Latest CVB/Chamber News & Views...
Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau Helps Local Women Dress for Job Interviews
The Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau is partnering with Poised For Success and holding a woman’s business clothing drive to help promote economic self-sufficiency in women. This initiative is a collection of suits and other professional attire to help disadvantage women make a first impression at interviews and land jobs that change their lives. Poised For Success serves women in Chicago and the western suburbs including Lisle.
“It may seem obvious but the right set of clothes can make or break a job interview,” says Lisle CVB Executive Director Diane Homolka. “However, many disadvantaged women just don’t have the means to go out and buy business clothes when they are unemployed. That’s why initiatives like Poised for Success are so important.”
When preparing your clothing donations, please keep in mind that we are providing clothing for women to wear on a job interview and to wear to work. All clothing donations should be current style or timeless design and either new, like new or gently used, cleaned, pressed and ready for women to wear out the door. Read the full release for a list of immediate needs.
A designated collection box will be at their office location- Lisle Village Hall lobby, 925 Burlington Avenue, 9-5 Monday-Friday. Members of the community can drop off their donations through December 31st. The Lisle CVB will take all donations to Poised for Success, 312 S. Westmore/Meyers Rd., Lombard.
For more information, contact Katie Palombit, Lisle CVB Bureau Services Coordinator 630.769.1000 or email email@example.com.
Jerry Cook to Retire as Head of Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau
Dr. Jerry Cook, president of the Overland Park Convention & Visitors Bureau, will retire Dec. 31, 2014, after 18 years of overseeing the nonprofit tourism organization, Board Chairman Bruce Boettcher has announced.
"Under Jerry's leadership and commitment, Overland Park's hotel occupancy has reached its highest levels, and the city has evolved into a premier destination for meetings, conventions and sports events," said Boettcher, general manager of the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel. "He has always represented Overland Park in the best of ways and we thank him for his countless contributions."
Among the highlights of Cook's tenure include his role in the development and promotion of the Overland Park Convention Center, Sheraton Overland Park Hotel and the Overland Park Soccer Complex. He has served on many boards including the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, the Travel Industry Association of Kansas, the Hotel and Lodging Association of Kansas City and Destination Marketing Association International.
Following his retirement, Cook plans to continue his role as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Johnson County Community College as well as serve as the Chairman of the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees and the Kansas State Coordinator for the national Association of Community College Trustees.
Leawood-based executive recruitment firm EFL Associates has begun the national search for Cook's replacement. For more information about the search process, please contact Angie Salmon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 913.234.1576.
Bublr Bikes Bring Convention Attendees and Visitors a New Way to Get Around Town
Milwaukee has rolled out its new Bublr Bikes bike share program, which currently includes 10 rental stations to help visitors and convention attendees travel around the already walkable city with several more stations coming in the next year.
“We are thrilled to be a sponsor of Milwaukee’s new Bublr Bikes,” said Paul Upchurch, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. “Not only will this greatly benefit tourists visiting our city, but it will also provide an invaluable service to convention attendees looking to get around town more efficiently.”
Bublr Bikes are a cost-effective and healthy way to travel around Milwaukee, and the program has already proven successful; within the first six weeks of operation, roughly 80 percent of Bublr Bikes users have been visitors to Milwaukee. Bublr Bikes received its name by playing off a uniquely Milwaukee word for what locals call their drinking fountains.
“These bikes are for trips that may be too long to walk, but too short to drive and provide new ways of seeing the city,” said Kevin Hardman, launch director of Bublr Bikes. “Bike sharing is an urban choice for public transportation, another easy way to get from point A to point B.”
Weather dependent, the bike stations will remain in operation for an eight-to-nine month season—they will be removed during winter months for safety and sidewalk cleaning. For more information about locations and pricing, please visit http://bublrbikes.com/.
Springfield, Illinois Tourism’s New Brand is “Always Legendary”
Mayor Mike Houston and the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau revealed the city’s new tourism brand at an event in downtown Springfield Wednesday evening September 24. Approximately 250 hospitality industry employees and tourism supporters were in attendance.
Titled “Always Legendary,” the brand will set the tone for all future marketing campaigns, publications and projects of the convention and visitors bureau. The SCVB is the chief marketing, sales and services organization for Springfield, Illinois tourism.
According to SCVB Acting Director Gina Gemberling, “We have spent the last several months working with both our local hospitality partners and our advertising agency to develop a cohesive and consistent message that represents our appeal as a destination for visitors. This new brand will be used to show the unique and authentic experience travelers can expect when they visit Springfield.”
Leaders from a variety of hospitality market segments participated in a branding discovery session with the convention and visitors bureau and digital media and marketing agency USDM earlier this year. The session resulted in a strategy to best represent the city’s many assets to travelers. Member of the branding discovery session included representatives from the President Abraham Lincoln-a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel; the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Convention Center; the Northfield Inn, Suites & Conference Center; the Springfield Airport Authority; the Prairie Capital Convention Center; the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency; the Illinois Office of Tourism and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
The Wednesday evening event included a presentation from USDM in which they outlined the new brand which showcases Springfield’s authentic and unique voice to tourists. According to USDM, “Always Legendary” respects the city’s identity and is at the core of what visitors expect. Having a clear brand allows the Springfield CVB to compete in a cluttered market of first and second-tier cities for meetings, conventions and leisure tourists. “Having a clear brand, one that is memorable and that reflects how the visitor thinks and feels about a destination, can be the tipping point to drive attendance and occupancy” said Cliff Ward, Chief Creative Officer of USDM.
Following the presentation, the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau revealed new full window graphics featuring their new brand identity. The SCVB is located at 109 N. 7th Street.
Mayor Mike Houston said, “Tourism numbers were up in 2013, and we wanted to make sure we kept the momentum moving forward. 2015 will be a big year for our community, with the 10th Anniversary of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Lincoln Funeral commemoration and the opening of the Kidzeum, plus the many national conventions we are hosting. We’ve got a lot of reasons to welcome more people here in the future.”
Tourism is an economic engine for Springfield, employing over 3,000 people in Sangamon County and generating $7.53 million dollars in local tax revenues in 2013. The tourism industry encompasses hotels, restaurants, recreation, entertainment, shopping and special events and includes partners such as the Prairie Capital Convention Center, the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Downtown Springfield, Inc., the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Capital Area Sports Commission and the Springfield Commission on International Visitors.
The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau works to promote, service and sell Springfield, Illinois as a leisure and convention destination of distinction.
Visit KC to Relocate Offices to Power & Light District
Visit KC, Kansas City’s tourism and hospitality organization, announced plans to move its offices to the Kansas City Power & Light District in early 2015. A block from the Downtown Streetcar, the company’s new street-level headquarters at 1335 Baltimore Avenue will be adjacent to the Hilton President hotel.
“It’s our honor to take an active role in the Downtown renaissance we have worked so hard to promote. Visit KC’s new home in the Power & Light District will be an open, inviting space in the heart of the city’s convention district,” said Ronnie Burt, Visit KC President & CEO. “With this new location, we have an exciting opportunity to elevate Visit KC’s presence in the community and increase interactions with visitors, stakeholders, clients and partners.”
In early September, the organization announced plans to change its name from the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association, effectively immediately. Visit KC promotes and supports the local convention and tourism industry, which annually generates more than $4.6 billion in economic impact.
When it opens in early 2015, the lobby of Visit KC’s new offices will include a full-service visitor information center. The organization will be the first tenant to occupy the space, which sits diagonally from the iconic Kansas City Power & Light Building.
“We are extremely excited to be expanding our partnership with Visit KC and bringing them into the Power & Light District,” said Nick Benjamin, Executive Director of the Kansas City Power & Light District. “Visit KC has been one of our foundational partners since our opening in 2007, and we look forward to working even more closely with them over the coming years on our many shared goals. This is another significant step in the continued growth and expansion of the Power & Light District and Downtown. With OneLife Fitness opening in a few weeks, One Light Luxury Apartments a little more than a year from opening and this new addition of a 15,000-square-foot anchor office tenant at street level, Downtown’s future as a great place to live, work and play is looking very bright.”
Approaching its 100th anniversary in 2018, Visit KC is powered by a team of 40 employees and supported by more than 2,000 members of the local hospitality community. KC welcomes more than 22 million visitors each year, and the Visit KC team assisted with the successful execution of more than 200 conventions in 2013.
Since 1978, the group’s offices have been housed in City Center Square. Prior to that, the organization operated from several locations throughout Downtown, including a stretch in the historic Midland Theatre building.
The Hulk. The Fonz. Doctor Who. Frozen’s Young Anna. Cincinnati USA Welcomes Pop Culture’s Favorite Icons at Cincinnati Comic Expo
Calling all pop culture and science fiction fans! Cincinnati USA is set to host the 5th Annual Cincinnati Comic Expo at the Duke Energy Convention Center Sept. 19-21, 2014. If the story has a cult following, visitors will likely encounter some aspect of it at this year’s Expo. Actors who portray some of pop culture’s most memorable characters along with their creators will be in attendance. With activities for fans of all ages, the weekend promises a full schedule of events.
“Hosting an event with such enthusiastic attendees is something our entire hospitality community enjoys,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Many of the actors and celebrities that are coming in for this event are cultural icons for multiple generations of Americans. This is a great event, and I look forward to welcoming both the stars and the attendees to the region.”
This year’s expo expects 10,000 attendees, as well as more than a dozen comic legends, celebrities and star props, including:
Scheduled events include:
The Cincinnati Comic Expo opens on Friday 3-8pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, and Sunday 10am-5pm. More information can be found at cincinnaticomicexpo.com.
About the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau is an aggressive sales, marketing and service organization whose primary responsibility is to positively impact Hamilton County's and the City of Cincinnati's economy through convention, trade show and visitor expenditures. The travel and tourism industry traditionally has been a $4.1 billion industry annually in Cincinnati USA, employing 94,000 people in a variety of fields and bringing 22.7 million visitors to the region in 2011. For more information, click here.
Fort Wayne to Welcome More Than 1,000 from Indiana Cities and Towns
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Visit Fort Wayne are ready to welcome more than 1,000 officials from cities and towns across Indiana. The 2014 Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT) Annual Conference & Exhibition will take place September 9-11 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center and will feature dozens of workshops for municipal government employees and elected officials.
“I’m pleased to once again be the host city for the IACT annual conference,” said Mayor Henry. “The conference gives us the opportunity to show hundreds of leaders from throughout the state the great things happening in Fort Wayne.”
Visit Fort Wayne estimates the IACT annual conference will have an economic impact of $425,000-$450,000 as attendees visit local eateries, hotels and shops.
“I see how proud our elected officials are when they host IACT,” said Dan O’Connell, president and CEO of Visit Fort Wayne. “They love showing off our convention center and downtown. I also see a little envy in those colleagues’ eyes, too. IACT is a great convention to host to showcase Indiana’s 2nd largest city to the rest of the state’s leadership.”
Conference attendees will have the opportunity to sit in on a variety of workshops, as well as weigh in on IACT’s 2015 Policy Platform. Events of note for the media include:
“We are thrilled to be back in Fort Wayne for this year’s IACT Annual Conference & Exhibition,” said IACT Executive Director and CEO Matthew C. Greller. “The Mayor, his team and Visit Fort Wayne have shown us once again that the city is an ideal location for our event. They provide the leaders of Indiana’s cities and towns with just the right atmosphere for learning the latest trends and techniques that help them be the most efficient and effective leaders they can be.”
Educational Testing Service Brings 2,000 Educators to Cincinnati USA for 6th Consecutive Year in Region