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Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces Hotel Week 2015
The Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is excited to announce the return of one of the Greater Madison area’s favorite promotions—Hotel Week! Hotel Week 2015, one of the first in the nation, consists of a partnership between the GMCVB and local hoteliers to showcase the incredible offerings of our local accommodations to a wide range of visitors. Special Hotel Week packages will be available at $75 or $100 per night. The 10-day long event will run from February 13 to February 23, 2015. This offer will have an exclusive website associated with it featuring itinerary and additional activity suggestions for guests to enjoy while they are visiting the Madison area. For all the latest information, be sure to visit madisonhotelweek.com.
“We were excited by the idea of creating Hotel Week and by partnering with the GMCVB and others in our hotel industry. We were guided by the principle of creating a great deal on a great experience and in Hotel Week we truly feel we have created something quite special for guests to Madison,” said local hotelier Jason Ilstrup, General Manager of Hotel RED.
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 $1.7 billion dollars generated by visitor spending in Dane Country every year.
Welcomers Community Volunteer Network Celebrates Milestones, Recognizes 24 Volunteer Managers
One of the nation’s largest local collaborations of volunteers for arts, cultural and special events is celebrating three major milestones since launching in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky last year. Based on the enormous success of the 2012 World Choir Games, Welcomers volunteers are dedicated to enhancing the region’s economy and image by helping to host and attract large conferences, conventions, and other events.
The Welcomers Community Volunteer Network is celebrating 14 active partner organizations, more than 4,000 experienced volunteers collectively and 24 experienced Volunteer Managers, trained to use the Welcomers common technology platform.
"The Welcomers’ turnkey volunteer system connects high-profile events to the more than 4,000 volunteers who love their hometown," said Bob Castellini, CEO of the Cincinnati Reds. “Major League Baseball’s volunteer technology will provide links through the Welcomers’ network so its volunteers can help us host the All-Star Game in 2015."
The Network offers event organizers a database and powerful integrated software to contact and schedule volunteers, while managing their particular volunteer needs. By being a part of the Network, partner organizations can reach all 4,000 Welcomers volunteers interested in volunteering with multiple organizations. The Network gives those volunteers “one-stop” access to information related to the entire gamut of volunteering options available throughout the Network. Volunteers fill traditional hospitality roles such as helping visitors get directions, find area resources and register at events.
The Welcomers Network was created by Shannon Carter, 2012 World Choir Games USA co-chair and founder of Crayons to Computers, and Louise Hughes, board chair emeritus of the Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network, and retired Director of Community Engagement at P&G. Carter and Hughes co-chair the 25-member Welcomers Advisory Committee, which represents a broad spectrum of civic and cultural organizations.
“Finding local volunteers is a time-consuming task for event organizers. Welcomers makes their job easier, and our region more attractive as a venue, by providing turnkey support for large-scale, one-time, national and international arts, cultural and special events,” said Carter. “These events bring business to our region’s hotels, restaurants, stores, and cultural institutions.”
Volunteers can learn more about the Welcomers Network and identify opportunities at the Network’s web site: www.volunteerwelcomers.com. New host organizations and arts, cultural and special events are added to the web site regularly. Welcomers can register and event planners then schedule and confirm candidates that best meet their needs.
“Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky have a strong culture of volunteerism. One in four adults are volunteers. People take pride in using their skills and experience to give back to the communities where they live and work,” noted Hughes. “The Welcomers Network gives them a powerful way to channel that spirit and find new opportunities to make friends while having fun.”
For more information, contact Rhonda Dickerscheid, Welcomers Network manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the Welcomers website.
Minnesota Selected to Host NCAA® Men's Final Four® in 2019
The National Collegiate Athletic Association® (NCAA) announced today that Minnesota was selected to host the Men’s Final Four® in 2019. The March/April 2019 tournament will be held in the new Minnesota Stadium, which is set to open in 2016. The Minnesota Final Four Bid Committee delivered the successful presentation to a NCAA committee in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Nov. 11. The central theme was “Winning Happens Here.”
“We are thrilled to bring the NCAA Men’s Final Four back to Minnesota,” said David Mortenson, president of Mortenson Construction and bid committee co-chair. “We were successful in impressing upon the committee our three main messages of our connected, easily accessible city, world-class venues and committed community.”
“Prior to breaking ground for our new multi-purpose stadium, the NCAA selected Minnesota to submit a bid for the Men’s Final Four,” said Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. “The new stadium and adjacent two-block park that is being developed are incredible assets that will offer amazing fan experiences. The Men’s Final Four is one of the most prestigious events in the country, and we are proud to have it in Minnesota.”
Minneapolis’ new and existing hospitality infrastructure, such as transportation assets, skyway system, hotels and other exceptional venues like the Minneapolis Convention Center, were also important to the bid success.
“Our key message of offering the NCAA a compact, urban experience for this premiere event clearly resonated with the decision makers,” said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO, Meet Minneapolis. “Additionally, the support of our Meet Minneapolis team in working with our tourism and hospitality partners helped us exceed expectations on this bid. We are honored and humbled to be able to renew our Men’s Final Four partnership with the NCAA.”
Potential Economic Impact of the Tournament
The Minnesota Final Four Bid Committee is working to assess the potential economic impact the tournament could have in Minnesota. The Final Four tournament brings a large economic impact to the host community. Reviewing the economic impact on other host communities over the last four years, the estimates are between $70 million to $200 million. Atlanta Convention and Business Bureau reported an estimated $70 million impact in 2013. New Orleans projected an impact of $135 million in 2012 and Dallas projected an impact of $275 million in 2014. Multiple events associated with the tournament are held throughout the region.
Click here for the full release and more information.
Detroit Emerges from Bankruptcy with Confidence in the Future
Detroit’s recent emergence from bankruptcy is creating a healthy, vibrant city poised to host more tourism and conventions than any time in decades, said Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB).
“We are watching history in the making as Downtown Detroit becomes the great city it was decades ago--shedding its debt, attracting major investors and bringing in the amenities and services that draw new residents and visitors,” he said. “This is a city now expected to grow faster than the U.S. gross domestic product.”
Detroit’s transformation has created international visitor interest and changed the conversation about the city, said Alexander. “While there’s much work targeted now for the neighborhoods, progress has been swift downtown. The difficult days of marketing the destination as a convention city while national news stories focused only on corruption, blight and crime rates, are in the rear view mirror.”
The key is convincing meeting planners that Detroit has top notch facilities to host groups, starting with the Cobo Convention Center, Alexander said. In addition to his DMCVB role, he is also chairman of the board of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, which is spearheading a $279 million transformation of the center expected to be complete early next year.
Bill Bohde, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the DMCVB, echoed that downtown is now ready and able to host marquee conventions and events. In addition to the Cobo renovation, two new boutique hotels are under construction, and a new hotel directly across from the convention center opened last year, adding to an inventory of 5,000 luxury hotel rooms. The city’s largest convention hotel—the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center—is undergoing a $30 million renovation of its guest and meeting rooms.
Bohde said the DMCVB is developing a strategic plan to communicate the positive change and what the city and region now have to offer convention delegates and other visitors,” The convention sales staff have been redeployed and expanded over the past year to handle bookings that were already outpacing previous years. Convention bookings are projected to increase 140 percent from 2014 to 2021. Five major groups booked citywide conventions last year, growing to 14 major bookings this year in Detroit, and 16 already signed contracts for next year.
To read the full release and to see the list of conventions, click here.
Undying Words: Lincoln 1858-1865 Exhibit Kick’s-Off Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum’s 10th Anniversary
Undying Words: Lincoln 1858-1865, a new exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum will open on Nov. 22, 2014. The exhibit will run through 2015.
The exhibit is mounted in collaboration with the Chicago History Museum and explores Lincoln’s changing views through five key speeches made between 1858-1865: his “House Divided” speech of 1858; his First Inaugural Address in 1861; the 1863 Gettysburg Address; his 1865 Second Inaugural and his final speech, given just three days before his assassination. The exhibit will contain approximately 120 original objects including the bloody gloves Lincoln carried when he was assassinated, the bed where he died, condolence letters, and other personal objects, speeches, documents and art works.
In addition to the museum’s 10th anniversary, the exhibit will also commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s end and Lincoln’s death. It is presented with the assistance of Archer Daniels Midland Co.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum opened in April 2005. Other commemorative and anniversary events planned for 2015 include a new theatre presentation at the museum titled “The Battle Hymn Story,” special summer performances at Union Square Park, new ways to explore the museum’s exhibits through technology and more. For more information about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s anniversary events, visit TenYearsLincoln.com.
Meeting and group tour planners can take advantage of this new exhibit in Springfield by scheduling tours of the presidential museum through the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. The presidential museum complex in Springfield is also a popular off-site venue for evening receptions and dinners.
For more information about the Lincoln experience in Springfield contact the Springfield CVB at 800-545-7300 or visit us online at www.visitspringfieldillinois.com.
Cincinnati USA Welcomes National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners for 2014 Annual Conference November 12-15
Cincinnati USA will host more than 150 influential meeting and event planners and industry professionals this week for the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners’ 2014 Annual Conference.
The National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP), is a non-profit organization dedicated primarily to the training needs of African-American meeting planners. The 2014 Annual Conference marks the first time the NCBMP has ever met in Cincinnati. The more than 150 attendees represent numerous business, civil rights, church and fraternal organizations across the country and have the potential to bring future meetings totaling more than 110,000 room nights and approximately $31.8 million in economic impact to the region.
"Our organization strives to make every one of our meetings both educational and enjoyable for our attendees, and the host location plays a big role in the event's success," said Kevin Johnson, president of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners. "Cincinnati's compact downtown area and diversity of unique venue options made it an easy choice. I'm looking forward to a very productive and enjoyable conference."
The NCBMP 2014 Annual Conference attendees will stay primarily at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, with attendees expected to generate more than $350,000 in direct visitor spending while visiting.
"Cincinnati USA has now hosted or booked 15 of the top 25 multicultural conventions in the country, and the Coalition choosing to hold their meeting here is further evidence of the strength of our destination for these events," said Dan Lincoln, president & CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). "On behalf of the entire regional hospitality community, I am thrilled to welcome the Coalition's attendees and leaders to Cincinnati to experience the energy and excitement of our region.”
For more information on the NCBMP and the 2014 Annual Conference, click here.
Educational Testing Service Brings 2,000 Educators to Cincinnati USA for 6th Consecutive Year in Region