Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 01/22/2015  

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 November 2014 made by TWCVB on behalf of The Woodlands Township.
 
A presentation will be made by the President of TWCVB during the January 22, 2015 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 December 2014:

           
Communication Outreach
  • 244,504 unique website visits
  • 89,000+ Visitor Guides distributed (English and Spanish)
  • 35,000+ Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer Discovery Guide & Savings Books distributed
  • 18,000+ 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 142,000 visitors through Visitor Services at Market Street and The Woodlands Mall
    • Visitors from 940 different zip codes, 108 countries and 49 states
  • 360+ responses to media inquiries about The Woodlands as a destination
  • 2,350+ articles about The Woodlands as a destination
  • Value of stories in various publications = $498,306
 
 
Destination Marketing
  • Featured Campaign: Far From Routine and Holidays in The Woodlands
  • Destination Marketing efforts (January – December 2014) have created over 23 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
        • 7,891 likes (as of December 31, 2014)
      • Twitter Page – www.Twitter.com/TheWoodlandsCVB
        • 2,204 followers (as of December 31, 2014)
      • YouTube Page – www.YouTube.com/TheWoodlandsCVB
        • 42,043 views (as of December 31, 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 2014)
    • 408 Radio/Internet commercials placed on KODA 99.1 FM, KGLK 107.5 and KKBQ 92.9 FM (June-August 2014)
  • Billboard Campaign – Fall (November 17-December 28, 2014)
  • Cooperative Advertising Efforts
    • 2014 Partners: Market Street, The Woodlands Development Company, The Woodlands Mall and The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center
    • Media Plan included:
      • Expedia.com/Travelocity.com Campaign:  July – August 2014
      • Billboard Campaign: November 17 – December 28, 2014
 
 
Group Sales Efforts
  • Convention South Magazine Readers’ Choice Award recipient
  • Group Bids
    • Red Cross Americas Regional Meeting - The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center March 2015.
    • TWFG Annual Convention – The Woodlands Waterway Marriott in May 2015.
    • TACVB Annual Convention – The Woodlands Waterway Marriott in August 2015.
  • Conferences Attended in 2014
    • Texas Society of Association Executives New Ideas Conference – Fort Worth, TX (500 attendees)
    • Plan Your Meetings Hosted Buyer Event - Houston, TX (Meetings with 40 meeting planners)
  • Upcoming Conferences
    • TACVB Mid-Winter Conference – McAllen, TX
  • Marketing efforts through print and online
    • Print (2014)
      • Texas Sports Facility Guide
      • Distribution: 7,500
      • Convention South – ½ page ad in March CVB Issue
      • Distribution: 18,000 meeting planners
      • Texas Meetings and Events – ½ page in Spring Issue
      • Distribution: 9,500 meeting planners
      • Smart Meetings – (2) ½ page ads – Annual Houston Issue (August) and Annual Texas Issue
      • Distribution: 44,000 meeting planners
  • Plans for 2015:
    • Texas Meeting and Events – Full page ad plus advertorial in January Issue
    • More online presence
      • Email blasts to qualified meeting planners
      • Ad Network
    • 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 30, 2014 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott; 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    • 6,000+ estimated attendees
  • Live at Night:
    • Spring Series – Saturdays, March 1 – May 3, 2014
    • Fall Series – Saturdays, September 13 – October 11, 2014
    • Featured live music Saturdays at Waterway Square from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with special event BAM! JAM! on April 12
      • 6,500+ estimated spring attendees
      • 3,500+ estimated fall attendees
  • The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival:
    • Saturday, April 12 & Sunday, April 13, 2014 at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway
    • 16,000+ estimated attendees
  • Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas Expo, Race & Awards:
    • May 14-17, 2014 in The Woodlands Town Center
    • 2,744 athletes
    • 18,000+ estimated spectators
  • Memorial Day Weekend in The Woodlands:
    • Saturday, May 24 & Sunday, May 25, 2014 at Town Green Park 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 2014 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Waterway Square
    • Featured fireworks, live music, children’s activities and strolling entertainers
    • 12,000+ estimated series attendees
  • Wine & Food Week:
    • June 2 – 8, 2014
    • 11,000 estimated event attendees
  • Star Spangled Salute:
    • Thursday, July 3, 2014 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
    • 11,000+ estimated attendees
  • Fourth of July Parade:
    • Friday, July 4, 2014 in The Woodlands Town Center and Market Street
    • 20,000 estimated attendees
  • Red, Hot & Blue Festival & Fireworks Extravaganza:
    • Friday, July 4, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway
    • 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
  • Labor Day Weekend in The Woodlands:
    • Saturday, August 30, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Waterway Square
    • Featured fireworks, live music, activities and more
    • 3,000+ estimated event attendees
  • Trick or Treat Trail:
    • Sunday, October 26, 2014 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
    • 7,500+ estimated attendees
  • Children’s Festival:
    • Saturday, November 8 & Sunday, November 9, 2014 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
    • 12,000+ estimated attendees
  • 32nd Annual Lighting of the Doves & 8th Annual International Winter On The Waterway (iWOW) Festivals:
    • Due to inclement weather, postponed to Sunday, November 23, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway
    • Featured snow play areas, live music, food and entertainment, vendor booths, children’s activities, Santa’s grand arrival, fireworks and more
    • 15,000 estimated attendees
  • Junior League Holiday Market:
    • November 21-23, 2014 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center
    • 10,000 estimated event attendees
  • Donoho’s Jewellers Winter Wonderland:
    • Open daily November 22, 2014 through January 19, 2015
    • 150,000+ anticipated visitors
  • The Ice Rink at The Woodlands Town Center:
    • Special preview weekend November 15 & 16, 2014
    • Open daily November 22, 2014 through January 19, 2015
    • 49,000+ anticipated skaters for season
    • As of January 11, 2015, 46,063 skaters have enjoyed The Ice Rink this holiday season.
 

Business Development
In 2014, the Business Development program reached $343,000 or 107% of the 2014 sponsorship goal.  More than 418 sponsor visits were made in 2014, with over 3,640 outbound/inbound communications with current and potential sponsors.
 
 
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. On November 5, 2014 TWCVB Board of Directors approved a (1) year renewal of the catering contract with Landry’s effective January 1, 2015.
 
Future plans by Landry’s include continuation of events in conjunction with TWCVB’s Festivals, as well as implementing new public events.
 
  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 is 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
In 2014, a total of 36,629 passengers boarded the Cruisers, which is a 6% increase from 2013.
RECOMMENDATION:
There is no Board Action necessary at this time.
Attachments
PR Analysis - January to December 2014
Financial Report
CVB Update


    

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