Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 07/17/2014  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon 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. On behalf of The Woodlands Township, TWCVB 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 May 2014 made by TWCVB on behalf of The Woodlands Township.
 
A presentation will be made by the President of TWCVB during the July 17, 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.
 
TWCVB Board of Directors currently are Gordy Bunch, Chairman; Fred Domenick, Vice Chairman; Ed Robb, Treasurer/Secretary; Peggy Hausman, Director; Karen Hoylman, Director, President of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce; Don Norrell, Director, President of The Woodlands Township; Greg Parsons, Director, General Manager of The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center and Nick Wolda as President.
 
Below are key stats of TWCVB efforts, January through June 2014:

Communication Outreach
  • 82,130 unique website visits
  • 56,000+ Visitor Guides distributed (English and Spanish)
  • 13,300+ Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer Discovery Guide & Savings Books distributed
 
Visitor, Media and Public Relations Activity (NOTE: See attached PR analysis report)
  • Recordation and interviews of 64,064 visitors through Visitor Services at Market Street and The Woodlands Mall
    • Visitors from 640 different zip codes, 89 countries and 48 states
  • 180+ responses to media inquiries about The Woodlands as a destination
  • 790+ articles about The Woodlands as a destination
  • Value of stories in various publications = $234,719
 
Destination Marketing (NOTE: See attached Destination Marketing wrap up report.)
  • Launched New Campaign: Far From Routine
  • Destination Marketing efforts (January – June 2014) have created over 14 million impressions in paid advertising through print, online, TV, radio and e-newsletters.
    • Print Ads – See Texas First Getaway Guide, Texas Town and City, Houston Visitors Guide (Spring), Texas Journey and Interfaith Directory & Dining Guide
    • Online
  • 320 Television commercials placed on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and Comcast Cable in Houston (May-June)
    • 408 Radio/Internet commercials placed on KODA 99.1 FM, KGLK 107.5 and KKBQ 92.9 FM (June-August)
  • Upcoming Destination Marketing efforts:
  • Magazine ads placed in See Texas First-Fall, Texas Journey
  • Billboard Campaign – Fall
  • Online: Expedia.com and monthly e-newsletters distributed to a database of over 29,000
  • Cooperative advertising efforts with local area businesses including Market Street, The Woodlands Development Company, The Woodlands Mall and The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center
 
Group Sales Efforts
  • Convention South Magazine South’s Inaugural List of “South’s Secret Havens For Healthcare Groups” (one of six U.S. destinations selected)
  • Conferences Attended in 2014
    • Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) Southwest Showcase Tradeshow (400+ attendees)
    • Collaborate Market Place (500+ meeting planners)
  • Marketing efforts through Videos print and online
    • Print
      • The Woodlands Meeting Planner Kit (Premiered March 2014)
      • The Woodlands Meeting Planner Guide
      • Texas Sports Facility Guide
      • Convention South Magazine (CVB March Issue)
      • Texas Meetings & Events Magazine (Spring Issue)
      • Smart Meetings Magazine (April Houston Issue & August Texas Issue)
    • Online
      • Maintain Meeting Planner website, www.MeetingsInTheWoodlands.com
      • Continue to develop e-blasts for groups coming to The Woodlands that provides things to do, where to eat, where to shop, and more.
 
 
Event Update (NOTE: See attached Event Media/Collateral Material wrap up report)
  • Live at Night – Spring Series
    • Saturdays in March and April with special event Because Art Matters Drum Jam on April 12
    • Featured live music at Waterway Square each week from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    • 7,600+ estimated attendees
    • Survey results included:
      • 83% of attendees planned on dining while in The Woodlands
      • 61% of attendees planned on shopping while in The Woodlands
      • 58% of attendees from outside of The Woodlands
      • 34% said the event brought them to Waterway Square

  • The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival
    • Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13, 2014 at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway
    • Featured fine art, performances, vendors, interactive art activities and more
    • 16,000 estimated attendees
    • Survey results included:
      • 87% rated the Festival venue as excellent
      • 64% of Festival artists stayed in a hotel
      • 50% of attendees came from zip codes outside of The Woodlands

  • Memorial Day Weekend Event
    • Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25, 2014 at Town Green Park, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 
    • Featured fireworks, live music, strolling entertainers, activities and more
    • 15,000+ estimated attendees
    • Survey results included:
      • 89% rated the event’s location as excellent
      • 72% planned on shopping while visiting
      • 69% of attendees came from zip codes outside of The Woodlands
      • 63% said the event brought them to The Woodlands
 
  • Wine and Food Week
    • June 2 – June 8, 2014
    • 11,000 estimated attendees participating in the weeklong events
    • Surveys conducted by the CVB included:
      • 84% planned on dining during their visit
      • 75% planned on shopping during their visit
      • 63% represented zip codes outside of The Woodlands
      • 57% planned on staying in The Woodlands after attending the event
 
  • Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas
    • The three day expo and race were held May 14-17, 2014
    • 2,744 athletes from around the world
    • The CVB had a booth collecting surveys at the three day expo and on the day of the race which represent the following results:
      • 86% were from outside The Woodlands
      • 86% planned to dine while in The Woodlands
      • 85% planned to shop while in The Woodlands
      • 81% said Ironman Texas brought them to The Woodlands
      • 76% plan to visit The Woodlands in the future
      • 59% stayed the night in a hotel
      • 53% were from outside Texas
      • 48% had not visited The Woodlands before
      • 16% planned on spending more than $500 while in The Woodlands
 
  • Waterway Nights
    • Saturdays in June 2014
    • Featured fireworks, live music and strolling entertainers each night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    • 12,000+ estimated series attendees
    • Surveys were collected each week at the CVB booth which represent the results below:
      • 95% rated the location as excellent
      • 72% planned on dining while visiting
      • 66% planned on shopping while visiting
      • 56% were from outside The Woodlands
      • 51% said the event is what brought them to Waterway Square
 
  • 17th Annual Red, Hot & Blue Festival and Fireworks Extravaganza
    • Friday, July 4, 2014 at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway
    • An estimated 50,000+ attendees were along The Woodlands Waterway  with two stages of live music, kids’ H-E-B hot dog and watermelon eating contests, children’s activities, over 50 vendors and more
    • The Fireworks Extravaganza was launched from Town Green Park and Waterway Square while simulcast on Sunny 99.1
    • Surveys are being tallied at the writing of this report and will be presented at the July 18 Board Meeting.
 
Business Development

Business Development currently has $309,525, or 99% of the 2014 sponsorship goal, currently committed in outside sponsorship dollars as well as a total of $27,400 currently in sponsorship in-kind trades.  A total of 147 sponsor visits have been made with 1,482 communications with sponsors in the first and second quarter of 2014.
 
Waterway Cruiser Update
  1. Catering
Landry’s Restaurants, Inc., official caterer of The Waterway Cruisers, continues to produce public events and facilitate private parties/meetings 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. Recent events include a Crawfish Boil Dinner Cruise and Fourth of July Dinner Cruise. Landry’s plans to continue producing events in conjunction with TWCVB, with the potential for a dinner cruise series in the fall and winter.
  1. Naming Right’s/Sponsorship/Advertising Opportunities on The Waterway Cruisers
TWCVB team is continuing to seek sponsors for advertising opportunities on the Cruisers. Please send any leads to the CVB.
  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
  • TWCVB Facebook Page – www.Facebook.com/VisitTheWoodlands
  • Waterway Cruisers website, www.TheWoodlandsWaterwayCruisers.com
  • 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 the “Welcome to The Woodlands” video message on the TV’s inside the Cruisers
  1. Ridership
Waterway Cruiser ridership for May 2014 was up 7% from May 2013. From January to May 2014, a total of 14,121 passengers boarded the Cruisers which is a 5% decrease from 2013.
RECOMMENDATION:
There is no Board Action necessary at this time.

    

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