The 2018-2019 edition of the Official Visitors Guide to Raleigh, Cary and Wake County has been put to bed (in printer terminology), and we’ll see the first copies for area distribution in May. 

If you have ever worked on any editorial project, you understand the task at hand. There’s always a budget that limits the number of pages you can publish, writers you can hire and photographs you can license. The challenge is to squeeze as much valuable content into a limited number of pages as you can. That’s what we face every year when we plan and assemble the Official Visitors Guide with publisher Compass Media. There’s so much to talk about and so many partners that we would love to feature and a limited number of pages to do it in. Please know we make every effort to be as fair in our decision-making as we can, rotating through topics and assets year-over-year.

Here are a few things we would love for you to know about the 2018-2019 guide:

The theme is “Originally Raleigh,” which features our area's passionate minds, those we’re calling the “purveyors of Raleigh, N.C.’s creative and innovative experiences for visitors.” A few of them are introduced at the front of the guide, and each section includes a brief intro of passionate minds from all over the county who love what they do and love sharing it with visitors.

Two covers
This is the first time we know of that GRCVB's guide will be available with two, different covers. One features passionate mind Scott Crawford, chef-owner of Crawford and Son (his restaurant in the N. Person St. neighborhood of Raleigh). The other highlights Deana Nguyen, creative director at Brewery Bhavana, one of the world's "10 coolest places to eat" according to Forbes, and founded in downtown Raleigh by passionate minds Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha with Patrick Woodson.

We selected them because both of their establishments are shining examples of what Originally Raleigh represents—smart, innovative experiences for visitors. The inside editorial of both versions is identical; it’s just the covers that are different.

And continuing the theme of originality, the cover of the map on the inside is highlighted by Lionel Vatinet, the master baker behind La Farm Bakery in Cary. 

OVG coversEditorial
The usual sections appear again—History & Museums, Foodie, Arts, Sports & Outdoors, Music, Shopping and all the Things to Do listings, plus these stories and additions:

  • Barbecue Raleigh—The guide includes a one-page summary of a full barbecue guide that we will be publishing soon on Readers will be able to get a taste (pun intended) of Raleigh area barbecue then go to the website to download a more in-depth version.
  • Food with a Conscience—We are blessed in Wake County to have people around us, our colleagues and friends, who are mindful of the needs of others. We feature three of them in the new Visitors Guide, Carroll’s Kitchen, A Place at the Table and Josh Monahan’s Carolina Kettle Chips. Our hope is that visitors will share in the mission of these providers and give a little back to Raleigh and Wake County while they're here.
  • Almost all of the municipalities have sponsored editorial coverage, helping visitors to know in custom detail about the wealth of things to see and do all around the county.

Shipping and distribution
Those partners who are on our annual shipping list should start to see delivery of guides about the second week of May.

Here’s another development you may not know about—since 2014, our Services Department has coordinated local delivery of Visitors Guides to hotels and information desks all around the county (400 drop-offs annually in total). On a regular basis, Ernest (Ernie) Beauregard, our visitor information assistant, fills the visitRaleigh-brand van with boxes and boxes, and he is on pace to deliver 47,500 this fiscal year. If you would like to be restocked during the year ahead or have questions about delivery, please contact him.

By the way...
The Official Visitors Guide is a great way to get your business into the hands of 150,000 interested visitors (plus about 40,000 more online) who use it to plan their trips. Ad sales will open for the 2019-2020 guide in August 2018 at the GRCVB Annual Meeting. If you would like to know more in the meantime, click here to check our out Media Kit for this edition.

I’m not going to lie—putting together a 72-page magazine with as much detail as the Visitors Guide has is no easy task, and I’m always glad when it’s done. But I also have ink in my veins and enjoy the challenge of putting together a great, big jigsaw puzzle of Wake County—for visitors who arrive here with money to spend and with influence over friends and relatives who will see the pictures and hear the stories of the energizing and enriching time they had on their getaway to Raleigh, N.C.