. Any additional local partners wishing to submit deals may fill in an online form or contact Nolan.

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Photo Credits:
Cook: Miss Britt

Rembrandt photo: Rembrandt van Rijn, Flora, probably early 1650s, oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 36 1/8 in., Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Archer M. Huntington, in memory of his father, Collis Potter Huntington, 1926 (26.101.10), © 2010 The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource, N.Y.