2013-2014 Annual Report: Administration & Marketing Technology
Executive team spoke to 30 different organizations about GRCVB's mission and the value of tourism in Wake County.
Served on a number of local boards and committees to ensure tourism is well-represented in discussions. Those include Wake County Economic Development, City of Raleigh Economic Development Advisory Group, Triangle Regional Film Commission, Centennial Authority, Raleigh Convention Center Commission, Regional Transportation Alliance, Raleigh Parks and Recreation Planning Committee, Research Triangle Regional Partnership and the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee.
Served on boards and committees with state, regional and national organizations in the hospitality sector to ensure that Wake County tourism issues are being addressed, to confirm that our sales and marketing strategies are following national best practices and to position GRCVB as a leader with influence in the tourism industry.
Worked with several groups to provide guidance on critical studies and discussion on issues affecting tourism. A few examples include: participated in a study concerning the future land use at RDU International Airport conducted by the Urban Land Institute; worked with the N.C. Travel and Tourism Coalition along with the N.C. Department of Commerce on issues affecting the N.C. Division of Tourism and the impact that private–public partnership will have on the department.
Met with and provided critical demand information and valuable Wake County hospitality data to a number of developers and investors considering new hotel and tourism infrastructure development investments or major renovations throughout Wake County.
Hosted frequent meetings throughout the year with the hospitality community, The Conference Table and leaders from municipalities in the county to gain insight on local trends and needs and share GRCVB's current sales and marketing initiatives. Hosted and managed (and will continue to facilitate) the following advisory boards and committees:
- GRCVB Board of Directors
- The Conference Table
- GRSA Advisory Board
- Cultural Presenters Forum
- Customer Advisory Board for Meeting Planners
- Live Music Advisory Committee
- Local Public Relations/Communications Committee
- Wake County Beer Summit
- International Bluegrass Music Association Local Organizing Committee
- NCAA Men's Basketball Local Organizing Committee
GRCVB MARKETING REACH EXTENDED
Explored and implemented opportunities to generate additional revenue and savings for GRCVB. Identified and negotiated in-kind services, special rates and co-ops that have yielded a savings or revenue for GRCVB valued at $426,000.
Collected valuable weekly and monthly hotel performance information from Smith Travel Research to help identify our largest need periods and to better record demand numbers for Wake County. Gathered quarterly forecasts from PKF International. Created a monthly PACE report for county-wide hotels. Commissioned a joint study with Tourism Economics and D.K. Shifflet & Associates to obtain visitor data, giving us a breakdown on expenditures, motivating factors on what's driving the visitor to Wake County and demographic information.
Maintained all GRCVB technology in a cloud environment to allow staff easier access to data while out of the office. Continued to enhance PIXL (Partner Information eXchange Login), which allows our partners to update their content on our website including photos, videos and contact information and within our customer relationship management (CRM) software for sales/sports/tourism leads.
TECHNOLOGY SUPORT FOR SALES AND SERVICES
Deployed Map Publisher that allows Sales and Services staff to create custom maps for groups by incorporating data points directly from the Bureau's CRM system. Developed a new smartphone app through CrowdTorch that gives staff the ability to offer customized apps for major conventions and sports groups coming to Greater Raleigh. Also launched a CRM crisis or mega-event management tool, which more easily facilitates the Services Department's work with area partners to collect continuously updated hotel availability data during a short-term crisis or mega-event.
OTHER INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Launched Mimecast email continuity service that allows GRCVB staff to communicate during a planned or unplanned outage. Also installed Citrix ShareFile to aid staff in securely transferring files and collaborating with area partners and key groups of partners. Finally, launched an Events and RSVP module to allow all departments to send out electronic invites and allow partner recipients to respond directly back with registration payment.
Continued to strive to be one of the best CVBs in the country; efforts recognized this year:
- 2013 Meetings & Conventions magazine Gold Award for one of the best sales and services teams in the country.
- GRSA was named a 2014 Readers' Choice Award winner and one of the best sports marketing departments in the country by readers of SportsEvents Magazine.
- Readers of Successful Meetings magazine voted GRCVB a Pinnacle Award winner for 2014, calling GRCVB one of the best CVBs in the country.
- ConventionSouth magazine "Reader's Choice Award" for the best in the South for our high standards of professionalism and quality service.
- ConventionSouth magazine awarded the GRCVB "The South's Best Destination App and Mobile Site."
- Winner of the "2014 Award of Excellence" from Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine.
- Travel Standard of Excellence WebAward for visitRaleigh.com website as one of the best in the industry.
- Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts Silver W3 Award for the visitRaleigh.com website and one for the new mobile website.
- Destination Marketing Association of North Carolina (DMANC) Platinum Award for Destination Print Advertising (meetings and conventions).
- DMANC Gold Awards for Destination Print Advertising (leisure) and for Destination Marketing Initiatives for "Raleigh's New World" campaign.
- Received the 2014 Economic Development Award from Downtown Raleigh Alliance for efforts in bringing and hosting the International Bluegrass Music Association.