Serviced and hosted 534 groups (sports, meetings and conventions), achieved a 30.8-percent survey response rate with an overall scoring of 4.3 on a five-point scale, hosted 10,750 visitors in the official Visitor Information Center and fulfilled 5,530 other visitor information requests.
DELIVERY SERVICE SUCCESS
Grew distribution of the CVB's collateral delivery service dramatically this year. Proactive delivery of visitor materials to primary hotel and attraction partners reached a total of 468 partner visits, with distribution of 75,038 Visitors Guides and maps.
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER (VIC) TRANSITION
Long-time VIC manager Reggi Powell, CGSP®, retired in March; hired new VIC manager Kessa Stevens and repositioned the role to include new responsibilities. Also refreshed the official VIC décor with new lighting, mapping, carpeting and repairs; the VIC continues to transition, with a focus on changing from a visitor information center to a visitor “experience” center.
VIC FULLFILLMENT UP
Grew fulfillment by a notable seven percent year-over-year, due to an online promotion of Official Visitors Guide inquiries conducted jointly with the GRCVB Marketing Deparment. A primary goal of visitor services staff includes fulfillment of inquiries that are received via email, online and phone.
IBMA REMAINS LARGE
Continued to provide significant servicing for IBMA's World of Bluegrass, despite complications due to inclement weather in 2015. IBMA support includes serving on the Local Organizing Committee for the year leading up to arrival; coordinating community activation and hospitality services, welcome banners and signage for all hotels, venues and festival footprint areas; coordinatimg on-site welcome services at RDU International Airport and at various venues; assisting in recruiting and facilitating over 300 volunteers; and operating our Visitor Information Center and Raleigh Convention Center mobile kiosks for expanded hours during the event. In preparation for IBMA 2016, in June hosted a second annual meeting to educate the local business community on opportunities for activating and maximizing revenue during World of Bluegrass; nearly 30 partners attended and learned about ways to host bluegrass events, create special bluegrass deals and draw clientele by combining bluegrass with their business for this special week. Also hosted a special session at RDU International Airport for RDU vendors, with 20 in attendance.
SEE FOR YOURSELF (SFY) FAM TOURS
Continued the popular training program of SFY Fam Tours. The program offers front-line staff the opportunity to tour Raleigh with guides and learn more about all that the area has to offer visitors by "seeing it for yourself!" Four tours were offered in 2015-2016, with 76 total attendees, and SFY Fam Tour themes this year included "Museum Mania,” “Plentiful Parks,” “Raleigh Culturally Enriched” and “Raleigh Roots: Farm-to-Table Dining in Downtown.”
TAXI DRIVERS ORIENTED
Had an impressive year with taxi driver destination training. Our orientation program with the Raleigh Police Department continued bimonthly with an average 50 drivers per session, resulting in more than 200 drivers trained during the year. We also launched a new program at RDU International Airport with 180 total drivers involved during the trainings.
Hosted 25 GRCVB Tourism Ambassadors at the annual "We Love Our Tourism Ambassadors" training and recognition event in June, held this year at Raleigh Little Theatre. This year’s training focused on our brand update with five of our brand champions there to present and share samples, stories and product samplings during the networking time; followed up the training time with bluegrass music and a tour of the theatre and Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden. Ambassadors donated 450.25 total hours in the fiscal year, and they greatly expand staffing resources for GRCVB's meetings, conventions and sports groups and are hugely important to the success of GRCVB in welcoming groups.
NEW CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING LAUNCHED
In partnership with the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, launched a new customer service training program called Guest Service Gold®. GSG is a program of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and offers a certification opportunity; two programs were conducted with 99 students trained.
CELEBRATE SERVICES DAY
Celebrated the Event Service Professionals Association's Celebrate Services Day in Aug. 2015 by hosting an educational and networking event at Raleigh Marriott City Center; the program included a professional education training webinar and lunch. Celebrate Services Day is an annual event that promotes the role of and value that event service professionals have in the events industry.