Administration & Marketing Technology (2017-2018 Annual Report)
- Launched and facilitated the 10-year Destination Strategic Plan (DSP) with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). More than 1,800 individuals were engaged in the planning process: leaders from Wake County, City of Raleigh and 11 other municipalities engaged; 11 steering committee (mentioned below) meetings held; 1,044 resident survey responses; 380 stakeholder survey responses; and 36 focus groups held.
- Formed a steering committee of 17 community leaders from all sectors and areas of Wake County for the DSP.
- Created a new, easy-to-read 2017 Report on the Economic Impact of Tourism in Raleigh, North Carolina, using recent research from Tourism Economics.
- Received $540,042 from in-kind contributions related to sponsorships and co-op money from local partners, allowing us to leverage our sales and marketing efforts.
- Received a clean audit for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the highest available, with no recommendations.
- Changed the content delivery format of the Quarterly Marketing Update stakeholder meetings and re-branded to Tourism Talk Live—sessions for Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) staff to speak with partners and other stakeholders face-to-face about growing tourism in Raleigh, N.C., marketing strategies and tactics and more.
- Coordinated the construction, decorating and lease agreement with Highwoods to move our Marketing and Communications Department to new offices on the second floor of the One City Plaza building.
- Drafted and sent a “Request for Services for Agency/Service Providers” pertaining to the Marketing and Communications Department needs.
- Conducted interviews with several advertising agencies for the Greater Raleigh CVB and made a final selection
- Performed an audit of all existing contracts and vendors working with the Greater Raleigh CVB to ensure that the vendor services are still applicable and that we are managing the contracts consistently.
- Worked with staff to develop an Emergency Preparedness Plan to relay information specific to the needs of visitors in the event of a countywide crisis situation.
- Constructed a Blue Ribbon Task Force of community leaders to monitor and strategically advocate for the implementation of the Destination Strategic Plan starting in fiscal year 2019.
- Hired a consultant to analyze the sales-services-marketing processes and the various digital, automated and experiential touch points we need to deliver to our meeting/sports event planners along with their attendees. This will build a framework to assist us with work flow connections to departmental plans.
- Assisted in coordinating a skills-needs assessment study with the City of Raleigh, Capital Area Work Force and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce to better understand the labor needs in the area including the tourism sector.
- Hosted four municipal meetings throughout the county and created a Greater Raleigh CVB report card for each town.
- The CVB presented the latest on Tourism Economic Development at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Summer Leadership Conference.
- Hosted our inaugural Wake County Restaurant and Hotel Job Fair in partnership with the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) and the Raleigh Convention Center. Sold out with 80 vendors representing more than 3,500 part-time and full-time jobs and more than 360 candidates in attendance.
- Hosted Raleigh/Wake County Hotel and Restaurant GM/Owners Forums in partnership with NCRLA.
- Attended the Regional Transportation Alliance Leadership Briefing and Tour in Richmond, Va.
- Participated in quarterly dinners with the Wake County Chamber of Commerce Executives.
- Served on the Wake County Hospitality Tax Small Projects Review Committee. Reviewed all proposals, interviewed 10 candidates, scored and made recommendations to the Wake County Commission.
- Attended monthly Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce events throughout the year.
- Met with RDU International Airport officials and created a core group to begin working to secure a non-stop China flight. The CVB has been asked to chair a tourism committee to ensure we are addressing the China market.
- Participated on the inter-local committee to adjust the projected collections in the model and discuss processes for distribution of funds.
- Attended legislative and elected officials’ receptions in Cary and Raleigh throughout the year.
- The CVB was awarded the “Most Creative and Unique Event in the Country” by the Event Service Professionals Association for our efforts to recognize National Celebrate Services Week. The CVB’s event focus was on local police and fire departments.
- GRCVB won a Platinum Award in the Destination Marketing Association of N.C. 2017 awards program for online video remarketing.
- Received the 2017 Award of Excellence from the readers of Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine.
- Director of services Julie Brakenbury, CGSP®, received the Event Service Professionals Association’s Member of the Year Award at the 2018 convention.
- Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) executive director Scott Dupree was recognized as the most influential person in Triangle sports in 2017 by The News & Observer.
Launched new visitRaleigh.com and themostnc.com
Managed and deployed a new website platform and content management system (CMS) for visitRaleigh.com and themostnc.com on a global content delivery network (CDN) powered by Verizon. The web platform itself, powered by Simpleview, allowed for seamless integration with Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, Barberstock and area partners’ Facebook and Twitter accounts on respective listings pages. Also provided technologies for a content-rich, constantly-changing user-generated content experience as well as destination photos appearing throughout the site whenever related to the topic of a particular area or industry webpage.
PIXL (Partner Information eXchange Login) 2.0
Collaborated with all departments to evaluate and deploy the latest version of PIXL (Partner Information eXchange Login), the partner-facing access to our Bureau-wide, web-based data management system. The platform provides partners with an enhanced, responsive, intuitive user interface with consolidation of information modules used day-to-day. Streamlined how partners can update their business’ or organization’s listing(s) on visitRaleigh.com, including business or organization descriptions, photos, videos, website link and more, in addition to how they respond to leads and service requests sent from our Sales and Convention Services Departments.
Added additional departmental metric sources
Continued to enhance the automated departmental tracked metrics with additional data sources. These sources include Distribion, Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter and Destination International’s Event Impact Calculator (EIC). This provided staff with a centralized view to monitor and make informed decisions on email, web and social media trends or the prospective economic impacts from arriving groups.
PIXL 2.0 integrates with Cvent’s global industry software
Teamed up with the CVB's Sales and Marketing and Communications Departments to evaluate and deploy a Cvent integration with PIXL 2.0. Our requests for proposals (RFPs) process is now streamlined through the integration of Cvent Hospitality Cloud with our customer relationship management (CRM) platform powering PIXL 2.0. Cvent provides services to event planners around the world for online event management, and Cvent's event management software also allows local hospitality businesses/Greater Raleigh CVB's partners to pursue potential event/meeting opportunities in our destination.
Social technology projects
Deployed a Wake County hospitality industry-focused, responsive-design blog (Tourism Talk blog), which ties into our new CMS, allowing staff to easily create new posts and seamlessly incorporate them throughout the Partners section of visitRaleigh.com. Continued to work with the Convention Services Department to provide a social aggregation platform service for maintaining, displaying and tracking live posts throughout meeting venues during events.
Sports marketing economic impact calculator
Collaborated with the sports marketing department (GRSA) to evaluate and update the event impact formula for sporting events via the CRM. The sports module of EIC measures the economic value of an event and calculates its return on investment to local taxes. Updated annually, the calculator draws on 10 different data sources to provide an industry-wide standard. This is in alignment with our meetings and conventions EIC, which also uses the models and industry-standard platform (as developed by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company).