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Greater Lansing CVB Reports Successful Year and Honors 2014 Community Champions
The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau (GLCVB) held its annual meeting on March 3, 2015, and announced both good news for the local economy and recognized numerous individuals for helping to foster meetings and events within the Capital Region.
The GLCVB announced Mid-Michigan saw continued growth in 2014 with a 1.39% increase in area lodging occupancy, posting a rate of 58.4%, up from 57.9% in 2014, according to Smith Travel Research (STR) data. The increase in 2014 occupancy is particularly noteworthy because in 2014, Greater Lansing experienced a 5.42% increase in Average Daily Rate (ADR) for hotel rooms throughout the region, marking significant growth in local ADR for the second consecutive year.
Additionally, Jack Schripsema, President and CEO of the GLCVB announced the 2014 class of Greater Lansing Community Champions. The Community Champion program is intended to appeal to the civic pride of local residents by providing well-deserved recognition to the individual and their organization for attracting and hosting events in the region.
Those recognized as 2014 Community Champions are; Kylie Doebler and Hannah Feig with Instagrammers Lansing, Brian Bennett with Flipped Learning Network, Shelly Bugg and Sue Selke with the U.S. Tennis Association, Bruce Haskell with the National Association of College and University Food Services, Barbara Roberts Mason with Sister Cities International, Mark McElwee with USA Curling, Barb Doyal with the Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church, Desmond Ferguson for Moneyball, Renee Freeman for the Shop Michigan Expo and Al Slamer with the Michigan High School Football Association.
The Greater Lansing Sports Authority also had an awards presentation at the event, recognizing Julie and Kevin Mullin with Hope Sports Complex as Sports Partner of the Year and Laurel Winkel as Sports Volunteer of the Year.
“Our hope for this program is that it will shed light onto the significant efforts being made by community stakeholders to keep their hometown of Greater Lansing in the forefront as a host-city for key meetings and events throughout the year,” said Jack Schripsema, President and CEO of the GLCVB.
More details on the award winners can be found by visiting www.lansing.org.
New CVB Head Wants Community to Embrace Tourism
by Jessica Holdman, The Bismarck Tribune
Not only does Sheri Grossman want to sell Bismarck to visitors, she wants to sell Bismarck on visitors.
Grossman has 1,000 new hotel rooms and a 50,000-square-foot event center expansion to help attract tourism to the area in her new role in leading the Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau. She says she hopes, by also increasing community relations, residents will realize a return on their investment.
"Years ago, you had to pull them in from the aisles," Grossman said of event planners.
Now, because of national oil headlines, North Dakota is grabbing the attention of those who plan conventions and they're wondering what else the state has to offer.
Grossman said many may not realize that tourism is the third-largest industry statewide and it can have an impact on communities.
In 2014, 400 meetings were held in Bismarck-Mandan, with 190,000 attendees. Those attendees spent $27.6 million at local hotels and restaurants. Forty percent of that, $11.1 million, is spent by international, national and regional visitors, according to Grossman.
That lodging and sales tax goes back into making improvements in local communities.
"I'm very passionate about the community and the industry," said Grossman, adding that she hopes having the CVB more involved in the community will make others passionate as well.
Read the full story here.
Hoosier Hospitality at the Heart of the Indianapolis International Airport Being Named Best Airport for the Fourth Year
People who travel through the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) year-round have helped the community’s airport win recognition as the best airport in North America for the fourth year and IND is honored by their vote of support. Airports Council International (ACI) announced that IND has won top airport again, in 2014, as part of its prestigious annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards for performance excellence. ACI also recognized IND as the best airport in North America in 2013, 2012 and 2010.
The annual ACI ASQ Survey captures air travelers’ appraisals of service at more than 300 airports worldwide. They vote on qualities such as the courteousness of airport staff, the comfort of waiting areas, cleanliness and general ambience. The ASQ Survey covers 34 key service areas and it is the industry’s most comprehensive measure of customer service, based on the overall satisfaction of passengers’ airport experience.
“At the Indianapolis International Airport, it is crucial that we focus on meeting and exceeding passenger expectations in every way and receiving this award for the fourth time only solidifies that we are doing just that,” said Michael Wells, IAA board president. “I have to thank our dedicated employees and business partners for working tirelessly to help us reach this incredible honor.”
“This award is a reflection of the people who work here. They are the heart of the Indianapolis International Airport,” says IAA Executive Director Mario Rodriguez. “There may be larger terminals but the secret formula for IND is not the facility, not the bricks and mortar. It’s Hoosiers, the Hoosier work ethic and Hoosier hospitality. We also have a great community of people in Central Indiana who fly in and out of our airport and they convey a kindness that travelers, worldwide, notice.”
Courtesy Visit Indy.
Meet Minneapolis Award Recipients and New Board Members Announced at Annual Meeting
Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, announced the recipients of their annual awards and the incoming Board of Directors members at the 2015 Meet Minneapolis Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. With more than 460 partners, elected officials and other guests in attendance, Meet Minneapolis officials reflected on the hospitality successes of the past year – and welcomed a keynote address by John Sweeney, owner of Brave New Workshop.
“Well, we did it. 2014 was amazing,” Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant told the attendees. “We declared 2014 to be THE year. And it was. The Best. Year. Ever.”
2014 was a record-breaking year, from hotel occupancy to hospitality jobs. Meet Minneapolis exceeded their 2014 goals from revenue earned to future room nights booked. Details were released previously: www.minneapolis.org/article/2014-minneapolis-most-successful-year-hospitality.
Meet Minneapolis Board of Directors
Meet Minneapolis announced the election of 12 new members to its Board of Directors. New members include Julie “J.J.” Haywood (Pizza Luce), Matt Hoy (Minnesota Twins), Jeannie Joas (J.B. Hudson Jewelers), Peter Killen (Cara Irish Pubs), Steve Lindburg (Radisson Blu Minneapolis), Tim Murray (Murray’s Restaurant), Dan O’Brien (University of Minnesota), Eric Pehle (Weber Shandwick), Maya Santamaria (Santamaria Broadcasting), Dave Schad (Fleishmann – Hillard), Saed Wadi (Saffron Restaurant) and Kevin Warren (Minnesota Vikings).
The board’s executive committee consists of President & CEO Melvin Tennant, Meet Minneapolis; Chair Rob Moor, Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx; Vice Chair John Luke, Hilton Minneapolis; Treasurer: Robert Lux, Alatus L-L-C; Secretary Susan Adams Loyd, Clear Channel Outdoor; and Immediate Past President Peter Mihajlov, Parasole Restaurant Holdings.
Minneapolis Hospitality Industry Awards
Meet Minneapolis announced the Annual Meeting award recipients for their outstanding efforts within the Minneapolis hospitality industry:
Additionally, Meet Minneapolis recognizes a hospitality industry professional in Minneapolis once per quarter as the Hospitality Hero; previously honored for first-third quarters were Barista Frank Goldman, Hyatt Regency Minneapolis; Event Coordinator Ellen Kosmoski, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board; and Bell Captain Thomas Moore, Marriott City Center. Announcing the final fourth quarter 2014 recipient at the annual meeting, Meet Minneapolis recognized Becky Harris, co-owner, Event Lab.
Becky worked closely with the Meet Minneapolis event planning team during Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress in 2014. For more than a year, she worked with Meet Minneapolis to secure permits and coordinate partners and vendors in order to make Minneapolis shine in the spotlight.
CVB Announces New Logo, Communications Strategy
After months of research and planning, the Convention & Visitors Bureau has a new logo and communications strategy for marketing the city as a travel destination.
The logo features an outline of the state’s boundaries with the word “Springfield” superimposed across it in a cursive font. It replaces a rectangular logo that featured an oak leaf and the words “Springfield, Missouri” in capital letters using a traditional serif font.
“People who see the new logo will immediately know it’s the Springfield in Missouri, not another state” said Laura Whisler, marketing director at the CVB. “It also has a more modern look and will be more compatible with social media sites that often require a square image.”
The new logo is just one part of the new marketing efforts the CVB will conduct in the coming year.
The communications strategy will guide the CVB and it’s advertising agency, MMGY Global in Kansas City, in development of advertising campaigns designed to create a positive impression of Springfield as a travel destination and inspire people to visit. The new campaign will be launched this spring.
To see a theme of the communications strategy, view the anthem video at http://sgfmo.co/sgfanthem. The video is not part of the advertising campaign but instead is designed to give a feel of the direction the campaign will go.
Development of the logo and communications strategy were guided by interviews with more than 50 business and community leaders in Springfield, a quantitative survey of current and prospective visitors and Springfield residents and focus groups in St. Louis and Kansas City.
The logo and communications strategy were presented Feb. 19 at the CVB’s annual meeting and awards banquet.
Missy Handyside, general manager at the Ramada Plaza Hotel & Oasis Convention Center, said she’s impressed with the effort that went into the project and is looking forward to its implementation this spring.
“In the hotel industry, we rely very heavily on our CVB to create awareness of our city and entice visitors to see what we have to offer,” Handyside said. “It has been very exciting to see what steps the CVB along with MMGY Global have taken to set us apart from the many other “Springfields.” The new brand imaging demonstrates a true look at the wonderful attractions, history, nature, arts and retail that Springfield, Missouri, has to offer our visitors. I am certain that with the efforts of the CVB’s marketing department, Springfield Missouri will become the most recognizable Springfield in the U.S.”
The primary purpose of this effort was to craft a compelling new identity for the city of Springfield that establishes a distinctive and relevant brand personality; articulates a compelling and sustainable value proposition for visitors; and serves as a powerful filter for all investment, operational and marketing decisions for the CVB for years to come, Whisler said.
“While our previous campaigns have been successful, we needed to get to an emotional core that effectively communicates to our visitors what we already know about Springfield,” Whisler said. “This process is all about communicating the many reasons we love living, working and playing in Springfield in a compelling way that gets a potential visitor, meeting planner or tournament director to consider Springfield. We feel this process has accomplished that goal and are excited to see the full execution of the advertising campaign later this year.”
Detroit Metro CVB Unveils New Community Awareness Campaign to Boost Hospitality in 2015 and Welcome Major Convention Lineup
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) announced today it is spearheading a new community awareness campaign to welcome the back-to-back conventions that are bringing 200,000 new visitors this year, in addition to the 14.2 million that come annually to metro Detroit.
The DMCVB is launching “One Team, One Dream,” a program designed to call attention to the many groups headed to the region and encourage local residents and workers to provide outstanding customer service to visitors. The program theme will be applied to public service announcements, briefings to the hospitality community prior to each major event and hospitality training for transportation and hotel employees. It will also be used as a call for event volunteers.
“Providing great customer service in our region is more important than ever since the story of Detroit as a comeback city is resonating,” said Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the DMCVB. “Convention planners who may not have considered the city or region before are committing to bringing meetings here, and this is our chance to welcome them at our hotels, attractions, restaurants, retail outlets and with our transportation providers to encourage repeat visits.”
To also help create community awareness under the “One Team, One Dream” banner, the DMCVB visited the other cities that hosted some of the same events last year that Detroit will host in 2015, as well as the meeting planners for those events. The result was a video of their insights that the Detroit hospitality community can use to help deliver outstanding events this year. The DMCVB also created a 30-second public service announcement to air on local television stations that features frontline employees expressing the importance of good customer service. The video, public service announcement and information on how to get involved with “One Team, One Dream,” is available at visitdetroit.com/oneteamonedream.
Groups hosting a meeting in Detroit this year will contribute an estimated $214 million in direct spending to the region. Among the convention lineup are the National Baptist Christian Education Congress, attendance 25,000; the Shell Eco-marathon Americas, attendance 32,500; the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, attendance 36,000; the Midwest Media Expo, attendance 20,000; Youmacon, attendance 14,000; USA Volleyball, attendance 10,000 and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), attendance 6,000.
Alexander said the interest can be attributed to a number of factors including the recent $279 million renovation of Cobo Center and private sector investment in facilities and attractions.
“The number of new visitors to the city this year is nearly double the number that visited Detroit during the Super Bowl in 2006, so we need to be sure that each and every one has a positive experience while in Detroit,” said Alexander.
The Bureau expects this increase in visitors and meetings to continue in the coming years. In 2014 the Bureau’s sales team exceeded its goal and booked 15 multi-hotel pieces of business. One of these groups, the Society of Automotive Engineers, whose annual conference has been in Detroit for 70 years and was considering moving to other cities, signed contracts for Detroit for years 2015 through 2020. Also the Detroit Sports Commission, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bureau, received commitment from Capital Sports Center to host five volleyball tournaments between 2017 and 2021 with $38 million in direct spending over this five year period.
Regional year-end hotel occupancy rate was also up, finishing 2014 at 65 percent, about two and a half points higher than in 2013 and more than nine percent over 2008 when the recession was in full swing.
Educational Testing Service Brings 2,000 Educators to Cincinnati USA for 6th Consecutive Year in Region