Administration & Marketing Technology (2016-2017 Annual Report)
Local education and orientations
Executive team spoke to 32 different organizations about the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau's (CVB's) mission and value in Wake County. Created this year, with the Services and Marketing and Communications Departments, an online orientation for new hospitality employees, which can be integrated into new-hire trainings within Wake County's tourism industries.
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, Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce—Sports and Leisure Tourism Committee, RDU Vision 2040 Advisory Group, City of Raleigh Short Term Rental Task Force, City Plaza Outdoor Dining Task Force and N.C. Travel and Tourism Coalition.
Served on boards and committees with state, regional, national and international 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 the CVB as a leader with influence in the tourism sector.
Worked with several groups to provide guidance on critical studies and discussions on issues affecting tourism. Served on a joint task force made up of City of Raleigh and Wake County staff and key community stakeholders to create guiding principles, priorities and processes for the distribution of future interlocal fund receipts. Served on the review and recommendation committee for Wake County Major Facility Capital Projects to evaluate 14 proposals for the distribution of $3.3 million in interlocal funds. Coordinated and facilitated Destination International's DestinationNEXT evaluation, a strategic road map for the "next" generation of global destinations; this initiative was a formal perception study with input from our community stakeholders, focusing on destination strengths and community support and engagement. As a by-product of this initiative, we received community support to move forward in fiscal year 2018-2019 with conducting a comprehensive Destination Strategic Plan project. A 12-month study conducted by tourism consulting firm JLL, this project will provide Wake County with a 10-year (2028) strategic plan for current and proposed facilities, tactics to yield maximum tourism growth and alignment of tourism objectives by all county-wide stakeholders.
Hosted frequent meetings throughout the year with the hospitality community, The Conference Table and leaders from our municipal partner communities to gain insight on local trends and to share the Bureau's current sales and marketing initiatives. Conducted educational sessions with elected officials and hospitality partners along with multiple interviews with media regarding the House Bill 2 law and the effect on tourism county-wide. Hosted, managed and will continue to facilitate the following advisory boards and committees:
• Greater Raleigh CVB Board of Directors
• The Conference Table
• Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance Advisory Board
• Cultural Presenters Forum
• Customer Advisory Board for Meeting Planners
• Live Music Advisory Committee
• Wake County Beer Summit
• International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass Local Organizing Committee
• Community Engagement Committee
Greater Raleigh CVB marketing reach extended
Continued to find opportunities to generate additional revenue and savings for the CVB. Identified and negotiated in-kind services, special rates, advertising fees and co-ops that have generated a savings or revenue for the Bureau at $532,000.
Collected valuable weekly and monthly hotel performance from STR, Inc., to help identify our largest needs periods and to better record demand numbers for Raleigh and Wake County. Gathered quarterly forecasts from PKF. Distributed a monthly PACE report to hotels county-wide. Commissioned studies with Tourism Economics and DK Shifflet to obtain visitor data and demographics, giving us a breakdown on expenditures, economic impacts and motivating factors that are driving visitation to Wake County.
- Received a Meetings & Conventions magazine 2016 Gold Service Award. This award recognizes CVBs that have excelled in servicing meeting and event professionals. The magazine reviews key criteria, including professionalism of staff, support of hotels and site inspections, assistance with ground transportation planning, guidance of attractions and liaison with local vendors and services.
- Won three Destination Marketing Achievement Awards from the Destination Marketing Association of N.C. and the N.C. Travel Industry Association: a Platinum Public Relations Award for hosting a highly-successful Eastern Chapter Conference of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) in April 2016; Platinum Award for Best Collateral for the Bureau's series of reference documents created to help explain and launch the newly-revised Raleigh, N.C. destination brand strategy, including the brand manual, brand blueprint and the brand brief; and the Best in Show Award for the series of online videos produced to help deploy the tuned-up destination brand strategy.
- Smart Meetings magazine readers voted the Greater Raleigh CVB as the winner of the 2016 Platinum Choice Award. This prestigious award recognizes the premier CVBs in the country for excellence in sales, services and marketing efforts.
- ConventionSouth magazine readers voted the Greater Raleigh CVB as a winner of the 2016 Readers' Choice Award. The readers, who are top meeting professionals, demand the highest level of customer service and quality facilities, and they determined that the Bureau indeed displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service they require.
- Won a Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Gold Digital Marketing Award in the 60th Annual Adrian Awards competition. The award was in the Multimedia Series category and for the "Rooted in Raleigh" online video series, which now profiles 17 "passionate minds."
- Received the Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine 2016 Award of Excellence.
- Won the Silver Davey Award in recognition of the consumer e-newsletter, visitRaleigh the E-magazine, which was redesigned in early 2017. The Davey Awards are international creative awards focused exclusively on honoring outstanding creative work from the best small agencies worldwide.
- Awarded the 2017 Business Award at the City of Raleigh Human Relations Commission's annual awards banquet for the "All Are Welcome Here" campaign and videos.
- GRSA was named a 2017 Readers' Choice Award winner by SportsEvents Magazine for the fourth consecutive year.
- Received a Telly Award in the general sports category for the new "Greater Raleigh: A Premier Sports Destination" video.
- CVB received the 2017 Award of Excellence from Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine.
Centralized departmental metrics
Collaborated with each CVB department to identify and automate departmental tracked metrics into a centralized dashboard for month-end reporting. This provided staff with a seamless process via the Bureau's customer relationship management (CRM) platform to validate reported data on the fly. Since the data is now centralized, it gives staff the ability to also review previous months and years of metrics.
Teamed up with the Sales Department to evaluate and deploy several enhancements to the Bureau's CRM system and Partner Information eXchange Login (PIXL) platform. The implemented changes will help CVB sales managers and hotels when responding to sales leads. Hotel representatives are able to customize available dates and copy previous RFP responses to use for future leads.
Collaborated with the Services Department to deploy a new, integrated housing solution for conventions, meetings and events utilizing two or more hotels. This particular housing system integrates with the CVB's CRM for seamless data transfer. A key benefit is better control of hotel inventories. Planners, hotels and housing staff see inventory statuses and can make quick changes to better meet attendee needs while maximizing room blocks.
Public relations technology
Supported the Bureau's Public Relations Department in deploying the newest version of Cision's PR platform, providing the capabilities to access blog and social media influencers. This will provide advanced charting and analytics that allow us to analyze news based on custom categories. Also, with a Google Analytics integration in place, this will help determine which outlets, for example, are driving traffic from earned coverage.
Deployed a meetings and conventions, responsive-design blog, which ties into our existing content management system, allowing staff to easily create new posts and seamlessly incorporate them throughout the meetings section of visitRaleigh.com. Worked with the Services Department to provide a social aggregation platform service for maintaining, displaying and tracking live posts throughout meeting venues during events.