2014-2015 Annual Report: Administration & Marketing Technology

Executive team spoke to 31 different organizations about GRCVB's mission and the value of tourism in Wake County.

Served on local boards and committees to ensure tourism is represented in their discussions: 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, PROS Master Steering Committee with Wake County Parks and Historic Sites, Raleigh Arts Steering Committee and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership.

Served on boards and committees with state, regional and national organizations in the hospitality industries 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 sector.

Worked with several groups to provide guidance on critical studies and discussion on issues affecting tourism. Gave guidance and input with the Wake County Board of Commissioners on the major facilities capital funding projects and worked with the City of Raleigh Law and Public Safety Committee to provide input on issues effecting short-term rentals and outdoor dining ordinances. Assisted the City of Raleigh in the process of conducting a downtown hotel feasibility study and served on City of Raleigh Downtown Plan Advisory Committee.

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
  • Wake County Beer Summit
  • International Bluegrass Music Association Local Organizing Committee
  • NCAA Men's Basketball Local Organizing Committee 

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 generated a savings or revenue for GRCVB valued at $521,000. Launched a Destination Travel Network program to begin advertising opportunities on GRCVB websites to help generate additional revenue.

Collected valuable weekly and monthly hotel performance information from STR to help identify our largest need periods and better record demand numbers for Wake County. Gathered quarterly forecasts from PKF. Created a monthly PACE report for county wide hotels. Commissioned studies with Tourism Economics and D.K. Shifflet & Associates to obtain visitor data, giving us a breakdown on expenditures, economic impacts, motivating factors on what's driving visitation to Wake County and demographics.

Hosted the first Data4Decisions Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center with more than 1,000 people in attendance. This homegrown event included participants from the private sector, our higher academic institutions as well as many organizations from the public sector.

Updated visitRaleigh.com and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform codebase in various areas to increase performance, from calendar processing and management to new features with 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 CRM software for sales/sports/leads.

Deployed a new social media monitoring platform that provides the ability to quickly filter and react on market influencers, to reach more visitors and promote the destination brand.

Deployed and transitioned to a new responsive-design blog platform, which ties into our existing Content Management System, allowing staff to easily deploy new posts and seamlessly incorporate them throughout visitRaleigh.com.

Implemented a new payroll service that allows employees to electronically input and manage sick leave and vacation balances as well as time off requests with an approval process. Reviewed internal cyber-security issues and made improvements and enhancements where necessary.

Continued to strive to be one of the best CVBs in the country; efforts recognized this year:

  • GRCVB and the United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County were given the 2014 Arts Destination Marketing Award; established by Americans for the Arts and Destination Marketing Association International, the award is presented annually and recognizes the importance of a strong relationship between the community CVB and its local arts agency.
  • Received the Honorary State FFA Degree for our contribution to its members. This was awarded as a symbol of FFA's gratitude to staff for our assistance with their conference.
  • GRSA executive director Scott Dupree received CVB and Sports Commission Professional of the Year, awarded by the ConnectSPORTS Executive Advisory Group.
  • The Web Marketing Association awarded GRCVB the 2014 Mobile Standard of Excellence WebAward for our mobile site.
  • Received the prestigious Meetings & Conventions magazine 2014 Gold Service Award. Meeting planners voted on the top CVBs throughout the world and selected GRCVB as one of the best.
  • Won the Smart Meetings magazine 2014 Platinum Choice Award. The award recognizes the best of the best CVBs in North America.
  • Won seven Destination Marketing Association of N.C. Awards: three Awesome Innovation Awards, three Gold Awards and One Platinum Award for various marketing programs.
  • Won the ConventionSouth magazine 2014 Reader's Choice Award. The readers voted on the best of the best CVBs in the South that offer the highest level of customer service, professionalism and creativity.
  • Received the Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine 2015 Award of Excellence. This prestigious and coveted honor was selected by the subscribers of the magazine who voted for the CVB that best served their corporate meetings and/or incentive travel programs during the past year.
  • Awarded the Successful Meetings magazine 2015 Pinnacle Award, which is voted on by the readers who selected GRCVB as one of the best CVBs in the nation.
  • GRSA was named Sports Tourism Organization of the Year by the National Association of Sports Commissions.

GRCVB received the Destination Marketing Association International's accreditation for another four years. The accreditation program is globally recognized and defines quality and performance standards in destination marketing and management.