Administration & Destination Technology


Overall management

  • Launched a new Arrivalist platform, which gives the Greater Raleigh CVB the ability to track more of our visitors and measure important demographic information at major events throughout the county.
  • Through the efforts of our staff-led, internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, implemented a series of programs for all staff addressing a number of DEI topics over the course of the year.
  • Received a clean audit for our 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Highlights of Destination 2028 accomplishments over the past year

  • Successfully worked with N.C. Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) and the General Assembly to launch the N.C. Esports Production Grant, part of the state budget funded at $5 million annually for the next three years. An additional one-time appropriation from the General Assembly was passed at $16 million for an Esports Production and Performance Facility and a mobile truck unit for the UNC System Schools, housed at North Carolina State University, which will bring esports activations to all of North Carolina.
  • Secured four major esports competitions: HALO Championship Series in Dec. 2021, EA Apex Legends Global Series Year 2 Championship in July 2022, the Fortnite Championship Series Invitational in Nov. 2022 and Esports Engine in Dec. 2022.
  • Successful relaunch of the Signature Event Development Pilot Program with two major events. Moved the Dreamville Festival to a two-day event and secured the first esports event for PNC Arena, Apex Legends Global Series Year 2 Championship.
  • Successfully launched the CVB's Economic Impact Calculator for events, sports competitions and festivals whose results our countywide stakeholders and communities can access for evaluation of tourism projects and “highest and best use” of public funding.
  • Successfully launched a new FuturePace report for the Raleigh Convention Center and all Wake County hotels.

Community relations

  • Worked with partners to execute a new RFI for a minimum-500-room, full-service hotel, a visioning study for a convention center expansion and reengagement for the PNC Arena enhancement design and concepts, plus to select a design firm for the indoor sports complex in Cary.
  • Worked with the City of Raleigh and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) to conduct a refresh study for the full-service downtown convention hotel and convention center expansion.

Awards received by the Greater Raleigh CVB

  • The Bureau received a 2021 Award of Excellence from Corporate & Incentive Travel Magazine. Meeting planners voted for CVBs that best served their corporate meetings held one year prior to the pandemic and to-date.
  • The Bureau received five Tourism Achievement Awards at the 2021 N.C. Travel Industry Association's N.C. Tourism Leadership Conference. They include:
    • Gold, Meetings and Conventions category: Meeting Professionals Summit Virtual Series
    • Platinum, Meetings and Conventions category: Meeting Professionals Half-Hour Hangout Virtual Series
    • Platinum, Group Visitors category: Esports website section and content
    • Innovation Award: Best of Show for the complete overall marketing execution of projects related to COVID
    • Platinum, Community Stakeholders category: Rollout of Tourism U and tourism awareness programs among stakeholders in Wake County.
  • The CVB won the 2021 Convention South Readers' Choice Award, named one of the best CVBs in the South (voted on by over 8,000 meeting planners).
  • The Bureau also received the 2021 Smart Meetings Platinum Choice Award.
  • Malinda Harrell, CMP, CASE, director of sales, was named one of 50 Up-and-Comers to Watch for 2022 by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), global.
  • Stephen Jackson, CMP, associate director of sales, received the MPI Potomac Star Award.
  • National sales manager Nicole Keshler was given the 2022 MPI Carolinas Chapter Hall of Fame Award.
  • Loretta Yingling, CMP, national sales manager, received the MPI Chicago Area Chapter Eleanor H. Woods Supplier of the Year Award.


Destination Technology

Transition to short-term and long-term pace reporting with FuturePace

Close to the end of the fiscal year, Destination Technology transitioned to a new pace reporting system to provide additional reporting to hotels and stakeholders. This system called FuturePace, facilitated by Simpleview and 2Synergize (our technology partner), provides FuturePace reporting that analyzes Wake County’s past booking behavior to provide insight regarding future bookings. These reports use the Bureau's past performance data to predict the extent to which convention center bookings are on track to meet year-end goals. FuturePace has dynamic reporting capabilities, where it is able to provide short-term and long-term pace reporting. This has been deployed currently to downtown Raleigh hotels as a beta test and will soon be deployed to countywide hotels and stakeholders.

Dynamic sales, sports and esports bid books with SendSites

This fiscal year, shifted from static, PDF bid books to online dynamic and immersive narrative webpages for our destination in response to meeting planners’ requests. SendSites (an online proposal tool) has given us the ability to provide an interactive response through an integration with Simpleview products. With this, our departments found many efficiencies in quickly building out bid books, online presentations and group itineraries for familiarization tours. SendSites was deployed to our Sales Department and has now been integrated into other department processes for services, sports and esports.

Record website traffic for with SEO playing a major role

Destination Technology helped drive record traffic through the website optimization. Organic search was the top driver of traffic during 2021-2022 fiscal year. It attracted 62% of all traffic, which was over 2.5 million sessions. This was a year-over-year increase of 61%; it was also a 24% increase over 2019, which had previously been the site's top-performing year. The top queries that drew users to the site were variations of "things to do in Raleigh," for which averaged the No. 1 rank in Google's organic search results. With well-optimized content that matched user's interests, the site was ready for strong organic performance, a positive indicator that more travelers have been seeking travel inspiration and planning trips then and for the year ahead. This contributed to's record-breaking website traffic for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, totaling 4.03 million sessions as well as marking a 75% increase over 2020-2021 fiscal-year sessions.

Arrivalist—research data on device movement within Wake County

This fiscal year, renewed paid partnership with Arrivalist, 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 downloaded app terms and conditions for travel trends of note. For the Bureau, this platform collected data based on device moments of millions of devices that spent time in Wake County. With the latest version of this platform, we are able to report on top-visited areas in Wake County, arrival volume share (between residents and visitors) of a point of interest and revenue by hotel class and property neighborhood. This data is being reported out to partners in our ETA Wake County E-newsletter.

Threshold 360 tour usage

With our continued use of Threshold 360 this fiscal year, we have been able to incorporate 360° virtual tours on our website listings, in our sales, sports and esports proposals and virtual presentations to meeting planners. The individual 360°-tour visuals were also automatically added to partners' Google business listings and Google travel listings under the "Street View" and "360 Photos" sections. Since Jan. 2020, our partners' 360° virtual tour content has been viewed on Google approximately 22 million times. Also, specific to embedded content and links, approximately 1,042 hours of video have been viewed (this is the total time a visitor has watched automatic play-through of the Threshold 360 platform's 360° virtual tours of our partners).