Aggressive Marketing to Convention Planners and Overnight Visitors Are Top Priorities in Visit Winston-Salem's 2014-15 Marketing and Sales Plan
"The Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority today voted unanimous approval of Visit Winston-Salem's 2014-15 fiscal budget and annual Marketing and Sales Plan at their monthly board meeting. The $3.16 million budget represents a nine percent revenue increase for sales, marketing and promotional activities over the 2013-14 budget. The additional budgeted revenue is based on a projected increase of hotel occupancy tax collections in Forsyth County.
"Together with dedicated industry partners and a diligent staff, our Board's endorsement of our strategic plan and budget enables us to continue to aggressively market and sell Winston-Salem as a viable convention, sports and visitor destination," said Richard Geiger, president of Visit Winston-Salem.
Visit Winston-Salem's 2014-15 plan includes developing a comprehensive marketing and sales plan for the $17.5 million renovation of the Benton Convention Center. The plan also includes conducting two flights of qualitative research, enhancing sports events marketing and continued development and execution of seasonally-themed advertising, public relations and promotional campaigns to increase consumer and meeting planner awareness of Winston-Salem as a viable leisure and convention destination.
Visit Winston-Salem's Convention Sales plan includes an increased presence and sales effort in the national and regional association, and religious-based markets. Securing additional sporting events/tournaments is also a key goal for Visit Winston-Salem.
Approximately 34 groups are earmarked to receive funding for up to $250,000 from the Visit Winston-Salem Convention & Sports Support (CSS) program. The program allocates incentives to qualified organizations to offset costs such as convention center/facility rentals, convention shuttles and parking as well as bid fees to pursue sport events/tournaments. The CSS groups will generate more than 40,000 hotel room nights with an estimated economic impact of $28 million dollars and returns $205 to the community for every dollar invested.
The Visit Winston-Salem fiscal year is July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.