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Conference Update | Wisconsin in the News | Travel Green Wisconsin
Hello Friends –
What an unbelievable first year it's been for tourism, it's been a full-on sprint! Looking back on the year, we've increased our budget, putting it all into marketing. We've leveraged earned media by using celebrities with Wisconsin roots and ties in our advertising. Our Welcome Centers are open and serving travelers. In every promotion and marketing initiative, we strive to be as effective as possible.
2012 will be another big year. Two new summer ads are debuting at the Tourism Conference in March. We are making the most significant change in 20 years this spring as we move to a new research vendor to measure tourism's economic impact. And this year we will consider changes to TravelWisconsin.com to keep it user-friendly and cutting edge. That's just for starters! All the more reason I kissed Lucky the Carp at the New Year's Eve Droppin' of the Carp in Prairie du Chien – so I could bring good luck to all of our work and the state's tourism industry this year.
The best way to learn more about all of these exciting developments is to join us at the Governor's Conference on Tourism in Green Bay, March 4-6. Registration is open! I hope to see you there.
Governor's Council on Tourism
Our 2012 Tourism year started with a bang or should I say a snowball fight! If you haven't seen the new David Zucker-directed winter TV spot featuring the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Mother Nature at work in Wisconsin, you must! True to our brand of Fun, this commercial sharpened the focus on Wisconsin Tourism, with great response from our guests and our industry alike. Congratulations to the Department of Tourism for hitting the sweet spot on Fun!
Council Committees have been meeting independently over the past several months, bringing reports back to the full Council Meetings. Independent meetings will continue with full reporting at the March Council Meeting, which takes place at the Tourism Conference. Before that time, the Council will also refine the Council Strategic Plan for 2012 to distribute at the March meeting. It is exciting to see some of this work come to fruition over the past year.
And speaking of our Tourism Conference, you may have seen that registration for WIGCOT opened last week. This is a great place to connect with industry partners, learn new trends from this power-packed line-up, and take home new tools and strategies for your business. Take advantage of this valuable resource, as this Conference promises to be the best ever--and it's Fun! We look forward to seeing you there, reconnecting with old friends in Wisconsin Tourism and meeting new ones!
Zucker Spot Goes Viral
The 30-second spot is getting noticed on the web with over 22,000 views on YouTube. We encourage you to post the video on your own websites to help us spread the word that winter is fun in Wisconsin! A Director's Cut and a "Behind the Scenes" video will also be available shortly. Check out the Wisconsin in the News section to see some of the terrific media coverage resulting from our new spot.
126% Increase in Fall Color Report Views
We're already looking ahead to summer but it still pays to take a look back at how our marketing efforts performed this fall. Overall visits and pageviews to TravelWisconsin.com increased 16-18%. The Fall Color Report was viewed 549,797 times, an increase of 126% over last year's 243,267 visits. Both increases are indicative of good integrated marketing efforts. A boost in things like fall earned media (up from $3.9 million in 2010 to $6.6 million in 2011), social media growth, increased click-thru's from digital advertising and ongoing SEO efforts all played a role in the website's performance.
Enhancements to the Fall Color Report made it easy for visitors to click on nearby attractions, events, dining and more. Over 65% of people viewing the Fall Color Report continued on to other pages. For more web and social media stats, be sure to check out our monthly Department Metrics report.
Share the Fun with "Winter Break" Facebook App
Remember counting down the days until your winter break as a child? Well, we're giving you the power to declare a Winter Break for a friend. The Facebook app allows social users to pick out a winter event or activity (indoor or outdoor fun!) and send a "Winter Break" certificate to someone on their "friend list." Check out the fun on Travel Wisconsin Facebook page.
Two of our staff members have taken on additional responsibilities and, with that, title changes. Joellyn Merz is now our Director of Technology & Customer Service and Lisa Marshall's title is now Communications Director. In other staff news, we expect to make an offer by the end of the month to a candidate that will fill our Web Marketing Project Manager position. That person is expected to be on board by the conference.
Special Events and Markets Manager
Online Conference Registration Now Open
Green Bay Native and actor Tony Shalhoub would like to invite you to the conference. Register before January 31st and receive a $50 early bird discount!
Highlights for this year's conference include keynote speakers Peter Shankman and Peter Greenberg, a Green Bay Packer themed marketplace – including surprise appearance from a player, and a kick-off address by Governor Walker and Secretary Klett. Check out the full agenda here.
It's not too late to recognize someone who has shown dedication, creativity and excellence in the tourism industry with a Governor's Tourism Award. Nominations will be accepted through Friday January 20th!
Grant Tip of the Month
Looking for another set of eyes on your grant application or for an idea for a grant? Get your grant ideas and drafts reviewed in at the Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism in March. Make an appointment now for a Monday or Tuesday consultation with Abbie at WIGCOT. Email Abbie at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (608) 261-6272.
Meetings Means Business Grants Awarded
The first round of MMB grants were recently awarded to the following:
Industry Relations & Services Director
Journal Sentinel Sport Show Opportunity
The Department of Tourism will exhibit at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Sport Show at State Fair Park in West Allis, March 7-11. The Department will staff the booth, distribute travel publications and share our Wisconsin sports and tourism knowledge with show-goers.
We invite you to join us at our booth. Here are some things to consider:
Mittens Across Lake Michigan
The friendly rivalry between Wisconsin and Michigan turned into an opportunity to help those in need – and our industry rose to the occasion. As a state, we collected over 2,300 mittens and other warm winter items for local charities around the state. A HUGE thank you goes out to all those who participated as mitten drop-off sites!
Zucker Ad Creates Media Buzz
The Associated Press ran an in-depth story about Zucker and our new winter campaign, which was then picked up in over 50 newspapers across the nation, including national outlets like The The Huffington Post and CBS online. The Journal-Sentinel's Jim Stingl also covered the story in his column. See some of the coverage.
In the News This Month
Other notable coverage this month now posted in the Media Room includes:
Program Manger & Liaision
New Reduced Fee Structure for Travel Green Wisconsin!
As we continually strive to improve and enhance Travel Green Wisconsin, we have implemented a new fee structure for Travel Green Wisconsin certification, effective this month.
The new fee structure was adopted after a focus group of sustainable tourism leaders met to provide the Department with input and recommendations for Travel Green Wisconsin. The Governor's Council sub-committee for Travel Green Wisconsin, led by Council Member Joe Klimczak, considered the focus group recommendations and provided a more detailed recommendation.
Other recommendations to improve the program that are currently under consideration include:
Harnessing the power of tourism to build a better Wisconsin. |
See how on: http://industry.travelwisconsin.com.
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