Administration & Marketing Technology
- Delivered a year-one implementation update of the Destination Strategic Plan (DSP) for Wake County. The strong results identified tactical actions that the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) leadership and staff implemented to address the DSP priorities that impact overnight visitation along three visitor channels: meetings and conventions, sporting events and leisure visitation. Some of the completed and underway highlights from the eight priorities include:
- Individual Leisure: Continued the creation, development and curation of unique experiences to drive overnight stays to provide more interconnected and user-ready experiences for the leisure traveler through a partnership with People-First Tourism (P1t), Inc.
- Key Attractors: Collaboratively identified how each of the four key attractor museums can grow demonstratively more compelling by linking their assets and marketing resources.
- Events: Created the Signature Event Fund which utilizes the Event Impact Calculator for return-on-investment analysis of countywide events.
- Sports: Advocated with partners for needed inventory developments, supported city-owned assets for capital investment and advocated for an indoor sports complex.
- Meetings and Conventions: Worked in partnership with Raleigh Convention Center to optimize the usage of facility space, better leverage and use of the entire convention campus and increase downtown hotel room inventory with the launch of a public request for information (RFI) to potential hotel developers and hotel brands.
- Economic impact analyst position was created to be an advocate and consultant for our community partners providing objective-based economic impact measurement, analysis and best practices for reporting return-on-investment of meetings, sports and festivals.
- A comprehensive response for all Wake County hospitality partners, residents and municipal leaders was launched as a result of the global pandemic COVID-19. The resources included weekly information webinars hosted in partnership with N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association, the City of Raleigh and Wake County management staff. A digital outreach campaign and website section were launched containing information for health, safety, state guidelines and business recovery resources. The CVB provided collaborative support and promotion of the hospitality certification and consumer pledge for the statewide “Count On Me NC” COVID-19 safety and recovery program.
- The CVB received a clean audit for fiscal year 2019-2020.
- Hosted a second successful Hotel Development Summit, in partnership with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), with representatives attending from 10 of Wake County's municipalities who presented to 13 different hotel developers.
- Worked closely with the city and county staff, the Hospitality Tax Review Committee and other hospitality partners to analyze, review and distribute interlocal funds for capital improvements on current facilities as well as future visitation projects with highest and best use as outlined in the DSP.
- Assisted the City of Raleigh and JLL in drafting the RFI for the convention hotel project.
- Retained Tourism Economics to create a measurement matrix for the county and city to use when evaluating interlocal proposals, providing consistency in determining the economic impact of each project.
- Had input and guidance for the city and county managers and Hospitality Tax Review Committee on the amended usage of interlocal funds as a by product of COVID-19 and the drastic downturn in tax collections.
- Hosted four municipal meetings and made four municipal presentations to town councils and chambers of commerce.
- Implemented a comprehensive community engagement survey working in conjunction with Dr. Whitney Knollenberg from North Carolina State University that provided us with a baseline perception of the CVB by local community leaders.
- Developed and launched Tourism U, a series of comprehensive presentations led by CVB staff, targeting community organizations to articulate why tourism matters and ensuring that tourism is a shared community value.
- Received the Bronze Stella Award from Meetings & Conventions and Successful Meetings magazines. The readers voted the CVB as the third best in the Southeast.
- Received the Platinum Award, presented by the N.C. Travel Industry Association, in the category of community stakeholder communications for our work on the Destination Strategic Plan.
- Received the Platinum Award from Smart Meetings magazine as one of the best CVBs in the country.
- Received the 2019 Award of Excellence from Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine. This award recognizes the best CVBs in the country.
Barberstock, destination asset management improvements
For Barberstock, our destination asset management platform, we deployed and trained on several improvements affecting the Sales, Services, Public Relations and International Tourism and Sports Marketing Departments. These improvements were related to interface and user experience updates, navigational updates and major core system improvements via an integration with our Simpleview CRM system. Working with the Marketing and Communications Department, additional destination imagery was added to the system for usage for by staff, partners and media. New functionality was also developed via this platform as part of a tool kit full of useful resources that meeting planners can use to promote the Raleigh area as an energetic, energizing destination for meeting attendees. These resources can be used for event marketing and attendance-building promotions.
Economic Impact Calculator (EIC), new CRM module for partner data processing and economic impact analysis
Throughout the fiscal year, a dedicated, new module was custom created and beta tested—the new CRM EIC tool, streamlining the data collection process between CVB staff and partners. This allows a partner to submit/input raw data for EIC evaluation and for staff to manage the economic impact analysis and output process. Based on historical data collection, this would allow for year-over-year event impact analysis for partners.
Arrivalist, research data on device movement within Wake county
Explored and partnered with a technology research company for new traveler conversion, profiling and segmentation. We were able to partner with Arrivalist through a co-op via Visit North Carolina, which is also a partner of Destinations International. This platform provided us the ability to track the movement of any device that has opted-in, based on app terms and conditions, for travel trends. For the CVB, this platform collected research data based on the movement of millions of devices that have spent time in Wake County. Based on GPS, Arrivalist knows where visitors have been and how much time was spent at each location. With this virtual intercept data sample, the CVB is able to provide partners with arrivals that: spend less than one day in Wake County; stay one night in Wake County; or stay many nights in Wake County. The data also shows the most common dates of arrival and out-of-state origins for visiting designated points-of-interest (museums, food halls etc.). In order to be counted as a data point, the device must spend 30 minutes within the point of interest (or fewer minutes if the POI requires it).
RFP integration with visitRaleigh.com
With the retirement of the Destinations International Empowerment request for proposal (RFP) submission integration with our CRM, a new CRM-embedded RFP integration was launched on visitRaleigh.com to serve the Sports Marketing, Services, Sales and Marketing and Communications Departments. This new-and-improved version of the RFP submission process fully integrates with the Meeting Sales and Sports Marketing modules of the CRM, allowing for seamless data integration, in turn reducing duplication of efforts and speeding up the workflow process.
AudioEye, fully-certified accessibility on visitRaleigh.com
Our continued partnership with AudioEye helps provide an always-on approach to the changing needs of accessibility technologies via the web. Those who attended “All Access Wake County” in 2019 know that accessibility is an important priority for the CVB right now. Since last July, visitRaleigh.com has been undergoing a certification process for AudioEye, a tool which provides valuable adaptations for people with disabilities to making using websites easier. That certification process was completed in Nov. 2019, and now visitRaleigh.com is a fully-certified accessible site, according to AudioEye’s rigorous guidelines. The AudioEye certification process continues to involve automatic and manual testing on the large number of pages on visitRaleigh.com, with the goal of maximizing conformance with the guidance supplied through the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA Success Criteria. Moving forward, visitRaleigh.com will continue to be tested using a variety of assistive technologies.
Updates to business intelligence dashboards
Continued to evolve our centralized business intelligence platform, aligning with CVB departments to add county-wide and Raleigh Convention Center booking pace performance reporting to help with forecasting, feasibility, developer and municipal inquiries. Marketing Technology Department has collaborated with sales and sports in developing a real-time dashboard for the convention center campus, providing economic impact breakdown that will be used derive instant access to gap analysis, compression and pace data in order to guide data-based strategic business decisions in recruiting new businesses.