Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 10/16/2014  

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. 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 August 2014 made by TWCVB on behalf of The Woodlands Township.
 
A presentation will be made by the President of TWCVB during the October 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.
 
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 September 2014:


Communication Outreach
  • 134,468 unique website visits
  • 82,000+ Visitor Guides distributed (English and Spanish)
  • 21,000+ Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer Discovery Guide & Savings Books distributed
  • 17,300+ Current Newsletters distributed (Spring, Summer, Fall)
 
 
Visitor, Media, and Public Relations Activity (NOTE: See attached PR analysis report.)
  • Recordation and interviews of over 103,094 visitors through Visitor Services at Market Street and The Woodlands Mall
    • Visitors from 780 different zip codes, 95 countries and 48 states
  • 200+ responses to media inquiries about The Woodlands as a destination
  • 1,560+ articles about The Woodlands as a destination
  • Value of stories in various publications = $375,016
 
 
Destination Marketing (NOTE: See attached Destination Marketing wrap up report.)
  • Launched New Campaign: Far From Routine
  • Destination Marketing efforts (January – September 2014) have created over 22 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
      • Monthly e-newsletters distributed to a database of over 29,000
        • Averaging 5,200+ opened and click-through rate per newsletter
      • Facebook Page – www.Facebook.com/VisitTheWoodlands
        • 7,450 likes (as of September 30, 2014)
      • Twitter Page – www.Twitter.com/TheWoodlandsCVB
        • 2,050 followers (as of September 30, 2014)
      • YouTube Page – www.YouTube.com/TheWoodlandsCVB
        • 40,671 views (as of September 30, 2014)
      • Search Engine Marketing – Generated over 23,000 visits to website
      • TripAdvisor.com – Year-round online campaign; generated more than 16,000 media impressions this year
  • 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:
    • Billboard Campaign – Fall (November 17-December 28)
    • Online: Monthly e-newsletters distributed to a database of over 29,000
    • Cooperative Advertising Efforts
      • 2014 Partners: Market Street, The Woodlands Development Company, The Woodlands Mall and The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center
      • Media Plan includes:
        • Expedia.com/Travelocity.com Campaign:  July – August
        • Billboard Campaign: November 17 – December 28
 
 
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)
    • Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (TACVB) Annual Conference (300+ attendees)
    • TSAE New Ideas Conference (500+ attendees)
  • 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.)
  • Connections Meeting Series
    The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau hosts the bi-monthly meeting series Connections exclusively for merchants of The Woodlands. These meetings are held the first Friday of every other month to discuss upcoming events, current destination marketing, changes in the community and other merchant news. TWCVB coordinates these meetings by finding host sites and donated items to provide fun door prizes for attendees.  The goal of this meeting series is to provide an opportunity for local merchants to interact and connect with one another through sharing news/ideas with other businesses in the area.
    • 2014 Meeting Dates:
      • February 7, 2014 – Hyatt Place: 45 attendees
      • April 4, 2014 – Salata: 35 attendees
      • June 6, 2014 – Berryhill: 30 attendees
      • August 1, 2014 – The Millennium Six Pines: 38 attendees
      • October 3, 2014 – Kendra Scott: 35 attendees
  • Labor Day Weekend Event at Waterway Square
    • Saturday, August 30, 2014
    • Featured fireworks, live music, activities and more at Waterway Square from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Event took place on Saturday evening only due to scheduled events at the Pavilion. TWCVB coordinated with Pavilion staff to ensure fireworks did not conflict with Disney in Concert Symphony event.
      • 3,000+ estimated attendees
    • Surveys collected represented the following:
      • 82% said they planned on dining while attending the event
      • 76% represented zip codes outside of The Woodlands
      • 66% said they planned on shopping while attending the event
      • 65% said the event brought them to Waterway Square
      • 28% had not been to Waterway Square before
  • Live at Night Fall Series at Waterway Square
    • Saturdays, September 13 – October 11, 2014
    • Featuring live music each night at Waterway Square from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    • 3,500+ anticipated attendance
  • Trick or Treat Trail presented by Texas Children’s Hospital
    • Sunday, October 26, 2014
    • Featuring trick or treating, 30+ vendor booths, children’s activities, costume contests and more at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    • 5,000+ anticipated attendance
  • Holiday in The Woodlands
    • 32nd Annual Lighting of the Doves and 8th Annual International Winter On The Waterway (iWOW)
      • Saturday, November 22, 2014
      • Featuring snow play areas, live music, ice carvers, international foods and entertainment, fireworks, arrival of Santa Claus and much more at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
      • 20,000+ anticipated attendance
    • The Woodlands Ice Rink presented by Planet Ford in partnership with Texas Children’s Hospital
      • Preview Weekend: Saturday, November 15 and Sunday, November 16, 2014
      • Opens Daily: Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Monday, January 19, 2015
      • Northeast corner of Lake Robbins and Six Pines Drive
      • Largest outdoor Ice Rink in the Southwest United States
      • 50,000+ anticipated paid skaters
    • Donoho’s Jewellers Winter Wonderland
      • Opens Daily: Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Monday, January 19, 2015 from dusk – 11 p.m.
      • Northeast corner of Lake Robbins and Six Pines Drive
      • Features over 250,000 holiday lights surrounding The Woodlands Ice Rink
      • 150,000+ anticipated visitors
 
 
Business Development

Business Development has $229,475, or 72% of the 2014 sponsorship goal, currently committed in outside sponsorship dollars as well as a total of $14,400 currently in sponsorship in-kind trades.  A total of 382 sponsor visits have been made with 2,551 communications with sponsors in the first, second and third quarters of 2014.
 
 
Waterway Cruiser Update

A. 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. Most recently, Landry’s hosted a Shiner Beer Cruise. Landry’s plans to continue producing events in conjunction with TWCVB, with the potential for a dinner cruise series in the winter.

B. Naming Rights/Sponsorship/Advertising Opportunities on The Waterway Cruisers
Sponsorship opportunities are available on The Waterway Cruisers through advertising on the Cruisers. Although there has been minimal interest, TWCVB is continuing to explore ways to enhance this program. Please send any leads to the CVB staff.
 
C. 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 the “Welcome to The Woodlands” video message on the TV’s inside the Cruisers
D. Ridership (NOTE: See attached chart.)
From January to August 2014, a total of 26,189 passengers boarded the Cruisers which is a 3% increase from 2013.  Waterway Cruiser ridership for August 2014 was up 29% from August 2013.
 
RECOMMENDATION:
There is no Board Action necessary at this time.
Attachments
Destination Marketing Media Summary - January to September 2014
CVB Event Advertsing and Marketing
The Woodlands CVB Financials - January to August 2014
Waterway Cruiser Ridership Chart - January to August 2014


    

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