2015-2016 Annual Report: Administration & Marketing Technology

Executive team spoke to 34 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 Plan Steering Committee, Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce-Sports and Leisure Tourism 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 outdoor dining ordinances. Assisted the City of Raleigh in the process of conducting a downtown Raleigh hotel feasibility study and served on City of Raleigh Downtown Plan Advisory Committee. Worked with RDU International Airport and the Regional Transportation Authority in receiving the interstate designation from Norfolk, Va., to Raleigh, N.C.

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 
  • Community Engagement 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 $526,000. Continued a Destination Travel Network program to sell 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. Distributed a monthly PACE report for countywide 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.

Deployed a new, cloud-based tool to manage, organize and distribute Bureau-owned photo assets and video assets in 1080p and 4K resolutions, allowing all staff easy access to assets for social posts, to incorporate them throughout visitRaleigh.com or to disseminate them to travel media.

Deployed a new, cloud-based social media aggregator to monitor social media platforms, providing the ability to quickly moderate and display user-generated content for leisure and group sales/services campaigns to promote the destination.

Conducted a risk and fraud assessment for GRCVB. Revised and updated our employee manual and policies and procedures manual. Rolled out a new, fully-automated HR software to manage all requests associated with staff vacation, PTO and sick time as well as annual employee reviews.

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

  • Received the 2015 Gold Service Award from Meetings & Conventions magazine. Meeting planners voted for the top CVB from throughout the world and selected the GRCVB as one of the best.
  • Won the Smart Meetings 2015 Platinum Choice Award. The award recognizes the crème de la crème and ranked GRCVB as a top CVB in the country, as voted on by the Smart Meetings magazine editorial team and the 81,000 meeting professionals who receive the publication.
  • Received the 2015 Readers Choice Award from Convention South magazine. Readers voted for the CVB that provides the highest level of customer service and displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service they require.
  • Received the Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine’s 2016 Award of Excellence. The winning CVB was selected by subscribers who voted for the destination that best served their corporate meetings and/or incentive travel programs during the past year.
  • Recognized by readers of Successful Meetings magazine as a 2016 Pinnacle Award winner and one of the best CVBs/DMOs in the Southeast.
  • Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance was named a 2016 Reader's Choice winner as presented by SportsEvents magazine. The award, selected by a panel of sports event planners, was presented to the GRSA for exhibiting "excellence, creativity and professionalism in the sports tourism industry."
  • Through the Bureau's agency of record, won two American Advertising Addy awards, the destination video for the "Best Non-Broadcast Audio/Visual" category and the "Rooted in Raleigh" integrated campaign in the "Elements of Advertising Art Direction" category.
  • Won a Silver Telly Award (silver is the highest honor) among online tourism videos for the "Rooted in Raleigh" destination video.
  • Voted by subscribers of Association Conventions & Facilities magazine as a winner of the 2016 Distinctive Achievement Award. This prestigious award honors the CVB that best served their association meetings during the past year.
  • The N.C. High School Athletic Association awarded Scott Dupree the State Award for Outstanding Service, presented by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
  • Malinda Harrell, CMP, CASE, was awarded the Hall of Fame Award and the Corey D. Bizzell Award of Excellence by the Meeting Professionals International-Carolinas Chapter.