Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 01/16/2014  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon a presentation of a quarterly update from The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau;
FISCAL IMPACT:
N/A
BACKGROUND:
Each quarter, The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau (TWCVB) updates The Woodlands Township with a written financial report as well as a visual presentation concerning the services provided by TWCVB to The Woodlands Township. TWCVB on behalf of The Woodlands Township markets and promotes shopping, dining, lodging and entertainment in The Woodlands to stimulate sales tax and hotel occupancy tax collections.
 
An updated financial report from TWCVB follows this Executive Summary comparing budget to actual expenditures through November 2013 made by TWCVB on behalf of The Woodlands Township.
 
A presentation will be made by the President of TWCVB during the January 16, 2014 meeting of The Woodlands Township Board of Directors with an update on services, including visitor activity, special event attendance, and related results of the destination marketing efforts.
 
TWCVB’s Mission is to position The Woodlands as a regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized tourist destination by developing quality marketing programs and events to attract visitors and stimulate economic development and growth.
 
TWCVB directs its marketing efforts locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to group and meeting planners, travel agents, tour operators, travel journalists, and the general public who directly influence visitors’ choices in shopping, dining and residential living in The Woodlands.
 
Just prior to the January 16, 2014 meeting of The Woodlands Township Board of Directors, the newly-elected TWCVB Board of Directors will have assumed their positions following TWCVB Members' Annual Meeting on January 14, 2014. TWCVB Board of Directors will be Gordy Bunch, Peggy Hausman, Ed Robb, Don Norrell, Karen Hoylman, Fred Domenick, and Greg Parsons
 
Below are key stats of TWCVB efforts, January through December 2013:
           
Communication Outreach
  • 198,917 unique website visits
  • 97,290+ Visitor Guides distributed (English and Spanish)
  • 20,960+ Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer Discovery Guide & Savings Books distributed
  • 25,260+ Current Newsletters distributed (Quarterly Publication: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)
 
Visitor, Media, and Public Relations Activity (NOTE: See attached PR analysis report.)
  • Recordation and interviews of over 133,996 visitors through Visitor Services at Market Street and The Woodlands Mall
    • Visitors from 883 different zip codes, 100 countries and 50 states
  • 410+ responses to media inquiries about The Woodlands as a destination
  • 1,419+ articles about The Woodlands as a destination
  • Value of stories in various publications = $729,061
 
Destination Marketing (NOTE: See attached Destination Marketing wrap up report.)
  • Featured Campaign: Jetsetters and Holidays in The Woodlands
  • Destination Marketing efforts (January – December 2013) have created over 23 million impressions in paid advertising through print, online, TV, radio, outdoor and e-newsletters.
    • Print Ads – See Texas First Getaway Guide, Houston Visitor Guide (Spring), Interfaith Directory & Dining Guide, WHERE Guestbook, See Texas First – Fall, Texas Journey
      • Generated 14,270+ leads through See Texas First-Spring and Fall
    • Online
      • Monthly e-newsletters distributed to a database of over 27,000
        • Averaging 4,000+ click-through rate per newsletter
      • Facebook Page – www.Facebook.com/VisitTheWoodlands
        • 6,386 likes (as of December 31, 2013)
      • Twitter Page – www.Twitter.com/TheWoodlandsCVB
        • 1,392 followers (as of December 31, 2013)
      • YouTube Page – www.YouTube.com/TheWoodlandsCVB
        • 34,334 views (as of December 31, 2013)
      • Search Engine Marketing – Generated over 2.1 million impressions and over 36,150 visits to website
      • Expedia.com – Booked over 1,850 hotel room nights (September-October)
  • 334 Television commercials placed on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Comcast Cable in Houston (June-July)
    • 342 Radio commercials placed on KODA 99.1 FM, KHMX 96.5 FM, KKBQ 92.9 FM in Houston (June-August)
    • Billboard Campaign
      • November-December (Greater Houston Area)
  • Cooperative Advertising Efforts
    • 2013 Partners: Market Street, The Woodlands Development Company, The Woodlands Mall, and The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center
    • Media Plan includes:
      • Expedia.com Campaign:  October
      • TripAdvisor.com: Sponsorship of The Woodlands, Texas Overview Page (November – December)
      • Billboard Campaign: November 4 – December 29, 2013
 
 
Group Sales Efforts
  • New Featured Campaign: The “Nature” of Exceptional Meetings
  • Convention South Magazine Readers’ Choice Award recipient
  • Group Bids
    • The Woodlands Financial Group Annual Insurance Services Convention 
  • Booked at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott June 2014
    • Texas Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus Annual Conference
  • Booked at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott August 2015
  • Conferences Attended in 2013
    • Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau Annual Conference in El Paso
    • Texas Society of Association Executives Conference in Galveston.
    • Sales Calls to Association meeting planners
    • Smart Meetings Magazine Hosted Buyer Event in Dallas
  • Videos Created
    • Group Sales Video
    • Attendance Building Video
  • Marketing efforts through Videos print and online
    • Print
      • The Woodlands Group Sales Kit (premiering 2014)
      • The Woodlands Meeting Planner Guide
      • Texas Sports Facility Guide
        • Circulation: 17,000+ meeting planners
      • Convention South Magazine – March 2013 (Annual CVB issue)
        • Circulation: 18,140+ meeting planners
      • Interfaith Directory
        • Circulation: 200,000
    • Online
      • Maintain Meeting Planner website, www.MeetingsInTheWoodlands.com
      • Continue to develop e-blast for groups coming to The Woodlands that provides things to do, where to eat, where to shop, and more.
 
 
Event Update
  • Taste of the Town:
    • January 31, 2013 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott; 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
      • 6,000+ estimated attendees
  • Live at Night:
    • Spring Series – Saturdays, March 2 – April 27, 2013
    • Fall Series – Saturdays, September 14 – October 12, 2013
    • Featured live music Saturdays at Waterway Square from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with special event BAM! JAM! on April 13
      • 6,500+ estimated spring attendees
      • 3,500+ estimated fall attendees
  • The Woodlands Marathon:
    • Saturday, March 2, 2013 in The Woodlands Town Center
      • 25,000 estimated participants and attendees
  • Muddy Trails:
    • April 6, 2013 in the George Mitchell Nature Preserve & Rob Fleming Park
      • 1,500 estimated participants
      • 2,000 estimated spectators
  • The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival:
    • Saturday, April 13 & Sunday, April 14, 2013 at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway
      • 16,000+ estimated attendees
  • CB&I Triathlon:
    • Saturday, May 4, 2013 in The Woodlands Town Center and Northshore Park
      • 1,200 participants
      • 1,500 estimated spectators
  • Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas Expo, Race & Awards:
    • May 15-19, 2013 in The Woodlands Town Center
      • 2,438 athletes
      • 18,000+ estimated spectators
  • Memorial Day Weekend in The Woodlands:
    • Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 26, 2013 at Waterway Square from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Featured fireworks, live music, activities and more each night
      • 10,000+ estimated event attendees
  • Waterway Nights:
    • Saturdays in June 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Waterway Square
    • Featured live music, children’s activities and strolling entertainers
      • 4,000+ estimated series attendees
  • Wine & Food Week:
    • June 3 – 9, 2013
      • 11,000 estimated event attendees
  • Star Spangled Salute:
    • Thursday, July 4, 2013 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
      • 11,000+ estimated attendees
  • Fourth of July Parade:
    • Thursday, July 4, 2013 in The Woodlands Town Center and Market Street
      • 20,000 estimated attendees
  • Red, Hot & Blue Festival & Fireworks Extravaganza:
    • Thursday, July 4, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Town Green Park and Waterway Square
    • Featured fireworks, live music, children’s activities, HEB watermelon and hot dog eating contests, strolling entertainers and more
      • 50,000+ estimated festival attendees throughout the entire day along The Waterway
      • 100,000+ fireworks spectators inside The Woodlands and surrounding areas
  • Labor Day Weekend in The Woodlands:
    • Saturday, August 31 & Sunday, September 1, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Waterway Square
    • Featured fireworks, live music, activities and more each night
      • 10,000+ estimated event attendees
  • 10 For Texas:
    • Saturday, October 12, 2013 in The Woodlands Town Center and Market Street
      • 3,000 estimated participants
      • 2,000 estimated spectators
  • Trick or Treat Trail:
    • Sunday, October 27, 2013 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway
    • Featured trick or treating, vendor booths, costume contests, children’s activities and more
      • 4,000+ estimated attendees (attendance low due to rain)
  • Children’s Festival:
    • Saturday, November 9 & Sunday, November 10, 2013 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
      • 12,000+ estimated attendees
  • 31st Annual Lighting of the Doves & 7th Annual International Winter On The Waterway (iWOW) Festivals:
    • Saturday, November 23, 2013 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway
    • Featured snow play areas, live music, ice carvers, international foods and entertainment, vendor booths, children’s activities, Santa’s grand arrival, fireworks and more
      • 4,500+ estimated attendees (attendance low due to rain)
  • Junior League Holiday Market:
    • November 15 – 17, 2013 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center
      • 10,000 estimated event attendees
  • Caroling on the Square:
    • Saturdays, December 7 – 21, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Waterway Square
    • Featured holiday music and special appearances by Santa
      • 300+ estimated attendees (attendance low due to cold temperatures)
  • Donoho’s Jewellers Winter Wonderland:
    • Open daily November 23, 2013 through January 20, 2014
      • 150,000+ anticipated visitors
  • The Ice Rink at The Woodlands Town Center:
    • Special preview weekend November 16 & 17, 2013
    • Open daily November 23, 2013 through January 20, 2014
      • 50,000+ anticipated skaters for season
      • As of January 5, 2014, 44,025 skaters have enjoyed The Ice Rink this holiday season.
 
 
Business Development
In 2013, the Business Development program reached $311,800 or 109% of the 2013 sponsorship goal, as well as $53,700 in sponsorship in-kind trades.  More than 230 sponsor visits were made in 2013, with over 6,300 outbound/inbound communications with current and potential sponsors. TWCVB expects to have the Business Development position filled by mid January 2014.
 
 
Waterway Cruiser Update
  1. Catering
Landry’s Restaurants, Inc., caterer of the Waterway Cruisers, continues to produce public events and facilitate private parties on the Cruisers. There has been a significant increase in awareness of private event offerings on the Cruisers due to Landry’s efforts in implementing marketing strategies.
 
An official Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued on August 12, 2013 for exclusive catering services on the Waterway Cruisers for a one (1) year contract with rights to two (2) consecutive one (1) year renewals to begin on January 1, 2014. On November 6, 2013, TWCVB Board of Directors approved Landry’s Restaurants, Inc. as the caterer of the Waterway Cruisers. On January 1, 2014, a one (1) year agreement began with Landry’s and upon mutual consent of both parties, can be renewed for two (2) additional one (1) year renewals.
 
Future plans by Landry’s include continuation of events in conjunction with TWCVB’s Festivals, as well as implementing new public events.
 
  1. Naming Rights/Sponsorship/Advertising Opportunities on the Waterway Cruisers
The TWCVB team has revisited signage packages for external advertising on the Waterway Cruisers and discussed with TWCVB Board. “Special Holiday” pricing for the internal TV spots that included opportunities for added partnerships within TWCVB Holiday events (Lighting of the Doves, iWOW, Winter Wonderland and The Ice Rink) was also promoted in the 4th quarter of 2013.
 
  1. Advertising
TWCVB is continuing to promote the Cruisers as an exciting and fun outing for visitors as well as residents of The Woodlands. The marketing plan includes, but not limited to:
  • Online
  • Print
  • Offer “Buy One Get One Free” Coupon in The Woodlands Discovery Guide & Savings Book, Current Newsletter, and Event Flyers/Programs
  • Distribute rack brochures highlighting the cruiser schedule and a route map with list of stops along with catering information
  • Video
  • Continue to show “Welcome to The Woodlands” video inside Cruisers
 
  1. Ridership
From January to November 2013, a total of 32,381 passengers boarded the cruisers which is a 7% decrease from 2012. 

 
  1. Zip Code Origin of Riders
From June to December 2013, over 1,014 total zip codes were collected from riders on the Waterway Cruisers. Of the 367 riders, 86% were from outside The Woodlands and 32% were from outside Texas.
RECOMMENDATION:
There is no Board Action necessary at this time.
Attachments
Executive Summary - TWCVB 4th Quarter Update
TWCVB PR Analysis - Jan. to Dec. 2013
TWCVB Event Marketing & Materials Summary - Jan. to Dec. 2013
TWCVB Destination Marketing Summary - Jan. to Dec. 2013
TWCVB November 2013 Financials


    

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