We at GRCVB are doing our best to make sure our hospitality industry partners and other interested onlookers grasp the power of tourism in Wake County.

We're talking about a multibillion-dollar sector of the local economy, directly supporting more than 25,500 jobs (in fact, there only 10 industries in the county that employ more workers than tourism taken as a whole). That’s why we send the weekly Tourism Talk e-news and why we have created this blog… to foster an active conversation about the business of tourism in our area… hence Tourism "Talk."

One other way to continue the conversation is through Tourism Talk Live quarterly events—sessions where the CVB staff comes to you so we can speak face-to-face with partners and other stakeholders who have a vested interest in growing our tourism business.

The next Tourism Talk Live is this Thurs., Nov. 2, 2017, 10am, at North Carolina State University Vaughn Towers. If you’re at all intrigued by the Wake County’s tourism machine, this meeting is for you.

The CVB’s Marketing and Communications Department has been hosting quarterly marketing update meetings for some time, and Tourism Talk Live will include some of the same elements. But we will also be tackling other, broader subjects, and we so want you to participate in these conversations. They impact all of us... not just marketing and sales professionals but other management levels of our area hotels, restaurants, attractions and service providers, sometimes partners' PR and agency reps and also our municipalities' parks and arts leaders.

On the Nov. 2 agenda:

An update on the Destination Strategic Plan (DSP): You probably know that we have been working with consultants Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) these past few months on a 10-year DSP for the county. JLL has been in market several times, conducting copious research since August. At this session, GRCVB executive vice president Loren Gold will let us know about recent progress, insights and where the project is headed next.

Visitors Guide season:

The next Official Visitors Guide to Raleigh, Cary and Wake County is in the early editorial planning stages, but ad sales are well underway. John Balhouse and Casey Hough from Compass Media (publisher of the guide) will be on hand to provide details about placing an ad in the annual guide.

Here’s why you need to know that:

Wake County restauranteurs—are you aware that, according to sales/tax data, a full 23%* (almost a quarter) of your customers are out-of-town guests on average. Our question to you—how are you actively factoring that information into your marketing plan? How do you let more visitors know about your restaurant specifically and that you’d love to see them come through your doors next year?

The Official Visitors Guide is possibly the most effective tool available to you to place your business in front of Raleigh and Wake County visitors. The guide is provided or mailed to 150,000 prospective customers and emailed to another 40,000. The cost of an ad is a relatively small investment to position yourself in front of this lucrative audience, planning their trips to include all the best eats.

Plus it’s a reinvestment in your CVB, allowing us to provide more online services, generate new leads/visits and refer inquirers to your establishment all year long. Ads help us defray the paper costs of producing the much-beloved guide, and we genuinely appreciate your support in this win/win fulfillment piece for the area and its businesses.

A couple of other notes about the Tourism Talk Live:

  • We have been talking about a redesign of visitRaleigh.com during the past year, and the launch date is imminent (in the next 60 days). There is some important information about your presence on the new site that you need to hear. 
  • If you were at the Strategy Session before the CVB Annual Meeting in Aug., you heard our content and social media management team, Derek Allman, CHIA, and Michael Robson, share valuable strategies and tactics related to digital visitor/customer engagement. They will be back with more tips and tricks, including how to get the best bang from your buck through Facebook ads. 
  • And after the session (about an hour), we will be hosting an optional, 30-minute PIXL (Partner Information eXchange Login) refresher for those who would like to brush up on how to upgrade your business's presence on visitRaleigh.com before the new site goes live. (Remember PIXL and your online listing are free services of ours... but you need to login at least once a year to optimize your presence.)

It’s not too late to register. Click the link below to submit your RSVP. We’d love to see you there!

Click to register!

*Wake County Revenue Department and Tourism Economics for the Greater Raleigh CVB.