ORGANIZATION: Grinnell Convention & Visitors Bureau / Grinnell Hotel-Motel Tax Committee
DATE: 2015 –2016
MY ROLE: Marketing Strategist, Writer, Editor, Graphic Designer, Social Media Manager
The Chamber of Commerce had a history of contracting with the City of Grinnell to operate the convention and visitors bureau, but there was no comprehensive strategy in place nor benchmarks to measure performance. Hotel-motel tax was not effectively being used to brand the community, and tourism funding to the Chamber was discontinued. Tourism funding was a large portion of the Chamber’s budget and losing it would be detrimental.
My goal was to secure ongoing tourism funding for the Chamber and give the city council renewed confidence in our ability to effectively manage a destination marketing program. Once a commitment for funding was in place, it was my responsibility to execute the entirety of the program and report the results.
- Developed a proposal that outlined a twelve-month strategic plan with action steps, deliverables and measurements of success. I presented this proposal to the hotel-motel tax committee and it was approved, followed by approval by the city council
- Negotiated a contract with the city manager that secured funding for a year and outlined clear expectations of both parties
- Executed the entire destination marketing program, which included a marketing plan and visitor service functions. This involved designing advertisements, developing website content, managing social media campaigns, etc.
- Provided quarterly reports to the city council
- Secured a twelve-month contract with the City of Grinnell and successfully renewed that contract the following year. This resulted in $25,000 in additional funding for my organization, increasing annual revenues by 10 percent
- Spent tax dollars on strategic marketing initiatives, rather than one-off projects as had been the case in the past
- Increased hotel-motel tax receipts over the previous year–although this growth can be attributed to many factors, a strong destination marketing program certainly plays a role
- Expanded tourism content, increased marketing of the community and implemented consistent branding of Grinnell