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Madison, Wisconsin: Top 20 Best Value Cities
October 6, 2015
Every year trivago.com analyzes cities across the US to reveal the year’s 50 Best Value cities, and for 2016, Madison ranked 19th, joining the list of America’s Top 20 Best Value Cities!
The trivago Best Value Index provides an overview of the best value destinations by using a specifically tailored algorithm that combines the trivago Hotel Price Index with trivago’s Reputation Ranking for hotels. The trivago Hotel Price Index shows the average overnight accommodation prices for a standard double room on trivago. Scaling up to 100, the Best Value Index lists the combined score on consumer rating and average hotel price.
“We know that we deliver incredible experiences for our visitors,” says Deb Archer, President and CEO of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau and Madison Area Sports Commission, “but to know that we can exceed expectations and still deliver incredible value is truly something to be proud of and a wonderful quality for the destination.”
Other Midwestern cities on the list include Lincoln, NE (#6), Columbus, OH (#43) and Indianapolis, IN (#47). To view the complete press release and full list of Top 50 Best Value US Cities, go to http://imgec.trivago.com/contentimages/press/texts/us_bv_pr_2016.pdf
The GMCVB is honored to play a key role in supporting the more than 19,000 Dane County jobs supported by tourism. Promoting tourism in Madison since 1972, the GMCVB continues to work strategically to expand upon the more than $1.8 billion dollars generated by visitor spending in Dane Country every year. For the most up-to-date information, visit our website visitmadison.com
2015 ABOS Conference Comes to St. Charles
October 5, 2015
The Association of Bookmobile & Outreach Services (ABOS) will hold its 2015 Conference on October 14-16, 2015 at the Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main Street. This year’s theme: “Outreach Services – Not So Hidden Treasures.” Conference highlights include a full complement of sessions and table top discussions; and a new Bookmobile Round up event, showcasing over a dozen onsite book mobiles with product for all ages.
The ABOS Outreach Services conference theme includes sessions on Community partnerships; Choosing the Right Mobile Unit; Measurable Stats for Outreach Services, Storytimes; Care and Feeding of Generators & Connectivity; Successful Outreach Stories; Learning from the Past; Bookmobile History; How to be an Outreach Librarian and Don’t Get Hurt: a physical therapists’ view on how to work safely. Table top discussions will round out each block of sessions, giving colleagues an opportunity to unpack and share their ideas in community.
The Luncheon Speaker on October 14 is Mary Beth Reidner, author and past chair of the Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Interest Group (IGARD) for the American Library Association. Ms. Reidner will discuss her successful program for providing dementia and Alzheimer’s patients with a fulfilling interactive reading experience.
A new feature to ABOS this year is the Bookmobile Roundup Event entitled “Beverages, Brats & Bookmobiles.” Outreach colleagues will tour over a dozen mobile units on site, network and exchange ideas while enjoying a dinner of traditional tailgate foods and beverages. The cost for this casual yet festive event is $20.
ABOS anticipates approximately 250 attendees to this year’s event, coming from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and other states across the country.
For more information about the ABOS Conference, visit www.ABOS-OUTREACH.org. ABOS is affiliated with The American Library Association www.ala.org; The ALA Office of Diversity, Literacy & Outreach Services www.ala.org/office/diversity and The Association for Rural & Small Libraries www.ARSL.info/
For more information about the Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau, visit www.visitstcharles.com.
Kansas City Breaks Tourism Records
October 2, 2015
According to new research released today, the Kansas City region welcomed 24 million visitors in 2014, a new record for the destination. This accounts for a 5-percent jump from the previous record in 2012, when 22.1 million travelers visited the area. This growth in travel is just one of the new findings from research commissioned by Visit KC, the city's hospitality and tourism organization.
Conducted every two years by the firms of Tourism Economics and Longwoods International, the studies look at the economic impact of tourism and the profile of travelers to the Kansas City area-defined by the counties of Jackson, Clay, Platte, Johnson and Wyandotte.
The research supports that tourism remains a vital and growing component of the Kansas City economy. Among the other findings in the economic impact study:
"Kansas City has accelerated the improvement of new products that enhance the resident and visitor experience-from our walkable convention district to the arts and culture scene to the new streetcar that comes online next year," said Ronnie Burt, Visit KC President & CEO. "We are thrilled that visitors are taking notice, to the tune of 24 million travelers. We are excited about the future and will continue to build upon this wonderful momentum."
Kansas City witnessed steady growth in overnight visitation, recording a 6.2-percent increase year over year. About 48 percent of visitors (11.4 million) stayed overnight, with 52 percent (12.6 million) accounting for day trips. The majority of overnight visits (80 percent) were for leisure travel. Business travel (business trips, meetings or conventions) accounted for 17 percent of overnight trips - up from 13 percent in 2012.
For other findings from the study, click here.
Springfield, Branson Among Best Value Cities in Nation
October 1, 2015
A report from trivago.com, the world’s largest online hotel search site, lists Springfield and Branson among “America’s Best Value Towns & Cities.”
Branson ranks No. 1 as the best value city in the country and Springfield made the list at lucky No. 7.
The rankings were done using trivago’s Best Value Index, calculated using the annual average price of a standard double room and the city’s average hotel rating by trivago.com users. Cities with at least 50 hotels and a minimum average of 150 user ratings were considered in the index.
“It’s an honor to have Springfield recognized as one of America’s Best Value Cities by trivago.com,” said Tracy Kimberlin, president/CEO of the Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s an even bigger honor to share the accolade with Branson because southwest Missouri represents two of the top 10 spots in the entire U.S.”
About 3 million overnight visitors come to Springfield annually. Springfield is the third-largest city in Missouri and 35 miles from Branson, one of the nation’s top tourist destinations.
Learn more about Springfield by calling the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-678-8767 or visit www.SpringfieldMO.org.
The CVB is a nonprofit marketing agency dedicated to boosting the local economy through growth in travel and tourism.
Click here for more information about the trivago.com list and click here for a list of the top 50 cities on the list.
Cincinnati USA CVB Honored with Awards for Excellence in Marketing and Convention Services
September 30, 2015
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) was recently honored with two MIDDY Awards for its marketing work by the Ohio Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.
The MIDDY Awards recognize excellence in the marketing and communications efforts of Ohio convention & visitors bureaus in print, advertising, promotion, social media, TV/Video, digital, strategy, graphics, and radio. Awards were given to the Cincinnati USA CVB for 2015 marketing projects designed to target meeting planners and potential clients, raising the awareness of Cincinnati USA’s assets as a leading host city for major events. The CVB's awards include:
1st Place in Email Campaign: MLB All-Star Game Email Campaign
In anticipation of the media spotlight on Cincinnati during the 86th MLB All-Star Game, the Cincy USA CVB developed a marketing email campaign targeted to meeting planners to increase awareness of Cincinnati and capitalize on the coverage of the game. The series of three All-Star Game emails reminded meeting planners to watch the All-Star game and followed up with accolades for Cincinnati from major news outlets.
2nd Place in B2B Promo Video: Meeting Sales Video Series
This series of brief sales videos provide in-depth background on specific topics of interest to meeting planners, including hotels, convention center space, transportation, Cincinnati’s multicultural scene, and Cincinnati North for suburban meeting and event space options. The series provides useful information as meeting planners are comparing Cincinnati to other cities for their future event. Click here to view all of the CVB’s promotional videos.
“Our Marketing and Convention Services teams work tirelessly to promote Cincinnati USA’s story of growth and convey our region's warmth and hospitality to meeting planners across the country,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA CVB. “It's extremely rewarding to see our team's innovation and hard work recognized among peers in the travel and tourism industry.”
Pictured (L to R): Ross Czarnik, Marketing Manager for the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau and Larry Fletcher, President of the Ohio Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.
As National Recognition for Cincinnati's Culture Shift Continues, CVB Adds Inclusive Programs and New Sales Manager for LGBT Market
September 28, 2015
With a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 index, Cincinnati is building a reputation as an inclusive, progressive American city for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality initiatives. To continue building upon the city's positive cultural shift, the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau has implemented strategic initiatives to share the destination’s rapid turnaround story with the industry, led by a new LGBT-focused National Sales Manager.
The CVB’s inclusive sales strategies include the Bureau’s participation in three major national LGBT meetings market conferences in 2015, as well as providing the presenting sponsorship of the inaugural “Love Wins Weekend” in Cincinnati (a successful weekend event for same-sex couples and the venues, vendors and services that welcome them). The CVB is also assisting area hotels in becoming TAG Approved® for meeting six key LGBT-welcoming qualifications. The seven downtown properties that have already received their TAG certification include: the Westin Cincinnati, the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, the 21c Museum Hotel, the Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center, the Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel, and the Cincinnatian Hotel, with more properties in the process of certification.
The Cincinnati USA CVB has also recently obtained membership in the national Gay & Lesbian Convention & Visitors Bureau, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), and the Greater Cincinnati Gay Chamber of Commerce. A new LGBT meetings-focused webpage has been launched at www.cincyusa.com/lgbt.
To drive awareness of Cincinnati as a leading destination for LGBT meetings and events, the CVB created a new National Sales Manager position and hired David Ziegler in January 2015. Previously employed as a Ticketing Director with Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds, Ziegler will use his more than 15 years of industry experience, community involvement, and relationship management skills to promote Cincinnati to LGBT meeting planners and convention groups.
During his first year with the CVB, Ziegler has built a strong foundation of local support from civic and social leaders, as well as increased industry awareness of Cincinnati at LGBT-focused conferences, including the LGBT Travel & Tourism Conference in New York (April 2015).
Paralympic Hopefuls Start Their Gateway to Gold in Minneapolis Oct. 10
September 24, 2015
Athletes with physical and visual disabilities can sign up now to participate in a Gateway to Gold talent identification event in Minneapolis on Saturday, Oct. 10. The event is hosted by Sports Minneapolis, powered by Meet Minneapolis, in conjunction with U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee. The goal of the event is to discover athletes who could compete at a future Paralympic Games.
The Gateway to Gold Program will introduce people with physical disabilities and visual impairments, including youth, adults and military veterans, to a range of Paralympic sports, with hopes of identifying individuals for the athlete pipeline. These talent identification events are being held in several cities across the country, and in Minneapolis, the event will focus on three sports: cycling, Nordic skiing, and track and field. As a part of the clinic, prospective athletes will be tested on a variety of skills that can help determine their aptitude for any Paralympic sport, not just the three being tested.
U.S. Paralympian and 100m world record holder Jarryd Wallace will attend the event and provide encouragement to participants, as well as training tips and techniques.
“The U.S. Paralympic Team strives to be the best in the world. But we cannot get to the top of the podium without the help of community partners like Sports Minneapolis,” said Rick Adams, chief of Paralympic Sport and NGB Organizational Development. “With Sports Minneapolis’ help in hosting this Gateway to Gold talent identification clinic, U.S. Paralympics might find the next great Paralympic champion in your backyard.”
“Sports Minneapolis is proud to be a partner in creating an opportunity for athletes from our community to test their skills and explore their potential,” said Scott M. Romane, Executive Director of Sports Minneapolis. “We’re hoping U.S. Paralympics will find some extraordinary talent right here in Minneapolis, so I encourage all eligible athletes to sign up to participate.”
The Minneapolis Gateway to Gold event will be held Saturday, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Minneapolis Sports Center, at 2121 E. Lake St. For registration information, visit the registration website or call Sports Minneapolis Event Manager Dolores Karan at 612-767-8184. Participation is free. Anyone who is interested in volunteering at the event should visit the volunteer website.
The program is sponsored by BP, which has contributed significant funding and support at the community level since the inception of the Gateway to Gold program in 2013. BP has been a sponsor of U.S. Paralympics for more than five years and continues its support today by contributing funding for grassroots adaptive sports programs in communities around the U.S.
The St. Charles Scarecrow Festival Turns 30!
September 23, 2015
The 30th annual Scarecrow Fest – cited as one of Country Living magazine’s top Fall Fests for 2015 - will take place on October 9 – 11 in downtown St. Charles. All of the signature events that make this Fest so unique and memorable will be present, including a full roster of Live Entertainment, with returning popular headliner bands. Special new events include the Soda Pop Tour and Coca Cola Museum, a Photo Op Booth, and a new carnival ride attraction. Plus, nominations will be taken for a car giveaway.
The new Soda Pop Tour with the Mobile Coca-Cola Museum is a soda tasting festival sure to delight. Soda Pop features 80 unique and vintage craft sodas for sampling, while David Lee’s Mobile Coca Cola Museum introduces guests to 25 years of the collector’s vintage memorabilia. Soda Pop "VIP Super Soda Taster" tickets are available. It includes a commemorative glass and unlimited tastings for $20 per person. You can also pick up a custom 6-pack of bottled soda in the General Store.
The Make Your Own Scarecrow event returns this year, now accented by the new photo area, complete with photo cut outs and a vintage tractor for posing, located in the FIFTH THIRD BANK ZONE. Windy City Amusements, will feature rides like Freak Out, Century Wheel - the largest Ferris Wheel in Kane County, complete with an electric lights show; and the new Double Decker Wacky Shack Fun House, all located in the JEWEL-OSCO ZONE. And the ever popular Autumn on the Fox Arts & Crafts show, with handmade arts and crafts from more than 170 exhibitors is just north of the MUNICIPAL CENTER ZONE in Pottawatomie Park. Diverse daily activities include children’s events such as Make Your Mark in Side Walk Chalk, the Picasso Coloring Tent, a children’s craft offered by the St. Charles History Museum, Headband Making by Jenni Rotundo Hair Design; plus a balloon artist, a stilt walker, a magician, and a petting zoo for added family fun.
For more information about Scarecrow Fest, visit www.ScarecrowFest.com.
Owensboro, Evansville to Host 2016 Softball World Series Tournaments
Courtesy The Lane Report
September 22, 2015
Owensboro and Evansville, Ind. have been selected as the host sites for the 2016 National Softball Association Girls’ Fast Pitch ‘B’ World Series from July 18-24, 2016. The tournament attracts more than 200 girls’ fast pitch teams from 14 states and Canada.
To accommodate a tournament of this size— more than 23 fields in total are necessary to determine the World Series champions in the 8 & under, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U age divisions—the Evansville Sports Corporation, the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau (Evansville CVB) and the Owensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau partnered for the event. Games will be held in Evansville at Deaconess Sports Park and Vann Road Park Fields and in Owensboro at Panther Creek Park and Owensboro Softball Complex at Jack C. Fisher Park.
The event will be the largest amateur sporting event southwest Indiana has ever hosted, said Jason Sands, executive director of the Evansville Sports Corporation.
“When the Evansville CVB announced we were building the Deaconess Sports Park, we envisioned hosting large national tournaments,” said Bob Warren, executive director of the Evansville CVB. “We expected it would take a few years to make a name for ourselves that would attract a tournament of this stature. But in less than one season, we are happy to report we are well ahead of our projected goals with this sports park. We expect over 8500 total visitors who will generate $2.1 million in direct expenditures for the Evansville/Owensboro region.”
The National Softball Association was established in 1982 and has grown to become a significant amateur sports company in the U.S. They feature girls’ fast pitch as well as men’s adult slow pitch and a boys’ baseball division called the Baseball Players Association.
“We understand the significance that recreational tourism and sporting events like the NSA ‘B’ World Series have on our city and we staunchly support those events in Owensboro, embracing the benefits they generate for our economy,” said Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne. “The NSA ‘B” event is especially exciting as it is the first partnership of this magnitude between our two communities and I believe it can be the first of many.”
Destination Cleveland Earns Reaccreditation from International Industry Association
September 21, 2015
Destination Cleveland, the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) of Greater Cleveland, recently earned reaccreditation from Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) in recognition of the organization’s ability to meet or exceed worldwide industry standards. The Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) seal was first awarded in 2007, and Cleveland’s CVB was the first DMAI-accredited organization of its kind in the nation.
The DMAP standards cover nearly all aspects related to the management and marketing of Destination Cleveland’s operations including governance, finance, human resources, sales, branding, communications, destination development and research. Compliance is required across 16 disciplines, composed of 53 mandatory standards and additional voluntary standards.
“DMAP accreditation requires organizations like Destination Cleveland to truly evaluate and define not only their policies and procedures, but also determine their guiding principles and solidify their importance to their communities in all they do,” said Jack Wert, board chair, DMAP.
Destination Cleveland continues as part of a coveted group of more than 200 organizations that have obtained DMAP recognition, a distinction achieved by only one-third of DMAI’s total membership. The seal is globally recognized by the destination marketing industry as the highest achievement in destination excellence.
“Earning this distinction serves as validation of the work we do to drive economic impact in Northeast Ohio,” said David Gilbert, president and CEO, Destination Cleveland. “We take very seriously the role we play in changing the narrative about Cleveland as a desirable leisure visitor and convention destination and appreciate DMAI’s recognition of our dedication to meeting or exceeding key industry standards.”
“We are pleased to have Destination Cleveland continue as part of our distinguished group and look forward to their participation and influence as a part of the growing DMAP community,” added Valencia Bembry, senior vice president of accreditation and strategic initiatives, DMAI.
Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau Releases New Video for Meeting Planners
September 18, 2015
The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau has released a new video to help promote the city as a destination for meetings and events. It highlights Springfield’s key selling points including facilities, location, services and variety of things to see and do, www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSvSNbY2zOY.
SCVB Executive Director Gina Gemberling said, “We think this new video presents an engaging look at why Springfield is an excellent choice for a meeting or convention. We are glad to have such compelling piece to use in our sales efforts.”
The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau plans to use the video on their website, social media channels, at tradeshows and in email campaigns.
Award-Winning Ice Sculptor To Perform in Williston
September 1, 2015
Trevor Pearson, an award-winning ice sculptor out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, will be in Williston the first week of December sharing his work at public demonstrations during two local holiday events.
Pearson’s first two appearances will be during the Holiday Lights Drive in Spring Lake Park in the evenings, with his final public demonstration during the Downtowners Holiday Stroll in downtown Williston on December 4. He also plans to create an ice sculpture at the Williston ARC during daytime hours the first week of December. Pearson is willing to complete other sculpting projects in the Williston area, if a business or other entity is interested in his work and time allows. To schedule your project with Trevor and obtain pricing information, contact him at (651) 276-2641 or visit his website at http://www.metroicesculptures.com.
Pearson was introduced to ice carving at a very young age by his father Maurie Pearson, who claimed six national ice sculpting championships and was inducted into the Ice Carving Hall of Fame in 2008. Although Trevor Pearson opened his company, Metro Ice Sculptures, in 2009, he is already following his father’s footsteps with multi-year wins at the prestigious St Paul Winter Carnival Ice Carving Competition. He has also been featured in “Explore Minnesota,” a Minnesota tourism advertising campaign.
The Holiday Lights Drive will be open 5:30-9:30 from November 28 through December 31. Park goers can gain admittance to the Holiday Lights Drive, with thousands of holiday lights in more than 50 lighted displays, for just $5 per car. Proceeds from the Lights Drive benefit Williston Parks and Recreation, as well as the non-profit group working the gate each evening.
For more information about the activities in this article, check the Calendar at www.visitwilliston.com, call 701-774-9041.