JOHNSTON COUNTY — The N.C. Travel Industry Association recently met in Concord, providing educational programs for over 100 travel professionals from all areas of the state. Attendees heard from a variety of speakers with best practices on topics like bureau basics, leadership, human resources, and updates on legislative issues facing tourism in North Carolina.
One of the annual highlights is the Destination Marketing Awards banquet at which the Johnston County Visitors Bureau has received more than 50 awards over the past 15 years. At the 2019 conference, the Visitors Bureau received three Destination Marketing Awards for projects taking place in fiscal year 2018. The bureau’s marketing programs received two platinum and one gold award.
The first award, Platinum Award – Convention Marketing, was for “Groups, Weddings, and Meetings Maps” created for attendees while in the county for meetings or special events. The custom maps were created in a program called Map Publisher and could be printed for groups or posted up on the bureau’s website. This new service was initiated to connect visitor industry partners to in-market meeting attendees, who may not otherwise discover the local coffee shop, unique retail store, or new brewery just around the corner. Meeting planners were excited to utilize this service just like they would a very expensive custom destination app, but the customization is for their unique event and provided at no charge.
The second award, Platinum Award – Group Marketing, was for the 301 Endless Yard Sale Group Tour Profile Sheet, which was used for direct marketing at tradeshows for attracting groups to this annual event that draws thousands of visitors to the county. The suggested itinerary provided stops for Johnston County’s larger yard sale vendor locations, travel routes on and off U.S. Highway 301, and group friendly restaurants that could accommodate motor coaches.
The third award was Gold – Community Relations, for the JCVB Annual Report with individual reports for the towns of Benson, Clayton, Kenly, Selma and Smithfield. These individual reports were written to give community leaders a more in-depth view of the marketing programs, grants, publicity and digital reach the bureau provides for each town via all marketing and direct sales programs. In addition to being mailed out to prominent community leaders and industry stakeholders, the reports were translated into presentations that were given to each town’s council by the JCVB president or CEO, and posted online as PDF documents.
Ashby Brame, director of marketing, and Jenna Andreasen, content manager, attended the conference and accepted the awards on behalf of the bureau. For more information on the Johnston County Visitors Bureau, marketing programs, and general visitor promotion for the county, visit bit.ly/2mK4lw9.